Black Belt Cichlid

Black Belt Cichlid 5cm

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Black Belt Cichlid 5cm

Vieja Maculicauda

The Black Belt Cichlid is truly a fish that evolves in colour over time. It is a boisterous large body South American cichlid, but has a much lower level of aggression in comparison to other South American cichlids.

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The Black Belt Cichlid is truly a fish that evolves in color over time. It is a boisterous large body South American cichlid but has a much lower level of aggression in comparison to other South American cichlids. The most interesting thing about this cichlid is that as a juvenile it may have bland and monotone colors, but as it grows it truly evolves to become a beautiful colored cichlid with deep purples, reds, and greens with a distinctive black bar in its midsection. This fish would be a great long term addiction to a display South American aquarium and would be incredible to see its colors evolve over time. Trying to find the males and females in this species is possible where adult males are more intense with white, black, and bright red accents. The female is dark grey with black speckling. Both have a red tail fin. The black belt cichlid is not an extremely shy species and will readily present its personality to its owners and not shy from showing itself off. This cichlid would best do with other semi-aggressive or larger body cichlid species such as Uaru and other Veja species. Its natural habitat is Central America on the Atlantic slope from the Usumacinta River drainage in Guatemala to the Chagres River in Panama.


Tank Recommendations for your Black Belt Cichlid 

The black belt cichlid is a fairly large growing cichlid meaning it needs a tank that is at least 70 gallons (264.9 liters). Space allows them to properly grown and have an adequate environment and water volume to thrive. They can both be kept solitary or in groups of preferably 5+ which allows them to be a versatile cichlid in aquariums. Being a South American species they would prefer to have a lot of driftwood in the aquarium which they can hide near or make their territory and they are not too fussy on the substrate used however sand would be best as it would feel most natural.


Suitable Tank Buddies

The black belt cichlid is semi-aggressive. They get along with a wide range of larger South American species and it would be best recommended to keep them with species such as Severums, Uaru, and other Veja species. Other options could include silver dollars and larger schooling species.


Usually Compatible

Aggressive South American species such as Oscars, jaguar cichlids, dovii, and species of a similar sort.


Sometime Compatible

Medium size South American schooling fish such as black widow tetras and species like corydoras.


Rarely Compatible

Small, slow-moving species such as neon tetras, cardinal tetras, and other tetra species.


Feeding your Black Belt Cichlids

Black belt cichlids are omnivores and they will readily prefer both meaty foods and will actively forage on algae and plant matter. They will consume a wide range of dry and frozen foods. Their diet should contain good quality sinking pellets or flake and be supplemented with frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Feeding should occur once a day and it is best to do so when the lights are on during the day

More Information
Scientific Name Vieja Maculicauda
Care Level Moderate
Common Names Black Belt cichlid, Vieja maculicauda, red Veja.
Diet Omnivore
Fish Family Cichlidae
Lifespan (years) 10
Max. Length (cm) 28 30
Min. Tank Volume (l) 265 Litres
Origin Central America
Reef Safe No
Sociability Semi-aggressive
Venomous No
Water Conditions 24-26° C (75-79° F), pH 6.5.0-7.5
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