Cichlidae. Subfamily: Cichlasomatinae
Widespread through much of northern South America, it’s been recorded from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It’s found in numerous river drainages, including the Rio Tapajós, Rio Jamari, Rio Madre de Dios, Rio Guaporé, Rio Mamoré, Rio Paraguay and Rio Paraná.
Usually foound in well planted habitats in slower moving waters.
Maximum Standard Length
Aquarium SizeTop ↑
48″ x 15″ x 12″ (120cm x 37.5cm x 30cm) – 140 litres
Temperature: Occurs in a wide rande of temperatures in the wild. 76 – 82°F (24 – 28°C) is suggested in the aquarium.
pH: 6.0 – 8.0 will be tolerated but a pH of around 6.5 is suggested.
Hardness: Up to 5°H
It’s a generalistic omnivore by nature. Wild fish feed on worms, crustaceans, plant matter (apparently including algae) and other zoobenthos. Accepts the majority of prepared foods. This should be supplemented with live foods such as bloodworm and brineshrimp and spme vegetable matter.
Behaviour and CompatibilityTop ↑
Peaceful cichlid, although becomes more aggressive when breeding. Can be kept with other peaceful cichlids such as geophagus and apistogramma and other peaceful community species such as tetras, barbs and small catfish.
Male is larger and his extensions to dorsal and anal fins.
Breeding takes place a flat stone or similar area. Once the breeding area is prepared, eggs will be deposited by the female and then fertilised by the male. In excess of 200 eggs may be laid. Both fish guard the eggs and when the fry hatch two to three days later, they are transferred to a pit where the parents keep them until they become free-swimming. This is usually 3 – 4 days after hatching. Both fish assume parental duties but can be easily spooked often leading to them eating the fry. It is advisable that the breeding tank be placed in a quiet location and distrubed as little as possible.
Flag Cichlids are enduringly popular in the hobby and can be found in most aquatic stores. Interestingly, this species is not the species most commonly sold as the Flag cichlid. It is usually m. insignis that makes it into dealers tanks.