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Re: American-Flag Fish

Aquatic Plants Digest wrote:

John Haydt wrote:

> Subject: Re: American Flagflish
> With all of the Flagfish discussion going on I decided to look it up.  Was
> listed in one reference in the 'Toothed Carp' family.  One LFS guy told me
> it was a Cichlid.  An APDer called it a Killiefish.  Anyone care to clear
> this up?

The common name derives from the appearance of an American flag on the
male's side, so the compound adjective, or three separate words, is more
appropriate, here.

*Jordanella floridae* is a most confusing species. It is classified
within *Cyprinodontidae* which makes it, by definition, a killy
(Egg-laying toothed carp) but its behaviour and appearance is more
Cichlid-like. [More specifically, it is in the group known as "pupfish"
which includes many of our native desert fishes -- all are good algae
eaters.] It nests like a sunfish (elaborate mating dance) and guards
eggs and babies (sometimes) or it lays eggs in floating plants and
ignores them (in deeper water). Its the only known killy to have a rigid
fin spine, like a cichlid.

It is a prodigious eater of plant matter, and will take bite-sized
pieces right out of the edges of an Amazon Sword leaf! *Don't* trust
them with rare or precious plants! Feed blanched zucchini, veg. pellets,
as well as some animal matter, and they will totally ignore your plants.
They don't normally eat *only* plants, so brine shrimp o/e are
important, too. Algae is another matter. They can't get enough!

When in good condition, they are more spectacular than Dwarf Gouramis.
Flags on the male, and chamelions for females. Those get bright yellow
with stripes, spots and/or checkerboards on their sides! In most stores
(crowded, algae-free water) they are dull gray, and look ghastly. Like
their sympatrics, the mollies, they do very well in totally fresh water,
but may need a bit of salt to perk them up if they were abused in the

I'm currently out of them and would like more. Any of you APDers in Fla.
that can easily get a small breeding group of wild-caught or F1
*floridae* to me, I can trade killies, eggs, or even some young F2s from
Bonnie McKinley's BoS Blue Half-Moon *Betta splendens* for them. :-)
Does that say how much I like them?


Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679 huntley at ix_netcom.com
                   "Superstition brings bad luck."