The American flag fish, 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 flag fish would zealously clean its tank by consuming growing algae.
Our experts will show everything you need to know about the American flag fish as a pet in this article.
American Flag Fish Stats
The American flag fish stats below contains the quick stats and binomial classification
– Quick Stats:
|American flag-fish size||Up to 21/4″ (6 cm)|
|Tank size (minimum)||24 inches|
|Strata||Bottom to middle|
|PH||6.7 to 8.2|
|DH||6.0 to 20.0|
|Temperature||(66-72)F or (19-22)C|
|Water level (minimum)||10 Gallons|
– Binomial Classification:
American Flag Fish Care
Here are the expected living conditions of the flag-fish discussed with an in-depth view.
1. Aquarium size
The American flag fish 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 flag fish 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 flag-fish are territorial; these decors help them choose positions in the tank and live peacefully with others.
An example of a plant the flag fish 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 flag fish fry.
You can use lights for decor and cause a contrast against the flag-fish vibrant 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 flag fish 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 flag fish can thrive in saline waters between the range of 1.000-1.005.
American Flag Fish Breeding
Here a few points to consider about the American flag-fish breeding.
1. Perfect breeding tank
As long as the flag-fish 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 flag fish.
- Fill the bottom of the tank with fine dark gravel; for decorative and protective reasons. A rocky-subtract 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 flag- fish 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 Flag Fish Tank Mates
A flag-fish 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 flag fish tank mate. Due to the territorial fights, the male is usually the primary concern. To solve that problem, but a few male flag fish in a big tank and create various disguises spots with plants.
American flag fish compatibility with tank mates equally as active increases if you introduce all of them into the water simultaneously. American flag fish 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 Flag Fish Diet
The American flag fish 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 flag fish algae supplement tablets or algae-flakes. Feed them live foods at most two times a week to regulate their protein intake.
The American flag fish staple meal is high vegetable content dried flakes; you can shop for them in a pet store. The flag-fish 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.
- The American flag fish 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 flag-fish guards the eggs during the breeding
The American flag fish 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.