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Re: Flag fish, bullies or assets?


> << Sounds like you've got a male defending a nest. >> snip
> No nests, I've had this pair for six months.  They are just big bullies. Both
> of 'em (one male and one female).

Then just wait until they nest.  They get worse.
>  <<They will also nip some softer plants w/in the nesting area.>>  snip
> Nip SHMIP! My wisteria doesn't look attractive as stumps.

I found that they will rip up pretty much any small plant in the tank
and eat many fine leaves.  They have nearly cleared their tank of that
pesky glossostigma, but the coarse hair algae that they're *supposed* to
eat is still there.
>  <<FFF are still by far the most efficient hairalgae consumers currently in
> aquaria.
>  Period.>> snip  <<  At BEST a small school of FFF schoaling amoungst Discus,
> Danios, Dwarf Cichlids, Gouramis and catfish in a hairalgae free aquarium is
> a beautiful sight to behold.>>
> I guess, if you like gouramis with no fins, or if everything can swim faster
> than the FFF.  You should have SEEN the damage they did to a beautiful male
> guppy I had -- he died from the stress of losing 75% of his fins in one
> night.

I put a group of young ruby barbs into my 55 gallon tank to control the
same kind of algae that I was trying to get the American-Flag fish to
control in a 10 gallon tank.  The ruby barbs did their job fairly
quickly, but the flag fish have not.  They ruby barbs are also *way*
better community fish, offering a lot of eye-catching activity and
concerning themselves only with each other and food.

I also made the mistake of putting male guppies in with my flag fish. I
managed to get them back out again before the damage was fatal, but some
will never fully recover.

> Everyone in my tank swims as fast as they can when they see the FFF
> coming -- they are all intimidated by these brutes.  It's high praise like
> the above that got these bullies into my tank.  I just felt compelled to warn
> others that some FFF at least are not the docile workhorses they are
> sometimes portrayed to be.  I won't get rid of them because anyone who
> survives in my tank earns the right to be there until death, that's just my
> policy.  But don't expect any mourning wails in VA when they croak!  :o)

American Flag fish are interesting and attractive fish.  Sometimes the
females or maybe non-breeding males or juveniles can be reasonable tank
partners, but great community fish they are *not*.  Mine are now in a
single-species tank with plants they don't seem to bother.  

I have seen them eat the long, soft variety of hair algae and
effectively remove it from a tank, but that's the only kind of algae
I've seen them work over.  I don't have many problems with that kind of
algae, so I don't really care that much.  I do have problems with a
tough short-haired algae that hugs the substrate and thrives in dim
light.  They don't do much at all about that stuff. 

Roger Miller