American Flag Fish Stats InfographicThe American flagfish, also known as Jordanella floridae, is a colorful tropical, cold water fish originally from Florida’s slow waters. They are territorial, but with the right habitat conditions, they can thrive in a community aquarium. Surprisingly, this Florida flagfish would zealously clean its tank by consuming growing algae.

Our experts will show everything you need to know about the American flagfish as a pet in this article.

American Flagfish Stats

The American flagfish stats below contains the quick stats and binomial classification

– Quick Stats:

American flagfish size Up to 21/4 inches (6 cm)
Tank size (minimum) 24 inches
Strata Bottom to middle
PH 6.7 to 8.2
DH 6.0 to 20.0
Acidity Alkaline
Temperature (66-72) F or (19-22) C
Water level (minimum) 10 Gallons

– Binomial Classification:

Order Cyprinodontiformes
Family Cyprinodontidae
SubFamily Cyprinodontinae
Genera Jordanella
Species Floridae

American Flagfish Care

The American flagfish care is not as complicated as you imagine because they adjust easily to aquariums. However, like any fish species, it has requirements that influence the American flagfish lifespan.

Here are the expected living conditions of the flagfish discussed with an in-depth view.

1. Aquarium size

The American flagfish is naturally tiny even at maturity. However, its aquarium should be at least 48 inches and take up to 10 gallons of water. For a pair, you would need to double the water quantity and space. They love to be part of a school and enjoy the company of a few other fish. If the tank is not big enough, put in just one male to reduce territorial squabbles.

2. Aquarium Base

The aquarium’s bottom should contain dark sand or gravel because it would make the colors on your American flagfish pop even more. For other dull-colored fish, opt for a deep-brown substrate.

3. Aquarium Decor

Your aquarium’s decor is one of the most significant parts of caring for your pet, so it feels at home. It would be best if you created the illusion it’s living in its natural habitat while paying attention to little details.

For example, the slow-moving streams would have floating plants and wood. Imitate that setup and place in similar decor; they could be plastic, natural, and timber. Remember, the flagfish are territorial; these decors help them choose positions in the tank and live peacefully with others.

An example of a plant the flagfish likes is the java moss; place it around the aquarium strategically while leaving room for swimming. Select other plants that can grow in cold water and ensure there’s a source of occasional sunlight to enable algae growth. If the aquarium fully emulates their habitat, they are happy and tend to glow even more.

4. Water movement

They enjoy slow-moving water, so use a filter head with minimal flow. Also, be sure the filter is sensitive enough not to cause harm to an American flagfish fry.

5. Lightning

You can use lights for decor and cause a contrast against the vibrant flagfish colors. Led lights are the right choice as they are mild and would glow in the tank. However, add in some plants as a shield to make them feel comfortable swimming around the tank.

6. Water conditions

They thrive in waters with pH and hardness between 6.7-8.2 and 6-20, respectively. These tropical, cold water flagfish prefer a water temperature between( 64-72) F. Maintaining a clean aquarium is essential, so recycle at least four times in 60 minutes. If the aquarium has saltwater fish, your flagfish can thrive in saline waters between the range of 1.000-1.005.

American Flagfish Breeding

The American flagfish breeding happens naturally and randomly in a perfect aquarium setting. Occasionally a fry would swim across the tank, but they hardly survive if not transferred out of the community tank.

Here a few points to consider about American flagfish breeding.

1. Perfect breeding tank

As long as the flagfish is comfortable, happy, and mature, it would breed without external assistance.

If you want to increase the chances of a fry;

  • Put together a separate breeding tank of about 24 inches and a shallow amount of water.
  • When the eggs hatch, the fry would swim to the water surface. If the water is too much, they will not survive with an underdeveloped swim bladder.
  • Ensure the water filter is not powerful enough to suck off the fry; try the sponge types.
  • These fish are predominantly cold-water fish. But for breeding, maintain a temperature of 72 Fahrenheit.
  • Decorate the tank with lots of plants like java moss and duckweed to shield the female from the male until she is ready to spawn. The male can be overly territorial and demanding; it can stress out the female flagfish.
  • Fill the bottom of the tank with fine dark gravel; for decorative and protective reasons. A rocky substrate can trap the fry as it swims around the tank. However, they make the aquarium look lovely as they contrast with the glowy fish.

2. Breeding Behavior

Put both the male and female in the breeding tank, and at the right time, any of the sexually mature flagfish would start the mating dance. If you are not sure which is the male or female, the male has more vibrant colors. While the female is more yellow, is more prominent, and has a thick dark blot at its dorsal fin area. The initiator begins a seductive presentation for its mate to attract it.

  • If the female lays the eggs in the hole of the substrate;

The male immediately fertilizes the eggs and develops a protective instinct. He becomes aggressive against every fish, including its mate. At this point, remove the female from the breeding tank and allow the male to handle the remaining breeding process. He guards and fans the eggs using his pectoral fins until they hatch and starts swimming around. Now you should take out the male from the breeding tank, leaving just the fry.

  • But if the female lays on a floating plant;

Allow the male to fertilize them before you take both males and females out of the tank. The eggs do not need fanning and would hatch on their own. Water temperature can influence the incubation period as it takes them 7-10 days generally. The adequate initial meal for a fry is green water and micro worm. As they grow, add brine shrimp to their diet before they eventually eat regular adult food. A fry that grows more rapidly would eat smaller fry, so sort them as they grow.

American Flagfish Tank Mates

A flagfish is a fantastic addition to a community aquarium because they graze on algae, but they have aggressive tendencies. There are rules to selecting a suitable American flagfish tank mate. Due to the territorial fights, the male is usually the primary concern. To solve that problem, place a few male flagfish in a big tank and create various hiding spots with plants.

American flagfish compatibility with tank mates equally as active increases if you introduce all of them into the water simultaneously. American flagfish are mischief makers and would nibble on sluggish fish fins like a betta species or angelfish. Different Tetras species and swordtails are a good tank mate recommendation because they are fast and active.

American Flagfish Diet

The American flagfish diet consists of primarily vegetarian meals, but they occasionally eat a young fry or brine shrimp. They enjoy the grown aquarium algae and floating plants. However, for tanks with limited algae growth, offer your flagfish algae supplement tablets or algae flakes. Feed them live foods at most two times a week to regulate their protein intake.

The American flagfish staple meal is high vegetable content dried flakes; you can shop for them in a pet store. The flagfish in their natural habitat maintain more of an omnivore diet. That’s because they eat both plant-based meals and live foods such as insects, shrimp, and crustaceans. Other vegetables/plant-based food includes lettuce, peas, kale, cucumber, and spinach.


  • Woman taking care of an aquariumThe American flagfish are semi-aggressive.
  • They can live with other fish peacefully if the tank has a lot of plants.
  • They prefer slow-moving waters.
  • They are oviparous.
  • The male Florida flagfish guards the eggs during the breeding.

The American flagfish are beautiful, especially the male. You can get a pair of these glowy fish, create the standard aquarium environment, and throw in some strategically placed led light. Then, enjoy a fascinating view right in your home.

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