These fishes are one of the best in algae managing services. Even otherwise, their bright coloration is one of the best reasons to grow this fish in the tank.

Why need a beginner’s guide for the American flag fish? The beginner’s guide helps to give an overall idea of the American flag fish right from the diet, breeding, water condition, and even the price

American flag fish – Overview

Common NameAmerican flagfish or Florida flagfish
Scientific NameJordanella floridae
Habitat or OriginNative to Florida peninsula
Average SizeThey are pretty small, adults grow up to 2.5 inches or 6cm
ColorationBlue, red, olive green, and olive-grey. There is a dark rectangle on the shoulder which resembles the stars and the stripes along the flanges which make them appear like that of an American flag
Life SpanOn average, they live for 2-3 years but in the ideal condition, they can live up to 5 years.
DietThey feed on algae. In case the tank does not have algae, you can give them Hikari Tropical Algae Wafers. They also feed on bloodworm, brim shrimp, or daphnia-live or frozen. Vegetables that they feed on include shelled peas, zucchini, and cucumber
Gender IdentificationLarge, plumper bodies with a dark spot on the dorsal fin and yellow coloration on the body denote that it is a female fish. Males are comparatively smaller and greener and more colorful than females.
BehaviorThe display during mating is quite interesting. The female chooses a male and makes a sudden quick movement. The male follows the female and when the female is facing the male, it stops and does a slow-motion backward flip. This appears like a dance 
CompatibilityMollies, platys, and white cloud mountain minnows. A school of danios or tetra also can be kept with them
Ideal Tank Conditions20 gallons can hold 6 or a little more fish. The substrate can be dark gravel or dark sand so as to see the best coloration of the fish. An air-powered sponge filter can be used for filtration.
Water ParametersThey survive in a wide range of temperature 65°F – 85°F and pH level is 6.5 to 8.5
BreedingBreeding occurs on its own during spring or winter. The male attracts the female into a territory and displays it to the female. If the display is successful, the female swims to a plant followed by the male. In quick jerk motions, the eggs are released
Common DiseasesTo the surprise, no diseases have been reported so far. This could be one of the best beginner fish considering its immunity
Approximate CostThey cost an average of 4 USD to 5 USD and in southeast Asia/India they cost almost the same price
What to look when buyingJust look for active and bright colored ones when you buy from the pet shop
Species in the MarketThe only variety available in the market – American flag fish

Gallery of American flag fish


  1. Froese, Rainer, and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2019). Jordanella floridae in FishBase. August 2019 version.
  2. Mary E. Sweeney. “Secrest of the American Flagfish”Microcosm Aquarium Explorer. Retrieved 19 October 2019.
  3. Jordanella floridae GOODE & BEAN, 1879 Florida Flagfish”. Seriously Fish. Retrieved 19 October 2019