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Those amazing flag fish


Last spring I bought a group of American flag fish (Jordanella floridae);
two males and six females, hoping they would help with hair algae in a
couple sunlit tanks.  I divided them into the two tanks with one male and
three females in each group.  Over the next few weeks I lost both males
and two of the females (one out of each group).  I chalked that up to the
poor conditions they were kept in at Petsmart.  The remaining four females
have been hardy and fun to watch.

The tanks these fish were in got moved last fall to them get out of the
way of our new building and remodelling.  They got put where it was no
longer convenient to spend long periods gazing dreamily into the tanks.
Last night I was looking over the rather sad condition of Vals in one of
the tanks when what should I see but a 1-centimeter long baby flag fish
darting about among the crypts!

Are these fish so slow-growing that it could have been spawned last
spring, only now reaching a length of 1 cm?  Or might have one of the
remaining females changed gender, like a female wrasse can when no males
are about?  A friend speculated that the females could store sperm, like
some livebearing females seem to do.  Does anyone know if that is possible
or likely?

Roger Miller