The Festivum Cichlid or Mesonauta festivus
is a peaceful cichlid from South America. This species is another one of the classic cichlids in the hobby although it is common it may be hard to find. If you are looking for a beautiful cichlid with an interesting body shape and long fin extensions, this cichlid meets the bill.
Also known as the Flag cichlid
, M. festivus can reach around six inches in length. This South American cichlid is omnivorous and will accept all aquarium foods. It should be noted how peaceful they are and slow moving as well. They have a very similar presence to Angelfish
with respect to how they glide around with their long ventral fin extensions.
The IUCN Red List of endangered species
has not assessed the genus Mesonauta
which is a small genus of cichlids with some six species assigned to it. M. festivus can tolerate a board range of pH but it should be noted that they are native to soft acidic freshwater. This species is endemic to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.
Flag cichlids are very colorful and some suggest there are variations in color relative to where they are collected from. This species is a substratum spawner, with the female laying eggs and the male fertilizing them afterwards. See the video below for Mesonauta festivus breeding
. Because they are not over aggressive cichlids care should be taken when selecting tank mates.
Festivum Cichlid Videos
List of species in the genus Mesonauta:
Mesonauta acora (Castelnau, 1855)
Mesonauta egregius S. O. Kullander & Silfvergrip, 1991
Mesonauta festivus (Heckel, 1840) (Flag cichlid)
Mesonauta guyanae I. Schindler, 1998
Mesonauta insignis (Heckel, 1840) ("Acará")
Mesonauta mirificus S. O. Kullander & Silfvergrip, 1991