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Re: Miller's FFF Musings

Roger Miller wrote:
> Is there anyone out there who *doesn't* sell flag fish that want's to
> stand up and tell us what a great community resident flag fish are, or to
> tell us that they really are great at controlling algae?

That would be me. I have a pair (male/female) of American-Flag 
Fish in my 30 gallon community tank. At the time they were 
introduced (about a year ago), the tank had serious green algae 
problems (thread and fur). I had begun to control it via nutrient 
balance. When the flag fish were added, they hid for the first week. 
Then they started in on the algae. First all the thread algae 
disappeared. Then they went to work on the tougher fur algae 
(Oedogonium). Eventually that too disappeared. Now I see them 
nibbling here and there on the driftwood or anubias, picking off what 
little they can find. They sometimes nip at the micranthemum, but I 
can assure you that they do no noticeable damage. They don't eat 
food from the surface, but devour sinking pellets. The female is 
especially voracious for both algae and pellets. The male is very 

So far they have been model citizens in the tank, keeping to 
themselves and bothering absolutely no one. I have rasboras, 
various small tetras, pygmy cories, and an SAE in the tank too. At 
no time have I ever seen any aggression. Let me also note that this 
pair has not bred as far as I can tell. If they do, they must pick a 
deeply hidden part of the tank where no other fish go anyway (not 
hard to do in this densely planted tank). 

Like Dwight, I have been promoting the keeping of these fish for 
algae control, to anyone who asks. It would appear that the 
personalities of these fish are highly individual. However, if you find 
a mild pair, they are excellent for algae control in a planted tank. 
Perhaps Dwight could breed for mildness?

Cathy Hartland
Middletown, MD