Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: No
General Description: The Marbled Fenestratus Cichlid, also referred to as the Marbled Vieja Cichlid, is endemic to western Mexico. It’s maximum adult size [12″] and aggressive temperament make the Marbled fenestratus a species best left to the dedicated aquarist. Maintaining the aquascape in an aquarium with a Marbled fenestratus can often feel like a losing battle, as they can dig and move around what decor is present. Male Marbled fenestratus are generally more colorful than females, and will also develop a nuchal hump on their head. Most specimens sold however are mere juveniles that will be difficult to sex.
Diet Requirements: Vieja cichlids are omnivorous in nature, however a larger proportion of their diet should focus on algae or vegetable based foods. An unfussy eater, a diet made up of various high quality protein and vegetable based foods are ideal. Such options include frozen brine shrimp, mussels, and pieces of krill or silverside fish. Foods containing Spirulina algae are a plus. The Marbled fenestratus will also accept large sinking pellet foods and flake foods, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. We discourage feeding live fish because they are often of little nutritional value and increase the risk of introducing disease.
Care Requirements: A minimum 75 to 90 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Marbled fenestratus cichlid. An adult requires much more space upwards of 200+ gallons. This cichlid cannot be put into a biologically immature aquarium. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm) as Marbled fenestratus do not like high nitrates and deteriorating water parameters. Poor water quality will result in your Marbled fenestratus with a greater likelihood of developing hole in the head disease, which is permanent. Equipping the aquarium with a canister filter can also be advantageous to maintain a healthier environment for this fish. Marbled fenestratus are relatively indifferent to aquarium decor, but some stacked rocks to create caves, driftwood and other natural looking arrangements will bring out the beauty of this cichlid. Some unobstructed and open swimming space should also be provided. A sandy or fine substrate several inches deep is preferred and the aquarium needs to be well oxygenated. Given the aggressive nature of the Marbled fenestratus, only other very robust Central American cichlids with similar temperament should be considered. Purchasing fish at a more juvenile life stage will increase the chances of it getting along with tank mates. Recommended water conditions, 74-84° F, KH 0-15, pH 6.0-7.0.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/4” to 1-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.