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Help please with these cranky little fish! I'm posting the whole story here in the hopes it will help others trying to make a decision on whether or not to stock these fish.

I had been hesitant to purchase flagfish because my research said they could be aggressive, but found someone locally who had a small school in his peaceful community tank and said they coexisted beautifully. On his recommendation I ordered 5 of these guys to help out with hair algae in my 36 gal. They (3 males and 2 females) all lived peacefully in the 10 gal. quarantine tank for 5 weeks, but when I put them in the 36 gal (medium plant load but plenty of areas to hide) with my 5 zebra danios, 1 cory and 7 rasbora, the flagfish were relaxed for about 2 days and then they went on a terror/fin nipping campaign. I came home on day 3 to find 3 danios with signs of physical damage, so we removed all the flagfish and put them back in the quarantine tank. They immediately turned on each other, no longer willing to share the space I guess. I should mention that my 10 gal. quarantine tank has live plants in clay pots and pvc pipe elbows for hiding places, so they weren't crammed into a tiny space.

After one night back in the quarantine tank, 2 had physical damage so severe that I removed the 3 remaining healthy fish and put them in various containers. The 2 injured flagfish died, so I placed one male and one female back into the quarantine tank, and took the remaining male to work and placed him in my 7 gallon with 3 serpae tetras and a cory. Serpaes are also supposed to be mildly agressive, but the flagfish had them cowering within a couple of days. He's now in a 2.5 gallon all by himself. The male and female seemed happy in the 10 gallon, but he eventually became so aggressive towards her that I have placed her in the 36 gallon. The female seems happy, but the 2 males are bored stiff and listless in "solitary confinement."

My question for the group is: does anyone have experience placing 2 males together without females in the tank? My gut is telling me they'll just try to kill each other, but I could be wrong. Alternatively, any suggestions on another type of fish I could stock with a single flagfish that could hold its own?

LFS doesn't want them because it doesn't know what they are, and the guy who recommended them to me doesn't want them because his tank's at capacity. Ideas?
 

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I've had them before, and they were little terrors to my high-fin pepper cories- ripping up their fins to shreds. Ended up selling them on craigslist.
 

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i've kept them a bunch of times. It really depends on what you keep them with. I have had good luck with barbs, I also had a tank with flagfish and gold occelatus, which shouldn't have worked but was perfect... as far as 2 males, i have done it without an issue, you just need alot of cover area...

hope this helps.


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I agree, i think there are so many nicer barb species. Fire barbs are beautiful, as are odessa barbs

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