Other Names:
Barred Cichlid, Festive Cichlid

Scientific Name:
Mesonauta festivus (Heckel, 1840)

South America: wide-spread throughout the continent, from the southern drainages off the Rio Paraná and Rio Paraguay in Brazil and Paraguay to the northern river systems of the Rio Guaporé, Madre de Dios, Rio Mamoré, Rio Jamari, Rio Tapajós and Rio Amazonas in Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.

Maximum size:
Approx. 6" (15cm.)

It is recommended to keep one male together with 1-3 females: for this you will need an aquarium of 48-60" (120-150cm.) in length. A proven (breeding) pair can be housed in a smaller tank however: usually, a 40" (100cm.) long tank will be sufficient. Males can be rather intolerant towards each other, and in order to keep two (or more) males in the same tank a larger tank is required: 48" (120cm.) being the minimum, but larger is recommended.
The aquarium needs to be planted densely, with dimmed lights or floating plants to provide hiding places and to make the fish feel secure, especially when kept together with larger or very active fish. (Drift) wood is also very suitable to provide hiding places, and even nesting sites.
Although the Flag Cichlid is a strong and adaptable species, soft, slightly acidic water is prefered (something which can be achieved by filtering over peat, or by enriching the water with black water extract). Besides that, the water needs to be heavily oxgenated and a moderate amount of currents should be provided as well: these conditions can be created by installing a power head and air pump/diffusor unit for (one of) the filter(s).

15°C 23-29°C 35°C

5.0 5.5-7.5 9.0
 Ideal conditions
 Suitable conditions
 Unsuitable conditions

The Flag Cichlid is a true omnivore, and will readily accept both plant- and meat-based food items. Pellets, granules, cichlid sticks, frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, blood worms, tubifex and artemia, algae- and spirulina-based dry foods and even lettuce and cucumber all are suitable food items for these fish.

Coming soon...

Flag Cichlid
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Flag Cichlid

Flag Cichlid

Flag Cichlid

Flag Cichlid

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