Festivum Flag Cichlid (Mesonauta festivus) CareSheet
The Festivum Cichlid is originally from the backwaters of the Amazon basin of South America and is now being captive bred. The coloration of this fish ranges from silver on the bottom half to green on the back of the fish. A large black stripe runs from the reddish eye back towards the dorsal fin.
The Festivum Cichlid requires a minimum tank of 50 gallons with a fine gravel bottom, and rocks and roots for hiding. Hardy, well-rooted plants are recommended, as well as upturned pots and shards for additional hiding places. The Festivum Cichlid does not usually burrow, so most plantscapes should stay in place. They are a peaceful fish that is territorial and rarely aggressive, except during spawning. It can easily be kept with other medium-sized cichlids such as Convicts, Firemouths, and Parrots.
It is difficult to differentiate between the male and female Festivum Cichlid. The male tends to be larger and longer with pointed anal and dorsal fins. The female has a short ovipositor. They will form lasting pairs and make a nuclear family. The fry are usually well cared for, but the parents may eat some of them. Water should be neutral with soft to medium hardness, (pH approximately 6.5-8.0, dH 5-10) and a temperature of 79-83°F.
Festivum Cichlids are open breeders and the female will drop from 600-1,000 eggs on rocks and roots. The female who will circulate water over the eggs by fanning them with her fins, carefully guarding them in pits.
Festivum Cichlids are omnivores, and will eat most prepared and frozen foods, including freeze-dried bloodworms
, and ocean plankton
, as well as flake food
and Cichlid pellets
Requirements for keeping Mesonauta festivus
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons
Care Level: Moderate
Tank Conditions: 79-83°F; pH 6.5-8.0
Max. Size In Aquarium: Up to 6"
Festivum Cichlid, Mesonauta Festivus