Florida Flag Fish - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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I thought some of you might be interested in my recent experience with Florida Flag Fish.

As I reported here a month or so ago, My 55 gal planted tank became infested with very long fine thread algae. I considered using the algaecide AlgaeFix, but I couldn't quite bring myself to do it. I hate adding anything unatural to my tanks.

The algae was getting worse, attaching itself to almost all of my plants. I tried manually removing it since it was easy to grab hold of, but it was so well connected, it was impossible to remove the algae without uprooting the plants.

I was getting desperate, so I decided to order the above mentioned fish. I had come across them at this website. I had considered ordering them before, but I was sceptical that they was as good as they claimed. I have had Siamese Algea Eaters and Octiculas (sp), but as far as I'm concerned, these were barely worth having. If they ate any algae at all, it was hard to notice.

On the very day that the fish were to arrive, I came across a couple of articles on the web that talked about people that had bad experiences with these fish. Mainly about them being too aggressive. What ! Everything I had read about them up untill then described them as being very peaceful fish. I did read that the males will protect the eggs after spawning, but only in the immeadiate area of the eggs.

Well the fish arrived, but after comming across this conflicting information, I wasn't sure what to do. Since I spent about forty bucks for the fish and shipping charges, I decided to give them a chance.

Boy am I glade I did. Its a week later now, and all of my hair algae is gone (and there was plenty) Not only that, they are behaving themselves when it comes to the other fish in my tank. These are mainly fancy guppies of every size, including new born fry. They have all but ignored them, even the fry.
I still consider them to be on probation, but so far so good. I guess the real test will come if they try to spawn.

On a side note. I ordered these fish from the website that I listed above. I was a little disappointed in the shape that they were in when I recieved them. There was very little water in the bag (about 2 cups), and the water was very cold. I will say the carton was insulated and the weather in my area had just turned cold. In fairness, I have to say part of their bad condition was my fault. I used two day delivery instead of overnight. I don't know what I was thinking there. If your going to spend that kind of money, it only makes since to add 6 or 7 dollars and have them sent overnight as opposed to twoday delivery.

To this venders credit, and true to their word, these fish are very hardy and they quickly recovered. I would not hesitate to order from them again, but I would do it overnight the next time.

Sorry this post is so long, but I always find other peoples personal experiences about this or that very informative, and perhaps a better learning tool than what you might read in a book. Anyhow, I hope at least a few of you will find this post useful.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 10:40 PM
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Hi Tom: I recently read your experience with algae.
It was very interesting reading.
I sure am glad it worked the way you hoped.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-09-2002, 10:54 PM
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Yes, Florida Flags are great algae eaters, but that is not all they eat... I put them in my 55 gallon angelfish tank to eat algae, and they also ate the angels' fins; they are very nippy fish. I would not reccomend this fish for people who have fish with long flowing fish. But, I could tell a difference in the algae in the one day they were in my tank, so they are excellent algae eaters.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 02:53 AM
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Interesting looking fish... but it sure dont look like no algae eater.
I am interested in getting a Flying Fox...they have such nice lines and quite the color to them I was wondering if any of you guys have kept them and do they eat Algae well ?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-10-2002, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Flying Fox

I bought a flying fox a few months back. Unfortuneatly, my red tail shark didn't like him. Even though the flying fox was about the same size, he was intimidated by him and ended up hiding most of the time.

At times you could see him grazing on the surface my amazon sword plants, but I don't think he really ate that much algae. To be fair though, due to the intimidation by the shark, he really didn't get a very good chance to adapt to the tank. After about a month and a half, he died. My red tailed shark never did any noticeable physical damage, I think he simply starved to death.

So from my experience at least, its hard to comment on the effectiveness of flying foxes ability/will to eat algae. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

As to the florida flag fish not looking like an algae eater, I have to agree. But out of all the algae eating fish I have owned, these have been the best.

They have done such a good job in my tank, I'm now afraid there won't be enough algae left for them to survive on. They are now even trying to eat the small dots of green algae that sometimes grows on the sides of the glass. I don't think their mouths are designed for that though. I guess I'm going to have to buy them some algae wafers.

I have still seen no signs of aggression. Perhaps the people that have seen this, have simply got an unusually aggressive pair. I know that in the past, I've had fish of the same species that had completely different personalities.

Here is another web page claiming they are peacful. Also note that this webpage has a slightly different profile for this fish from the one I posted earlier.

florida flag fish

I guess as with so many things about this hobby, there are sometimes no clear cut answers. You just have to go with your own judgement, and hope for the best.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-11-2002, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for sharing your FFF experiences, Tom! I have been thinking about picking up a few to see if they would aquire a taste for some of the BBH algae in my tank. But my prized fish in my 55g are the four large angels with their loooong trailing fins. The Clown Loaches are bad enough with occasionally nipping at those fins, I don't want to add more fish to stress the angels further.

Those are definitely some cute fish, though!

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2002, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm....Thats a tuff call. I have say If I were in your shoes, I might also be hesitant. After seeing what SNPiccolo5 had to say, along with that one negative web page that I came across, it may not be worth the risk. As I'm sure you know, once adding a fish to a heavily planted tank, it can be next to impossible to get them out.

I'll be keeping a close eye on my fish, and if I see any negative behaviour, I'll be sure to report it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2002, 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by Tom713
As I'm sure you know, once adding a fish to a heavily planted tank, it can be next to impossible to get them out.
As bad and as wrong as that sounds it is true. I have found that fish in a well kept planted tank live alot longer than a fish would in a non-planted tank.

And thank you for sharing your experience Tom713. I also have ordered plants from Floridadriftwood.com and was very impressed as well. That must also show you how hardy these fish are.


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2002, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well its been about 3 weeks now since I added 4 florida flag fish to my 55gal planted tank, so I thought I would give an update.

First, I totally agree with Fender963 in that overall, fish in a planted tank tend to do better. I really think they know the difference between real plants and plastic plants. While a fish may occasionally pick food off a plastic plant, for the most part, they tend to stay away from them. With a real plant, you often see them swimming right through them moving the leaves out of the way to get to were they want to go. I suppose part of that, is that real plants are much softer than plastic, making it more comfortable for them to come in contact with. (thats my theory anyway)

Also, as I'm sure most of the know, real plants help rid your aquarium of many undesirable polutants, thus keeping the water quality at a higher level requiring fewer water changes.

As for my flag fish, they are still behaving perfectly. I will say, a couple of hopefully minor red flags went up.

As I reported previously, there is very little algae left in my tank, just some very short dark green spots of algae here and there. ( I can live with that ) I had read this in one of their profiles that they will eat duckweed. Well I have duckweed in my tank. Sure enough, after most of the algae was gone, they started on the duckweed. This concerned me a little bit. I thought if they will eat duckweed, will they eat other plants as well. I have to say at this point, even though the duckweed is mostly gone, this has not been a problem.

My other concern happened when I was feeding my fish some freeze-dried tubeflex worms. Apparently, flag fish love this stuff. While feeding the worms, the flag fish would become slightly aggressive. They did no real damage, they would just chase the guppies from their immediate vicinity trying to get as many worms as possible. I think you would have to say that this would be normal behaviour for many fish that is a little bigger than the other fish in a tank. After the feeding was over, they went back to being docile.

One other thing I might report. I have some juvenile male guppies in my tank. Some of these haven't quite figured out the birds and bees yet, and sometimes would make inappropriate advances towards the flag fish. ( I guess they think they are extra plump females :hehe: ). To the flag fishes credit, they seem to tolerate this immature behavior without any hostility.

As you can probably tell, I couldn't be happier with these fish. Not only is algae a problem of the past, and no behavior problems to report, but these fish are a colorful addition to my tank.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2002, 01:17 PM
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I really want to try this fish! They sound great! I also want to try guppies again. It's been way too many years. I think my 2.5g nano work tank would do nicely!

- Sam P -
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