Name: Apistogramma viejita
Family: Dwarf Cichlid
Distribution: South America (Columbia and Venezuela): Orinoco River basin, in the upper Meta River basin
Minimum Tank Size: At least a 1ft tank for a pair.
Diet: They are not fussy eaters and accepts a wide range of staple and live food.
Water Condition: Clean water is a must because nitrogeneous waste results in an abbreviated life span. They are not particular about pH but ideally, pH should be around 5.5 - 6.5. Water temperature around 24 - 30degrees is accepted by this species.
Sexual Dimorphism: Male exhibits longer anterior dorsal membrane. Anal fin of males are elongated while female's anal fin are usually rounded. Ventral fins of matured males are longer. Mature females exhibit a yellowish belly.
Females observed to have forehead curve like a semi circle and red colouration tend to only show till the pectoral fin; males observed to have forehead curve with staircase step, with red colouration extending beyond the lateral fin.
Breeding: Apistogramma viejita lays their eggs in caves, on roots or on the leaf of a plant. The female lays a smaller number of eggs. The female guards the eggs and the fry while the male guards his territory which may contain several females with fry.
Remarks: Differentiating a A.viejita and a A.macmasteri tend to be an issue due to their close resemblance in colouration and dark marks. One known method of differentiating the two species is to keep a look out of the first rays of the dorsal fins, where A.viejita is known to show up with black markings while A.macmasteri doesn't. But then again, there are times from farm stock that the two species are mixed up and such traits are not accurate.
Another differentiating trait, albeit difficult to really compare, is the shape and size of the caudal spot. A.macmasteri has a caudal spot which is more elongated, covering nearly the whole of the caudal peduncle, while the A.viejita has a smaller caudal spot, and more rounded.