by L. & M. Bellino
BAP Report, YATFS
Reprinted with permission from The Youngstown Aquarist, publication of the Youngstown Area Tropical Fish Society, February 1989, p. 6.
The Flag fish ranges in Florida, especially in the southern portion. The basic color is green. The male sports red stripes on the fins and their body. The female is the basic color of green with a black spot on the rear of the dorsal fin. The temperature range of the Flag fish is between 65 and 70 degrees. They grow to a length of 2-3/8 inches. They will eat almost anything you put into the tank, but they prefer the vegetable matter. Water should be medium hard and slightly alkaline.
I've maintained two pair in a ten gallon tank for a year or more with no problem. The books say the males are quarrelsome at spawning time, I'm glad I read the book after the spawning. These first place winners in three different shows, never had a problem. Water changes were done by the book, 1/3 change once a week. Twice a week they were fed a homemade hipro food, the rest of the week they got what was close at hand.
As the females fattened up the temperature was pushed to 80 degrees and the mops were place in the tank. The spawning dances started and the mops were full of eggs for the next few days. They say this American killifish will also lay their eggs in a cichlid fashion, I'm glad they chose the mops as they are easier to work with.
The fun part of this process is removing the eggs from the mops and placing them in a 2-1/2 gallon tank. Acriflavine was used to protect the eggs, be advised, do not use methylene blue, it has a tendency to kill the fry. AFter about 5 days there was movement in the tank. Liquid fry food and a snail were added. The snail produces an enfusoria in their waste, a crawling food factory. Within a day the fry are also given newly hatched brine shrimp. The fry are slow growing at first but after a week or so they make up for lost time.
The Flag fish like many others develops pecking orders. This accounts for the various sizes in the fry. Sizes vary from 1/4 to 3/8 inches. I wasn't going to keep this fish long, but with the trophys coming home, I think I will hold onto them for awhile longer. Maybe I'll even try for a group of six for next year's show.