Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Paraneetroplus argenteus

White cichlid

White cichlid, Paraneetroplus argenteusWhite cichlid, Paraneetroplus argenteus
Photos by Andy Rapson


Paraneetroplus: Greek, para = near + Greek, etrapelos = stiff; referred to the stiff anal fins rays characteristic of these fishes.

General Notes:

Paraneetroplus argenteus is a stunningly beautiful but quite aggressive species which isn't often kept in the hobby. It is especially aggressive with others of its own kind. May co-exist with other cichlids in a community provided that the tank mates are robust and that there is enough decor to mark territories. Make all the decor secure, Paraneetroplus argenteus quite enjoys rearranging its tank if allowed to. Paraneetroplus argenteus isn't very common in the aquatic trade but recently they have become more available.


Although Paraneetroplus argenteus is an omnivore they have a strong preference for vegetable matter in their diet. In captivity their diet should include some fresh greens and algae. They will also accept cichlid pellets, spirulina pellets and live or frozen food. They can be a little picky to begin with but once settled they become quite bold feeders.


Males develop a larger nuchal hump and grow slightly larger than females, the sexes are very similar.


If a pair can be housed together they will breed in typical cichlid fashion either using a flat stone or a cave to lay their eggs having first cleaned the area. The pair are extremely territorial when spawning and so other fish should be removed for their own safety.

Wild status

The wild status of Paraneetroplus argenteus has not been evaluated but they are capable of doubling their population within 15 months and they aren't facing any immediate threats.

Information at a glance

pH: 7 - 7.8
dGH: 5 - 15
Temperature: 26 - 30°C (79 - 86°F)
Diet: Omnivore
Size: 27cm (11in)
Min tank size: 675 litres
Difficulty level: Difficult
Aquarium type: Solitary - Community
Swimming level: Middle / lower

Distribution and habitat

distribution map for White cichlid, Paraneetroplus argenteus

Origin: Mexico, southeastern sections of the Rio Usumacinta basin (endemic).

Habitat: Slow moving water, river pools and tributaries.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Cichlidae
Genus: Paraneetroplus
Species: P. argenteus, (Allgayer, 1991)

Common name:
White cichlid

Synonyms: Cichlasoma argentea, Vieja argentea.