3cm - 4cm
5 - 6.5
Provided adequate cover and structure is available this species is unfussy with regards to décor with ceramic flowerpots, lengths of plastic piping and other artificial materials all useful additions.
A more natural-looking arrangement might consist of a soft, sandy substrate with wood roots and branches placed such a way that plenty of shady spots and caves are formed.
The addition of dried leaf litter provides additional cover and spawning sites, and brings with it the growth of beneficial microbe colonies as decomposition occurs.
These can provide a valuable secondary food source for fry, while the tannins and other chemicals released by the decaying leaves aid in simulation of natural conditions. Alder cones may also be used for the latter purpose.
Fairly dim lighting is recommended and aquatic plant species that can survive under such conditions such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum or Cryptocoryne spp. may be added, while floating vegetation, especially Ceratopteris spp., is also useful.
There is no need to use peat, the collection of which is both unsustainable and environmentally-destructive.
Filtration need not be too strong, with an air-powered sponge filter or similar adequate.
It goes without saying that these are fishes are sensitive to fluctuating organic wastes and should never be introduced to biologically-immature aquaria.
Despite being incredibly rare in captivity, imports are even less frequent and thus most captive specimens will be captive bred. Apistogramma viejita is not a fussy fish and will thrive in water which deviates from the natural parameters given and breeds readily when kept well.
Apistogramma spp. are chiefly carnivorous and feed mostly on benthic invertebrates in nature.
Generally a peaceful fish, Apistogramma viejita settles well into a calm community aquarium with small characins, rasboras and Otocinclus spp. making ideal tankmates.
Wild examples are best maintained alone or with small ‘dither’ fishes such as Nannostomus spp., and ideally should not be mixed with other Apistogramma.