Vieja cf. synspila Shine Spot

81ef4ce4-e8f9-40c7-98f4-42731f31718e

Editor's Picks
Features Post
What caused this snail die-off?
04 January 2022
Fishkeeping News Post
Nanochromis transvestitus
04 January 2022
Features Post
How do I feed these tricky gobies?
04 January 2022
Features Post
Should I add sand for my Rams?
04 January 2022
Features Post
How to set up your Christmas tank
20 December 2021

Sold in the trade as Vieja sp. Shine Spot, this new cichlid from Central America appears to be a close relative of Vieja synspilum, as Matt Clarke explains.

Scientific name: Vieja sp. 'Shine Spot'

Size: Not known, but most Vieja can reach around 30cm/12" in aquaria.

Origin: Central America.

Water: Neutral to alkaline water with a pH of 7-8,

10-20GH. Most Central American cichlids are fine in unadjusted,

dechlorinated, hard, alkaline tapwater.

Aquarium: An adult pair will need a tank of about 120 x 45 x 45cm/48" x 18" x 18" or bigger. Furnish with large boulders and pieces of bogwood, but avoid plants which are likely to be dug up or eaten.

Diet: Not known, but related species feed on aquatic plants, invertebrates and bottom detritus. Aquarium specimens accept staple flake and pellet foods.

Habitat: Not known. Other Vieja species are found in large lakes and rivers.

Availability: This is the first time we've seen this species for sale. These were imported from Germany by Maidenhead Aquatics in Harlestone Heath.

Notes: Since these are only youngsters, it's tricky to tell if they are a geographic race of a described species, or something new. They resemble Vieja synspila, but the shiny scales make them look quite different. It's possible that they're either a race of V. synspila or a closely related species.

Rarity rating: This is a really unusual fish, and the first new Central American cichlid we've seen in aeons.

Price: 10.50 for a

2.5-5cm/1-2" fish.

This article was first published in the Christmas 2003 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine.