The name flag fish was bestowed upon this species simply because of its resemblance to the American flag. The scale edging is red in colour, corresponding in some degree to the stars on the American flag. In appearance and habit it is rather like a sunfish.
The flag fish will eat live foods, but it is much more of a vegetarian, and to maintain it in condition conducive to breeding, algae should usually be accessible. If this is challenging to obtain, boiled spinach is a great substitute. It is the lack of the correct foods which will be responsible for any failure in breeding.
The species is rather aggressive and is truly much better in a tank by itself, but individuals will settle down in a communal tank providing the other members are somewhat comparable in size.
For breeding, the tank should be planted according to the standard description and also the temperature raised to 75°F. Spawn is deposited either in shallow depressions in the sand, or among the plant roots, and hatches in about a week. Remove the female instantly after spawning, but don’t disturb the male, who will protect the eggs (he will do this even from the female) and guard the young when they’re born.
It is a stunning and interesting fish with a preference for alkaline water.