PLEASE help Identify these fish - Ty

SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)January 28, 2005

Since I had help before in identifing the American Flag Fish that i found in my dads pond, i went looking for more a few days ago...

I wanted to get there before this next freze hit. not sure how the fish do and wanted to get more flagfish. I only had males (thank you Luxum for the ID).

Couldnt find a decent net anywhere that was sturdy enough with small enough holes so went to walmart and bought some netting from the fabric department (was CHEAP). I used a long handled net and went 'fishing'.

I was hoping for more AFF. i waded out with my boots until it was about 1 inch from filling my boot with very cold water. used it like a cast net since i couldnt see into the water (was about to rain).

After the second scoop, i had 7 little fish that i thought were AFF and was HAPPY to say the least. I put em in the bucket and kept trying for as many as possible.

After about 20 tries, i had about 18 fish. it started raining so i stopped (drenched!)

took em home and placed them in the tank with the male AFF and now im not sure what they are. I know for sure that two of them are female flagfish but the rest look like very tiny bream.

their eyes are bright orange and they have vertical stripes, some have a very clear small dot near the edge of their gills.

ive looked on google and couldnt find a match, so im asking your help once again.

So if anyone is up to it and can indentify these, i'd certainly appreciate it.

Also caught a young yellow sailfin mollie male (was happy about that too)!

Thanks agian in advance for your help,


if I get a better pic, ill post it.

I just dont know what AFF fry look like.



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luxum(9/10 Tampa FL)

It's really sort of hard to see them in the photos. I think i see your female flagfish in the pic and they have a similar spot next to their head that catches the light the same way, so maybe those are flagfish fry that haven't got their coloration yet? Here's a link to an ID key for native Florida fishes, although you may need to wait until they get their mature coloration to really be certain.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peninsular Florida Freshwater Fish Key

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 11:51AM
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first pic, bottom left corner: isn't that a ram?
are all the fish in your dad's pond native?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 12:44PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Thanks Luxum, i will examine that page.

Fairy toad, I am not sure but i think so. if not all then most for sure are natives.

None have been placed there by humans. It is a shallow 'run off' pond that was dug by hand when the home was built to 'try' and keep the area from being flooded. There are two ponds actually but havent tried the one becuase it has been dried several times and all ive ever caught the few times i have tried when it was full are mosquito fish. But im sure there is something else, if those are there. Still floods the yard when it rains but the pond that i am getting the fish from usually dries up to a muddy muck in the deep part thats just thick mud, no clear water. I dont see how anything can live, but thats how i found the flag fish. I was "saving" whatever was floppin around in there last summer. Most of what i got were mosquito fish but the colors of the flag fish caught my eye and they made a 'croaking sound' in the net. The deepest part is maybe 2 ft deep right now and that is only an area of about 10ft diameter. the rest is only about 6" deep. When it really rains im sure it gets to about 4 ft since it will over flow.

there are some channel catfish and when it dried up the first time, found 4 big dead bream or sunfish (not sure)- (eating size), i couldnt eat a bream, tried once and had too many bones. wasnt worth the effort to me. so they may be tiny bream. I know that the two are female flag fish. The female FF have a spot on the rear of the dorsal fin. so i know that i at least have two female (young) and two males (adults) flag fish. I di a lot of research since Luxum ID'd them for me.

I am going to set up a tank specifically for flag fish and see how they do. from all i have read, they are a very easy fish to breed.

i also have a tank set up just for Pygmy sunfish. They look more like the everglade var, but supposedly they are not up this far in FLA and the females are pink. They are in breeding colors right now and all ive done is throw in a LOT of floating plants and feed them brine shrimp. we'll see what happens. They wont eat the fish flakes or anything freeze dried for me. The filters I have are all too powerful, so i am going to use the old sponge/air type to reduce water flow. right now there is no filter in that one but have a lot of plants, a light and its a 30gal. They are doing well (been there for about 2 months). I couldnt find any P. Sunfish in dads pond but was happy to find the yellow sailfin mollies.

I want to find the golden top minnow, I know that they are in this area, i had one for a few months but finally died. I think i over crowded the tank with too many fish.

Now im going back on Sunday to try again. I really dont care to raise bream butif they are a miniature sunfish, ill keep them.

I have caught some bream while fishing as a kid in a boat slip bay that were VERY pretty and very large. I always threw them back. but i dont enough room to keep fish that large.

One day ill get kicked out of my home from my wife by having too many tanks! heh.

ill try to get some better pics.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 8:46PM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

I don't know my cichlids that well, but I'm with FairyToadmother- it sure looks like an apistograma ramirezii (hope i didn't botch the spelling too much)!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 10:11PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Thank you Eileen,

I looked it up on google and they seem to colorful to be the same, im wearing out my PC looking through all the pics and names of fish. i think its a typr of sunfish and have almost ruled out the flag fish fry. still not sure though. It seems like there are two or three diff types here.

Thanks agian :)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 10:39PM
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pocketsquirrel69(z5 Ont Can)

Hi folks,
The fish in the bottom left corner is definately not a ram.
I am 100% positive it is a sunfish. I've kept them as aquarium fish many times and they are identical in body shape to the ones i had. Now having said that,there are a few species of sunfish in florida... and each one can have several color morphs depending on the area they are found in. The other problem with sunfish is when you put them into a tank they tend to lose their bright colors. You can get those colors to come back if you get the water temperature and Ph perfect. Feeding them live food also works quite well.
If you manage to get a really good photo of one and post it again i'll go through all my fish books... i have a few hundred. My education is in aquacultural science (fish farming) and i am a bit of a fish head... i read fish/aquaculture books for fun... so i love an I.D. challenge.

have fun,


    Bookmark   January 28, 2005 at 11:37PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Hi Matti,

My cam is terrible at detailed close ups.

Here are 4 more pics. I will keep trying until i can get a more clear shot. instead of overlaoding the page, ill just update the pic name when i get better ones for these here:
These are smaller files too.

1 - This one is about 1/2" long

2 - This one is about 1/2" long (looks like a diff fish than pic 1 but could just be diff sex?

3 - this one is about an inch long and 1/2" tall

4 - These two are about 1/2" long

The area that these are from is Bunnell , FL (flagler county).

thank you in advance, have fun tryin, heh. I looked at so many different pix tonight of sunfish, some of the same named fish and many have diff. varieations of colors it seems. makes it all the more fun to try and raise them to me. but would love to know what i have. Im pretty sure that there are 3 different types. at least two for sure.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2005 at 1:34AM
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pocketsquirrel69(z5 Ont Can)

hi SideOne,

i haven't forgot about you... i have been looking through books for pictures of juvenile fish from your area.
juvenile fish are a bugger to I.D....
i do have one question, do the fish have a solid red eye or does it have a black line through it running vertical?
in the pictures it kinda looks like it does have a black line.
if the line is there, does it also run down the cheek a bit?
i'll keep looking... :)



    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 4:18PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Thanks Matti,

yes they do have a vertical black line that separates the red/orange eyes. I have taken time to search and THINK that its either a plain ole blue gill or a spotted sunfish but im still not sure because there are not enough web photos (that i can find) to look through.

The fins on one of the species has a faint red tinge to them when the light shines through them, pretty.

some have vertical dark lines on their body while some have none. they all their dorals are connected and seem more sharp than rounded. (not sure if thats just a characteristic in fry of that fish or not).

Some are whitish all over while others have blue streaks. still a fun fish to watch.

I certainly do appreciate your looking for me and will pleased to know what they are.

I went back and got more and a few more AFF. now i have 9 flagfish and about 30 of those sunfish fry.
it was hoping for the other way around. but i am hoping that they flag fish will breed in a few months (netted 5 females, still small tho).

we'll see!
Thanks agian,

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 6:41PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

actually i was looking after i left this and some do not even have orange eyes. sorry for the confusion. the lighter colored fry dont have the orange eyes.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 12:46PM
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pocketsquirrel69(z5 Ont Can)

Hi David,

Ya, you could be right about them being plain old Bluegill.
but if your lucky they may be Blue Spotted Sunfish... i can't find any good pictures of young ones. if you can hold on to them for a few weeks/months you may see some changes in them that might give us more hints... but in the meantime i'll keep hunting for more pics of juveniles.



    Bookmark   February 3, 2005 at 1:22PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Thanks agian Matti,

I saw those and was wondering the same thing, those blue spotted are PRETTY fish! Not sure though, so i didnt want to get my hopes up. I also wondered if some might be green sunfish but i dont think the body is long enough adn im not sure if they are in this region. still, they are young. seem to be easy to keep fish. Not easily frightened either.

There are no rivers near there so I dont know where the fish origally come from. I always wonder how certain fish get where they are in ponds that are no where near any other body of water ? Cool though that they are!

Thanks for looking. I wish i had an extensive book to look through or a better cam!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 12:21AM
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pequafrog(z7a/Long Island)

Looks like a young pumpkinseed.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 8:05AM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Hi Pf,

thank you, i am not sure if those are native here in central, fl. from what ive read they are primarily in northern states? I could be wrong, im in learning mode about native fish. from what of most ive read so far says that many fish have become widespread though, so its veery possible. I saw pics and wondered myself.

I was looking at them a few minutes ago with the 3 cell maglight and they have blue, with green speckles all over them when the light hits them just right. there are many colors to these fish. I am not sure if they are all the same type (probably given the restriction of the small pond) or whether there are two or three.

ive tried to get better pics with a bright halogen lamp but i just cant get that camera to get a crisp enough pic.

this is the best one so far that i have after many tries, but i will keep trying.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2005 at 12:04PM
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pocketsquirrel69(z5 Ont Can)

Hi David,
Got any new pictures of your little fishies?
I'm curious to see if there have been any changes in color
or shape. Please throw up some new pics so if there is anything new.



    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 12:10AM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

I will try and get more pics but im thinking that they are a plain bluegill. but cool anyway.

I have another fish I caught a few days ago that looks like pygmy sunfish but is HUGE compared to any I have ever had. They also have round dark spots on the rear tip of the dorsal and anal fins. Its dark all over with a deep reddsh tint and shiny sparkles. The fins on them are ripped (probably from the net) and they were hard to catch. fast little swimmers!

Its about an inch long and pretty wide. I havent seen any pygmy sunfish this "fat" or colored like this.

wonder if anyone knows about these or what they are?

thanks agian

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 5:26PM
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I don't think that one fish is a Ram at all. Doesn't even remotely look like one. Not to mention - NOT NATIVE TO FLORIDA. I'd vote for a young native sunfish.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 10:49AM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)

The fish in the first few photos are definitely sunfish, possibly more than 1 species. It's awfully hard to positively ID young fish.

Definitely not rams, as Florida waters are too cool this time of year to support those South American cichlids. Rams like it WARM!

The little fish in the last photo is definitely a pygmy sunfish, but I couldn't tell you the species. I've kept both Evergladei and Okeefenokee, and this doesn't look like either. Nor does it look like zonatus. I'll check with my buddies in the NFC (Native Fish Conservancy) and see if they can ID it for you.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 12:24PM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)

One guess so far on the pygmy sunfish: Evergladei! It doesn't look a lot like the Evergladei that I've kept in the past, but there is doubtless regional variation. Can you provide more exact location details...closest town, perhaps?

I have a question out to THE elassoma expert. I'll let you know when and if I get an answer.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 11:32AM
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drygulch(z9 AZ)


It's confirmed, this is a large, male elassoma Evergladei.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 11:42AM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

Thanks Breezy and Drygulch,

I never saw one that had a spot like that on the rear of both dorsal and anal fins. I actually havent seen a spot on them at all which is why i questioned what it was. Its huge too. All the previous ones ive ever kept were not this large. but i knew it was some form of pymgy, at least i didnt know what else it could be.

These were found in Bunnell Florida after a total shady swamp overflowed into a ditch after heavy rains. there were many types of fish that were caught and a couple newts.

i guess ill never grow up.

Thank you for your help!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 1:25PM
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luxum(9/10 Tampa FL)

"Not to mention - NOT NATIVE TO FLORIDA. "

Hehe, well i'd not argue that's a ram (although from that view it does look like a Bolivian, and they are hardier than the blue rams, so i suppose it's possible), however something not being native to Florida is no guarantee against ID in general. Some common aquarium species have naturalized here due to well-meaning aquarists releasing specimens, escapes from fish farms, etc.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:42PM
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SideOne(Z8b - 9 Fl)

I agree, there have been many non native types (quite a few cichlids) around this area for atleast the past 10 years and are really all over the place in south florida.

kinda cool, but who knows what else is here that could really be harmful.

see this page:

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 12:59PM
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