Jordanella floridae
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Jordanella floridae

Common Names: American Flagfish
Florida Flagfish
Synonyms: Cyprinodon floridae
Family: Cyprinodontidae
Category: OthersFW
Distribution: Pacific - North; Southeastern United States.
Main Ecosystem: Swamp; Swamp
Temperament: Peaceful; Generally peaceful, but mild aggression may be shown to conspecifics while establishing a pecking order or when breeding. Usually does not harass other species. However, prospective owners are advised to exercise some care with the choice of companions, as it is possible that they will display some nippy behaviour toward some other species, particularly fishes with prominent dorsal fins marked with black markings. If kept with fishes of similar size and robust constitution, no problems should be encountered, but owners are advised to watch them in the presence of some smaller species.
Diet: Ominvore; Flag Fishes are omnivorous, but have a marked preference for plant matter in the diet, particularly algae, which they will eat with very noticeable relish, making them excellent algae control fishes in the proper setting. In particular, these fishes, courtesy of their liking for this type of alga, will act as an excellent control of surface-growing thread algae that other algae eaters either cannot reach or find distasteful. Diet should be supplemented with some animal matter, and live foods are always appreciated by this fish, though provision of plant matter in the diet is likely to increase the longevity of the fish, as noted in the venerable Innes book. Owners should exercise some care not to overfeed these fishes, as they can be gluttonous feeders if presented with the opportunity, and over-heavy feeding of animal matter can lead to complications in later life. Given a balanced diet including algae and other apporpriate plant matter substitutes, these fishes will prosper enormously. Live foods can be used for conditioning breeding stock prior to spawning.
Care: Feeds on algae, flake, frozen and live foods. It has a fondness for peas and spirulina tabs, and may turn to eating aquarium plants if sufficient vegetative matter is not supplied. Easy to care for, due to its extreme hardiness and generally peaceful disposition. A pair will do fine in a 5 gallon tank. If provided with a well-furnished aquarium of 24"x12"x12" or larger capacity, containing plant thickets and bogwood decorations bearing lush growths of Java Moss, these fishes will spend time exploring the plants and the Java Moss thickets, looking for algal threads to eat,and will also pick flake food from such thickets during feeding. Given the robust constitution of these fishes, they are ideal companions for other fishes of the 2-4 inch size range, particularly fishes that are of similarly robust constitution. Exercise care if attempting to integrate these fishes with small aquarium inhabitants, as some nippiness may be noted.
6 - 8
8°C - 30°C
46°F - 86°F
Potential Size: Male: 6cm (2.4")
Female: 6cm (2.4")
Water Region: All; This fish swims and feeds at all levels in the tank.
Activity: Diurnal; Diurnal
Gender: Females are bluish in hue, lacking red colouration, and possess a prominent black spot that is located in the posterior portion of the dorsal fin: in some specimens this spot may extend slightly into the body adjoining the rear portion of the dorsal fin. Dorsal and anal fins are also shorter and less showy than those of males. Males possess distinctive stripes of red colouration across the body, which extend the whole length of the ventral section of the body, but which only extend from the rear to about halfway along the dorsal section of the body. The iridescent blue scales are particularly prominent in the dorsal body section not occupied by red stripes, the colour scheme leading to the popular name of "American Flag Fish" because the pattern is strikingly reminiscent of the Stars and Stripes, this pattern being interrupted only by a dark mid-body spot. Males also possess taller, more showy dorsal and anal fins than females, with red colour present in these fins in particularly fine specimens.
Breeding: Like most killies, breeds on mops, breeding is accomplished by feeding a wide variety of foods and providing a place to spawn. Male and female swim side by side, male cupping his fins over her like many pupfishes. Fry can take baby brine shrimp, microworms, and crushed flake food at hatching.
Comments: This great species has unfortunately been ignored previously in the hobby. In the past few years, however, it has been gaining popularity. One of the aspects that draws aquarists to the American Flagfish is its ruthless appetite for algae, and its algae-eating abilities surpass that of any pleco and even the Siamese Algae Eater. A superb control for algal problems occurring at the middle and upper levels of the tank that are not frequented by Loricariids or Siamese Algae Eaters, these fishes will go to work on such algae and demolish it in short order. Possibly one of the best choices for a "beginner's killifish", if tankmates are chosen with appropriate care.
Main Colours: Brown, Green, Red
Markings: Mottled
Mouth: Upturned
Tail: Convex
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Image Credit: zoeandmaia
Submitted By: Joseph
Contributors: Calilasseia
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