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Thread: Fish Profile: Laetacara curviceps - Dwarf Flag Cichlid

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Beauty World
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    Fish Profile: Laetacara curviceps - Dwarf Flag Cichlid

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    Fishes belonging to the genus Laetacara (derived from the Latin word, laetus, meaning happy) are known as "Smiling Acaras," as a series of dark stripes extend from the eyes to the lips. This gives the appearance that the fish are smiling. Laetacara curviceps are generally peaceful community fishes. They do not harm or uproot aquarium plants, in fact, tank decorations should include plenty of plants for cover as well as driftwood. If spawning is desired, then inclusion of flat rocks or wood will be necessary. Matured specimens are extremely colorful (especially males). Laetecara curviceps can be shy at times but during spawning periods, normal cichlid aggression applies. It's interesting to note that members of the genus are monogamous. Even when one becomes ill/injured the other stays by his/her side at all times! Laetacara curviceps is said to be sensitive to internal parasites such as the pathogen of Hexamitosis. It is therefore important to keep their tank as clean as possible through regular substrate management and water changes.

    Scientific Name: Laetacara curviceps

    Trade Name: Sheepshead Acara

    Other Name: Flag Cichlid, Flag Acara, Curviceps, Smiling Dwarf Cichlid, Blunt Head Cichlid

    Synonyms: Acara curviceps, Aequidens curviceps, Parvacara curviceps

    Description: Laetacara curviceps is oval-shaped with a rounded caudal fin. The back and head are usually olive grey, but the body color varies greatly depending on the population. The flanks are green to blue in color, increasing in color as they near the caudal fin. Occasionally a few scales may be red. The first rays of the dorsal fin are light-green becoming green, then dark blue on the final rays. This fin is marked with a red edge. The caudal fin is dull red-orange in color with a series of blue, broken lines. The anal fin is the most colorful of all, with the middle rays being deep blue, and the outer partners having similar coloration to that of the caudal fin. Red and blue morphs are also widely available. A black, lateral stripe extends from the eye, back to the mid-section of the fish.

    Distribution: South America; throughout the Amazon Basin, from the upper Orinoco river in Venezuela to the Paraná River in Paraguay

    Habitat: Found near the bands of slow-moving rivers and lakes.

    Size: Males up to 9 cm and females are slightly smaller, up to 7 cm

    Diet: These fish are omnivores and readily accept most dry and live foods. Crustaceans, insects, aquatic insects, worms, insect larvae as well as flakes; pellets are not a problem.

    Temperature: 25°C - 30°C

    Water Chemistry: 1-18 dH (6)

    pH: pH 6.0-7.0 is favoured, although they can be acclimated upto pH 7.8

    Life Span: 2-4 years

    Housing: The tank should be well decorated with lot of plants and have adequate hiding places.

    Sexual Dimorphism: Males have longer and more pointed dorsal and anal fins, have more color, and are slightly larger. Males are generally larger, rounder, and more broad in body than females. Females typically show much more yellow than the males when fertile and also have shorter ventral fins as well as a larger blotch at the base of the dorsal fin.

    Breeding: Laetacara curviceps are open spawners (no cave structures are required) and can lay up to 300 eggs on a pre-selected rock or wood. Temperature should be between 26-30°C, pH between 6.0-6.8, and a water hardness from 1-6 dH. The pair should be conditioned with insect larvae and crustaceans, and frequent partial water changes should be made. The eggs may be consumed by the parents. If this behavior continues, the eggs should be removed just after the spawning. Eggs will hatch about 48 to 84 hours and the fry are free-swimming several days later. The young are very small, and can be fed on liquid foods along with baby brine shrimps.

    Further references:


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Re: Fish Profile: Laetacara curviceps - Dwarf Flag Cichlid

    Great info., thank you.
    From new cichlid owner.


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