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After months waiting I got this: Flagcichlid

Siggi

Member
Hi, everyone.
After more than a year waiting, I finally got some flagcichlids.
They were sold as Mesonauta insignis. Size is 2,5 to 3 cm (an inch or slightly longer). I got 10.
They were bagged in two bags, saturday afternoon - they where only 'unbagged' and acclimated sunday, some 25-26 hours after bagging and after a 310 km (~190 miles) trip back home. They survived, all 10!

I took some shots this afternoon of the the shoal. They already look nice and calm, hovering over a moss-covered trunk. I guess their fins and also their colours will get better in the next days and weeks.
They didn't seem to mind being photographed and almost seemed to pose for the pictures - nice...
Is it the right species?
Comments, opinions?

Thx in advance.

20200608_112914.jpg
20200608_112241.jpg
 

Siggi

Member
Hello, everybody.
@Hellfishguy ,
You say 'considerably larger' than 8cm? According to what I have been able to pick up on the net it should grow to about 10cm (~4") (fishbase states 9.4cm (also gives 20cm, but with a reference not specific to M. insignis), seriouslyfish states 10cm and wikipedia states 9.7cm as grown-up size (citing fishbase...)
Whatever their size, a tight shoal of these striped cichlids will look awesome. My apistos usually are in or around the vegetation, but these new guys are clearly much more at ease in the open water and close to the surface.
 

Tom C

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
I once spotted some beautiful Mesonauta in Yarina Cocha, a lake connected to the Río Pacaya in Amazonas, Peru . I don't know what they are doing, but there were a very peaceful atmosphere over the get-together!



When your fishes show the dark markings, you may find out which species you have here:

Mesonauta.jpg


I wish you good luck with them!
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
I fondly remember sitting on the bank of the Río Itaya and watching a pair of M. insignis leading fry over a bottom covered with leaf litter. The pair were 'large' but under 5"/12.5 cm. I once saw a larger specimen when judging at an ACA Convention. It was over 6"/15 cm. I doubt any will get larger.

BTW the "tight shoal" will disperse when they mature and start bonding. Then they get territorial, sort of like angelfish.
 
I fondly remember sitting on the bank of the Río Itaya and watching a pair of M. insignis leading fry over a bottom covered with leaf litter. The pair were 'large' but under 5"/12.5 cm. I once saw a larger specimen when judging at an ACA Convention. It was over 6"/15 cm. I doubt any will get larger.

BTW the "tight shoal" will disperse when they mature and start bonding. Then they get territorial, sort of like angelfish.
Aww. Im sure that was a wonderful sight!

Most flag cichlids (form the genus Mesonauta - not laetacara) can grow un to 8". Although I've never seen one get this large. 6-7" is usually about their average range. M. festivus is the most commonly seen species of Mesonauta.
 

Siggi

Member
I once spotted some beautiful Mesonauta in Yarina Cocha, a lake connected to the Río Pacaya in Amazonas, Peru . I don't know what they are doing, but there were a very peaceful atmosphere over the get-together!



When your fishes show the dark markings, you may find out which species you have here:

View attachment 9066

I wish you good luck with them!
Hi, Tom.
Thanks for your interest in my post.
My fish are still young and have no vertical markings. Only the diagonal band of dark/black spots from the snout to dorsal fin extension. But I will undoubtedly keep this chart for future reference - when my Mesonauta's grow and mature and show their full markings.
Regarding their size, my guess is they will likely grow a little past 10cm TL especially because I have good space for then to move around (200x90cm) - once they get large it won't be so huge anymore, but they will never get 'cramped'... If the males get their reddish bellies they will be a nice certrepiece for the tank.
I'm quite sure they will outgrow my emperor tetras, now at 6cm (♂). The A. nisseni are at 5cm (♂) and 3.5-4 (♀). They are quite a show! The males showing off to each other and the females chasing females :) I'm not quite sure about how many of each sex I have, also because some are still growing up and I'm not yet sure about their gender...
The sump is quite adequate and some plants show lack of nitrates. In winter and spring I change water directly with tap water; in summer and autumn I pass it though RO/DI to take out some chlorine and reset soft water parameters.
Fish behave nice and plants look good...

I'll keep you posted on the progress.
 

ButtNekkid

Active Member
Hi,

Congratulations! I have always wanted flag cichlids.

And thank you Tom for the awesome picture and the chart!
 

Siggi

Member
Aww. Im sure that was a wonderful sight!

Most flag cichlids (form the genus Mesonauta - not laetacara) can grow un to 8". Although I've never seen one get this large. 6-7" is usually about their average range. M. festivus is the most commonly seen species of Mesonauta.
Up to 8"... That's 20cm... Same size as a full grown discus... Ok... «sigh» my tetra fry are toast (or better: lunch)...
With these Mesonautas, whatever size they will grow to, all fry in the tank will be 'lunch' - I was counting on that :D

Thx
 

Siggi

Member
Hi,

Congratulations! I´ve always wanted flag chiclids.

And thank you Tom for the awesome picture and the chart!
Thank you, mate!
Apparently they are in the supply chains. I guess they'll eventually arrive on your end as well. You'll just have to be patient and put some 'flags' in your LFS's so they alert you as soon as they arrive, before being set on sale...
I got mine straight out of their quarantine tank - hehe
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
M. festivus is the most commonly seen species of Mesonauta.
Some-one who knows what they are talking about (Mike or Tom or @gerald?) will need to confirm it, but I think the fish we've traditionally called M. festivus is actually M.insignis and that the true M. festivus may never have been imported.

cheers Darrel
 

Siggi

Member
Hi all, Some-one who knows what they are talking about (Mike or Tom or @gerald?) will need to confirm it, but I think the fish we've traditionally called M. festivus is actually M.insignis and that the true M. festivus may never have been imported.

cheers Darrel
Hi, Darrel,
If you can wait a year, I'll tell you. Once mine grow, I'll check TomC's chart above and we'll see what species it is. Hehe...
Mine were tagged and sold as M. insignis... but I have also read about that apparent confusion about selling the 'insignis' as being 'fesitivum' specimens. I really don't know why this change. Is 'festivum' a more festive/celebrating name, thus more sellable?

Cheers
 
Up to 8"... That's 20cm... Same size as a full grown discus... Ok... «sigh» my tetra fry are toast (or better: lunch)...
With these Mesonautas, whatever size they will grow to, all fry in the tank will be 'lunch' - I was counting on that :D

Thx
Well if they become fully grown they will be fine. What species of tetra?
But like I stated 8" is rare.
Hi all, Some-one who knows what they are talking about (Mike or Tom or @gerald?) will need to confirm it, but I think the fish we've traditionally called M. festivus is actually M.insignis and that the true M. festivus may never have been imported.

cheers Darrel
Ok. that'd be interesting to know.
 

dw1305

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Hi all,
Is 'festivum' a more festive/celebrating name, thus more sellable?
It is the traditional name, so they are sometimes referred to as "festivum cichlids". My guess would be that a lot of these widely geographically spread Cichlid sp. are actually complexes of morphologically similar, but genetically distinct, species.

There is a key in the <"linked Kullander page">.

cheers Darrel
 

Mike Wise

Moderator
Staff member
5 Year Member
Based on Kullander's distribution map, the fish I watched were M. mirificus. Whichever species, they are even-tempored medium-sized cichlids, sort of like angelfish and discus.

M. festivus was originally named Heros festivus by Heckel in 1840. Günther separated them, Chromys acoras and H. insignis from Heros and placed them in a new genus, Mesonauta. In 1905 Regan lumped them with other acaras in the genus Cichlasoma, under the name Cichlasoma festivum, which was the name used for the fish when originally imported into the hobby in the early 20th century. In 1983 Kullander revised the genus Cichlasoma to only a relatively few species and erected or re-erected several genera. One of these was Mesonauta. Most Mesonauta species have been in the hobby at one time or another, but most commercially sold 'festivums' are M. insignis from the Rio Negro of Brazil.
 

Siggi

Member
Well if they become fully grown they will be fine. What species of tetra?
But like I stated 8" is rare.
[...]
Stocking in the tank, right now:
Cichlids:
Apistogramma nijsseni (3♂ 3♀?), Mesonauta insignis (x10);
Characins:
Paracheirodon axelrodi (~20), Petitella georgiae (x1), Inpaichtys kerri (x~30), Nematobrycon palmeri (x~20),
Nannostomus (?)marginatus (x10); Carnegiella marthae (x7);
Corydoras:
Corydoras sterbai (x8), BN(x3)
Plecos:
Ancistrus cirrhosus (x2ad. 3xjuv.)
 
Stocking in the tank, right now:
Cichlids:
Apistogramma nijsseni (3♂ 3♀?), Mesonauta insignis (x10);
Characins:
Paracheirodon axelrodi (~20), Petitella georgiae (x1), Inpaichtys kerri (x~30), Nematobrycon palmeri (x~20),
Nannostomus (?)marginatus (x10); Carnegiella marthae (x7);
Corydoras:
Corydoras sterbai (x8), BN(x3)
Plecos:
Ancistrus cirrhosus (x2ad. 3xjuv.)
hmm. ok
Are you just going to let you false rummy to age out?
Im waiting on my kerris to come in the mail. Do you have any pictures of yours? I just love them!

What tank size is this?
What filtration?
It sounds nice but very crowded.
Id be concerned about the cardinal tetra, possibly the pencilfish and possibly the kerris (but I highly doubt there will be any issues)
You have a lot of plecos. Their biload is usually very high. Make sure to keep up with the water changes!
 

Siggi

Member
Hi, everybody.

hmm. ok
Are you just going to let you false rummy to age out?
Im waiting on my kerris to come in the mail. Do you have any pictures of yours? I just love them!

What tank size is this?
What filtration?
It sounds nice but very crowded.
Id be concerned about the cardinal tetra, possibly the pencilfish and possibly the kerris (but I highly doubt there will be any issues)
You have a lot of plecos. Their biload is usually very high. Make sure to keep up with the water changes!
@DwarfCichlidLvr - that's a lot of questions...
One at a time :)
First, about the tank itself - interior measurements are 200cm long by 90cm wide (approx. 78.7" by 35.4"). Height to the rim is 70cm (27.6"), but overflow is 3.5cm below (1.4"). An 'official' volume will be close to 1200 liters, or 316 US Gallons. Plus another ca. 170 l in the sump (45G).

I have a beananimal/safe&silent 3-pipes overflow with two Eheim return pumps rated at 900 litres/hour (900x2/3.79=475G/h). The sump has vertical sponges and filter wool and 8 large bags of Sera Siporax sintered glass biological filter medium. 3 Eheim/jager 300W heaters @25, 26 and 27°C (77, 79 and 81°f). Presently only the last one sometimes heats a little, the other two only kick in during winter (in good conscience I only need two, room temp rarely goes below 17° (62f), but I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I have three heaters...).
I also have a UV-C bulb stuck between two baffles in the sump, directly into the water - runs on a timer six hours every night. Never had any problems with ick or other parasites - apparently 'does the trick'...

The tank is made of double 10mm glass (in US, glass thickness is in 16th of inches, that will be 6/16 of an inch, I think...) in the bottom pane, double 8mm glass (1/3 of inch) in the side (long) panels and single 10mm glass in the end panels. While finishing the setup of the lighting fixture, some months back, my clumsyness dropped a wrench that broke one of the transverse glass stabilizers which loosened the lateral glass - one (the interior glass) shattered. No leaks but a good shock seeing the glass bulging!!
Since that, I only have the tank filled halfways to reduce water weight and pressure. One return pump is in the sump, the other in the tank...

With the tank only half full it's almost overcrowded, but it's heavily planted with many hideyholes, caves and interruptions in line of sight. Still there is some 'open water', enough for the emperors to swim around in figure eight in a shoal... The many fry also tells me there must be many places to hide and grow.
I also have one of my female A. nijsseni's defending a batch of fry. Very, very small fry - now, after a couple of weeks, they are the size of small tetra fry...

In my previous post I also forgot to mention I also have a group of ca. 20 diamond tetras (Moenkhausia pittieri). I say "ca." because some are juveniles (locally spawned) and it's hard to count the small fry - there are probably around 30 in total, but the fry doesn't group with the adults/juveniles...
Personally i prefer the 'palmeri' emperors to the 'kerri', because of the pointed tail and the iridescent eyes, bought the 'kerri's' by accident. In the tank they mix, and shoal together. Nice to see the big males showing off.
I only have two adult bristlenose plecos, about 8cm (3"). Not very large and one has a few small bristles. Some months back a lot of very tiny BN's started to appear in the tank and in the sump. I got two out of the sump and into other smaller tanks ("plant nursery" and paludarium), one is still in the large tank, but still small...
It wasn't my intention to buy more fish until I had fixed the shattered glass, hence the lonely rummynose... But when they called me from LFS about the Mesonautas, I couldn't refuse!

I said it's almost overcrowded, because, although it is too many fish for the water volume, water parameters are fine, nitrates below 20, often below 10, so with a 30% waterchange every 6 to 8 weeks, the chemistry is fine. I add tap water in winter and spring (more water in the local catchments and less chlorine) - in summer and autumn I use RO/DI.
The many fry of diamond and emperor tetras and now also the apistos, leads me to believe the ecological balance (i.e. fish density) in the aquarium is good. Might be a little more crowded that I'd wish for, but not more than it affects the stress levels and the fry have ample hiding spots and good water quality.

Sorry for the long post, but as I said, it was a lot of questions. I hope I answered all of them. Tomorrow I'll try to get a pic of the emperors. It isn't easy; they look nice, but are very hard to photograph - never wait, never stop moving...

See ya!
 
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