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Festivum sp. ?

4213 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ryansmith

Anyone have an ID on this fish and/or know if any of our vendors have some in stock?
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DirtyBlackSocks, those are my festivums. They were posted on my site at I don't really appreciate people hotlinking pictures of my fish from my Photobucket account without my permission -- you could have dropped me a PM at SimplyDiscus to ask about them.

Anyway, to answer the question, they are Mesonauta acora and I got them from Jeff Rapps at Tangled Up In Cichlids. He doesn't have them in stock anymore.

They have grown quite a bit since that first set of pictures:

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I should mention that while Jeff Rapps claims these are M. acora, I cannot confirm that. Based on this article from, it says that M. festivus shows bars five and six being fused or joined. When mine are sleeping and their bars show, five and six are definitely fused. So it could be any of the Mesonauta species, I guess.
dwarfpike, I'm wondering if maybe Jeff Rapps labeled them as M. acora strictly based on where he was told they were collected. At any rate, I will wait until they get a bit larger before I try to decide for sure because they keep changing. They were only about 1" when they came to me, right now they're about 3 - 4". A couple of the larger ones are starting to turn yellow now.

These were wild-caught and they were peaceful until they hit about 2" when they started to attack my adult discus. They've also killed and eaten a few of my BN plecos even though they are well-fed. My 150 gallon is getting a remodel and they'll share a tank with my port cichlids and Uaru.
I cross-posted them on SimplyDiscus and SimplyCichlids since I admin both forums. Either way, it was a little surprising to see the picture posted here. No harm done.

I have always heard that festivums are peaceful and angelfish-like, but these are pretty feisty. Then again, wild angels are pretty nasty too, at least among themselves. I've seen wild P. scalare attack and harass the weakest fish in a group until it dies, then they start attacking the second weakest, etc. until you're down to only a handful of fish. The festivums haven't been too hard on each other but they're not at "puberty" yet. I don't know what's going to happen then :-?

I hope once they move to my 150 gallon with some other cichlids they'll calm down a little. I can't imagine them harassing port cichlids or Uaru.

I approach everything from a discus and angel standpoint since that's what I know best. I always buy cichlids in groups of 6 - 12. I feel like it disperses the aggression more evenly than if you buy 2 - 4 fish. Maybe you need a larger group of festivums?
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