Flag Cichlid (Mesonauta insignis)

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Mesonauta insignis.jpg
Flag Cichlid

Mesonauta insignis

170 Litres (45 US G.)

10.2-15.2cm (4-6 ")




6.0 - 8.0

25.6-26.7°C (78 -80 °F)

4-6 °d

1:2 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods
Live Foods

5-10 years



Additional names

Flag Cichlid

Additional scientific names

Heros insignis


South America: Amazon River basin, in the upper Negro River drainage in Brazil; Orinoco River basin, along the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela.


These fish are quite difficult to visually sex. The pectoral and anal fins of mature males will be slightly more elongated, but this is not a definite way of sexing them.

Tank compatibility

A shy Cichlid that is generally peaceful and does well housed with similar-sized peaceful fish. Should not be housed with small fish such as Neon Tetras as they will be eaten. Can be kept in pairs and with other generally peaceful American Cichlids such as Angelfish and German Blue Rams.


Does well fed on a meaty diet including daphnia and brine shrimp as well as pellet and flake food. They will also willingly accept and benefit from vegetarian foods including pellet and flake and may nibble blanched vegetables.

Feeding regime

Feed once or twice a day.

Environment specifics

These fish should be in a spacious tank with good filtration and well aerated but not too strong a current. They must be provided with plenty of hiding places in plants and bogwood. They are quite sensitive to nitrates, so nitrites to water quality must be kept immaculate.


A shy and timid American Cichlid.


An oval-shaped fish with a pointed snout very easily mistaken for the more common Festivum. M. insignis can be distinguished by seven faint vertical bars that are exhibited when stressed, 2 and 4 are joined and the scales above the diagonal "flag" bar are reticulated.


External links