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Flag Fish and Reef Tanks (was Re: Trimming Micranthemum Micranthemoides?)

Dwight Said:

> We planted tank people repeatedly demonstrate that our art is superior to
> that of saltwater in EVERY way;
> 1. Much Cheaper.
> 2. Versitility.
> 3. Looks better.
> 4. Environmentally more sound.

I reply:

Whoa there, Dwight.  For the most part plant tanks CAN be cheaper, but the
cost of a high tech plant system rivals the cost of a high tech reef system,
and contrary to what a lot of people think, you CAN do a low tech Reef.  I'm
not sure what you mean by versatile, but "looks better" is highly
subjective, and as a hobbyist in both areas, I can definately tell you that
I find pleasure in both freshwater planted and marine reef tanks.  They are
both beautiful in their own special way.

As for environmentally more sound, I think many reefkeepers strive to keep
their animals alive and provide a good place for them to live.  You could
for instance, loose Hygrophila polysperma into the local water ways and
create an environmental disaster (already banned as a noxious weed in
California).  In fact, projects like GARF attempt to preserve reef systems
by propagating corals artificially.

On this list, you may not get too much in the way of disagreement regarding
your statements, since we're all somewhat biased towards planted tanks (wink
wink), but still, it's an opinion that not everyone shares.

But on topic, I got four American Flag Fish.  One male and three females.
They graze very very sparingly at my hair algae and haven't made much of a
dent in it.  What did happen is the male took over half of my 65 gallon tank
as his personal harem space.  He fans the eggs, they hatch, the other fish
eat them, and the next female flag fish in line spawns with him.  Rinse,

I see the fry for a day or two and then they all mysteriously disappear, and
suddenly, the male flag fish is spawning again with a different female.

Your mileage may vary of course, but the flag fish didn't do much for my
hair algae problem (fine green filamentatious and staghorn varieties),

Whose glossostigma is finally creating a fine green clover field.