Flag cichlids

Flag cichlids are freshwater fish from South America (Brazil, Peru and Bolivia). Their home is the rivers of the Amazon basin, especially the Rio Paraná basin. The maximum age that can be reached by the animals in captivity is not known. The flag cichlid is also well suited for beginners.

What are the characteristics of flag cichlids?

Flaggenbuntbarsch
wikipedia.org user Tomolyka, Mesonauta festivus 2, CC BY-SA 3.0

The fish are usually peaceful, sometimes even a bit jumpy. Flag cichlids should be kept as a pair. The socialization with other fishes is unproblematic. During the mating season it can get a bit hectic, as the fish then defend their territory. In addition, the roommates in the aquarium should not be smaller than the perch themselves, otherwise they can easily serve them as live food. However, keeping them together with gliders, e.g. angelfish, has proved to be a good idea. It works excellently due to the same habitats of both fish species.

The appearance of flag cichlids

The fish body is drawn with an irregular black longitudinal band that reaches from the eye to the dorsal fin. Below the eye there is a larger orange-yellow area and several smaller yellow spots.

Sex differences

Flag cichlids grow to about 12 to 15 cm. The females are slightly smaller than the males. They also differ from the females by their somewhat more pronounced, protruding nose. Furthermore the dorsal fin is slightly longer than the females.

Water values for flag cichlids

As far as the water is concerned, the flag cichlid is a bit demanding. Regular water changes and peat filtering are therefore advisable. However, the following water values should always be observed:

  • pH value: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Total hardness: 2° to 15° dGH
  • Water temperature: 23° to 26° C

Feed and nutrition for flag cichlids

Flag cichlids are not choosy. In the wild it eats mainly plants, but also zooplankton, small crustaceans, worms and other small animals. In the aquarium they are easy to feed. The fish accept both live and dry food well.

The ideal aquarium for flag cichlids

The aquarium should hold at least 250 L. The optimal tank equipment consists of many roots, stones and especially a dense planting. Some large-leaved plants reaching to the surface are also an advantage. Sufficient caves, hiding places and retreat possibilities are important for the well-being of the fish. Dark gravel is recommended as substrate.

Keeping conditions

Flag cichlids love waters with dense plant cover. There should therefore be no shortage of aquatic plants in the aquarium.

  • Community tank
  • Pairwise posture
  • Pool equipment with plants, roots and stone caves
  • dark substrate
  • Balanced mixture of live, dry and frozen food
  • Peat filtering

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