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Dwarf flag cichlid - Laetacara curviceps

Dwarf flag cichlid - Laetacara curviceps

Scientific name: Laetacara curviceps

Common name: Dwarf flag cichlid

Family: Cichlidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 4 - 5 cm (1.57 - 1.97 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 7.8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 0 - 18°N (0 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 22 - 28 °C (71.6 - 82.4°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: South America

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


Dwarf flag cichlids originate from the Amazon tributaries in South America.


Expected lifespan is 2-4 years.

Short description

The flag cichlid can be found under many common names such as the Flag acara, Sheepshead acara, Smiling acara but they are all the same fish so to make sure you have the correct specimens it is always best to research them through their Latin classification name. Tank bred specimens are ideal for beginners to cichlid keeping, even the wild specimens can be kept by beginners but will require a bit more care as regards providing the correct conditions and pristine water conditions. The flag cichlid is ideal for adding to a planted aquarium and are suitable to be housed with other species of a similar size that require similar water parameters, do not keep these with small tank mates or the flag cichlids may see these as a source of food. Individual specimens may display different levels of colouration and different markings, each fish is unique in its markings giving them their own identity. The flag cichlids are a peaceful species except when in spawning mode, like all species of fish they will become territorial when attempting to breed so be aware of this and pairs may need to be moved to a breeding tank if too much aggression is being shown to other tank mates. They will not damage plants in the aquarium and are sometimes added to community tanks.

Food and feeding

Dwarf flag cichlids do best on live or frozen foods. Earthworms, chopped finely, blood worms, brine shrimp, and tubifex will bring out their full colouration. They are classed as omnivorous so will accept a wide range of foods, offering a quality flake or small pellet food alongside the live or frozen foods will broaden their diet ensuring they receive all the nutritional requirements that they need.


The male is usually more brightly coloured with extended dorsal and anal fins.


Laetacara curviceps will breed at a very young age. The pair should be conditioned on live foods and the male will then commence to clean a spawning site, flat rocks or a section of tank glass is the usual places. After a few days of spawning the eggs should hatch but the fry will not be free swimmers until 5-7 days later. The parents will share their duties of protecting the fry and sometimes will move them in their mouths around the tank. The fry should be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or crushed flake initially.

To get the best results it is wise to breed these fish using a separate breeding tank, this will give the parents more time to concentrate on the spawning process rather than chasing away tank mates who may swim into the breeding area.


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Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 1 Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 2 Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 3 Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 4 Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 5 Dwarf flag cichlid, picture 6

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