The red head cichlid, scientifically known as Vieja bifasciata, is a highly popular freshwater fish among aquarium hobbyists. Originating from Lake Nicaragua in Central America, this alluring and peaceful cichlid thrives in social groups consisting of at least 3-5 fish. Its manageable size, growing to around 14 inches long, makes it an ideal choice for beginner aquarists.
Description and Habitat Belonging to the Cichlidae family, Vieja bifasciata primarily inhabits rivers in Panama and Costa Rica. It prefers freshwater lakes with rocky shores as its natural habitat. As a relatively large Central American Cichlid, it can reach lengths of up to 36 cm (approximately 14 inches).
It's essential to note that this species is endemic to Venezuela, but it has also become a sought-after addition in the aquarium trade, where it is commonly referred to as the red-spotted jawbreaker (though it should not be confused with an actual jawbreaker fish).
In summary, the red head cichlid, or Vieja bifasciata, is a captivating and serene freshwater fish native to Lake Nicaragua, Central America. With its moderate size and ease of care, it is an excellent choice for novice aquarium enthusiasts. However, its growing popularity has also made it available in the aquarium trade under the name "red-spotted jawbreaker."