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Re: Excuse me. I hate to interrupt a good fight...

> Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2001 20:10:00 -0600
> From: zxcvbob <bob at a51web_net>
> Subject: Excuse me. I hate to interrupt a good fight...
> How can I tell whether *my* flag fish is a female, or a juvenile male? 
> I haven't found any pictures on the WWW.  The fish has a definite spot
> on its sides, and a little red coloring that seems to come and go for no
> apparent reason.  Sometimes the fish has little or no red or bluish
> coloring, but has kind of a checkerboard pattern. All of the colors are
> quite subdued, but the fish is still stressed out, so may not be fully
> colored yet.  It is less than 2 inches long including fins.

American-Flag Fish are easy to sex from a very early age. They all look like
females until starting to sexually mature, but only females get the crisp
dark eye-spot in the dorsal fin. It shows much earlier than other sex
indicators, AFAIK.

It sounds like you have a female, but you can be sure if the dorsal fin has
a strong black spot. Mature females have the big spot below the front of the
dorsal, in the middle of the side, but they often echo it several times back
toward the tail. I have only seen females do the checkerboard bit.

> Either way, will the fish do OK as the only flag fish in the aquarium if
> I get a pair of mollies to keep it company?

Sure, but as both are vegetarians, you will need to feed the sinking wafers,
blanched zucchini chunks, etc. or your plants could suffer. I've never known
a *Jordanella floridae* to bother plants until starved for veggies, with one
exception. A displaying male will sometimes bite a big chunk out of a leaf
to show how tough he is. Otherwise, you can be pretty sure your feeding
isn't correct if they bother your plants. There could be exceptions I'm
unaware of, but I've had them with several of the plants mentioned here as
being eaten by them, and they did not eat mine if I had enough vegetable
matter in their diet to begin with. [Too many veggies, and they may not be
eager to eat bitter algae, tho! :-)]


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

              Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. 
                 They should both be changed regularly 
                       and for the same reason.