Flag Cichlid

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Laetacara curviceps - (Ahl, 1923)
Flag Cichlid

A delightful dward cichlid sometimes called the "Smiling Acara." Aaron Norman


This is a true dwarf acara that is great for a small community aquarium. Their bodies are typically chunky and the blue markings near their mouths give rise to their alternate common name: Smiling Acara.

Family: Cichlidae

Other common name(s):

  • Flag Acara
  • Smiling Acara

Native range:

Habitat: Provide a densely planted—anchored and floating—aquarium, with lots of hiding places (rocks, PVC piping, driftwood and inverted flowerpots), as the more hiding places these cichlids have, the more you will see them out in the open.

Maximum length: 7.5 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 24 °C (75 °F) - 29 °C (84 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom to midwater.


Carnivore. Tank-raised specimens will accept almost any of the commercially prepared foods, including cichlid flakes and pellets, but wild-caught forms will initially require live foods, such as well-cleaned blackworms, frozen bloodworms, etc., after which they can be gradually acclimated to prepared foods.

Aquarium Compatibility

They are relatively peaceful, but may become somewhat aggressive during spawning. Provide dither fishes like small, schooling tetras to make them more comfortable.


Bi-parental substrate spawners, in which both male and female participate in the selection and cleaning of a suitable site. Acquire a group of four to six and let them pair up.


Warm, well-filtered water required.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW