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Veja maculicauda

Veja maculicauda

 This is a Central America cichlid with a rather large final size (30 cm) and consequently demands large tanks. In nature, it is found in the calm water regions of small streams and large rivers. They can be housed in a 200 cm tank with proper aquascaping but a 300 cm tank is what they really need if they are to thrive. Even in such a large tank only a pair can be housed as “herbivore” doesn’t mean “peaceful” and in the case of V.maculicauda this is even more so. Needless to say that the use of live plants in their tank is nor recommended since most likely they will become part of their diet. A great deal of vegetable food should be included in their diets, spirulina and peas being the first candidates. Will also accept lettuce, zucchini and brine shrimp while most good quality pellet cichlid foods are eagerly accepted. Breeding this species is relatively easy once you have a formed pair. Forming a pair is the hard part of it. Usually the “discus” approach is put into effect. A batch of 5-7 juveniles are raised together until a pair is formed. After that, the rest of the V.maculicauda have to removed. This is not so easy in countries where cichlid keeping is not so widespread since the requirements of this species (very large tanks and the “one pair / tank” limitation) means that the fish you will remove from your tank after the formation of the pair should get a new house and this is not always easy. Even after the pair is formed it will not stay “paired” for life. It seems that the female has to be “re-accepted” by the mail before each spawning. Having two of these cichlids in a small tank – especially when they do not like each other - will usually result in a severely wounded fish. A large tank and the presence of other species (preferably members of the Herichthys genus) are what it takes to have a peaceful tank. Overcrowding (a method used to reduce aggression) is not really an option and should not be tried. The pair may spawn for a number of times (usually 4-5 times over a span of two years) and then become “inactive” although they will live for much longer. They may produce very large number of fry (even 1000 is not rare – although usually it is in the 250 - 500 range). Die to their limited useful reproduction span, it is a good idea to raise some of their fry if you want to keep and breed this cichlid for a long time. The aquarium should be decorated in the classic “new world cichlid” manner which includes sand as a bottom, rocks and bogwood.

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