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The SAE experience

I'm new to this list and haven't had much correspondence with any of you.  I
wanted to share my weekend, well, one aspect of it, with all of you.

I've been keeping aquariums off and on, mostly on, since I was twelve.  Late
last year I lost everything to a house fire so I've only recently set up
again with a 55 gallon tank.  This is my first experience with a heavily
planted tank.  Before it was always an anubia or two amongst the rocks.

I had never heard of a Siamese Algae Eater before I found the Krib and by
way of The Krib, this list.  While I was at the LFS at Pearl Harbor on
Saturday afternoon, getting supplies for a sump I'm building, I asked about
these little miracle workers.  The guy points to a tank and says, "Right
there, $1.99 each".  Having read about all the difficulties you guys seem to
have locating these fish, I just didn't believe it could be real.  I came
home, looked up some pictures, a post here that listed identifying
characterists, and sure enough, they were the real thing.  I went back and
bought two.

What no one here ever talks about is how interesting these fish are.  I find
them to be a little hyper, they occassionally 'hang' in the water for a
second, head up at a 45 degree angle and they engage in what looks like a
mating dance, twisting around each other.  While they are doing this, the
black stripe on their sides fades out to a few specks.  As soon as they
break it up, the black comes right back.  I have also seen them pair up with
otocinclus and travel about the tank together, eating side by side.  The SAE
is a very enjoyable fish in its own right, a good addition to the community
tank, and not just another "cleaner".  The pair are worth more than the
$4.00 I paid even if they never eat any algae.

If only the rest of the weekend could have been so enjoyable.  I built my
sump from plexiglas into my aquarium stand 24" x 9" x 16".  Sunday, as I was
filling up for the first time, one of the seams let go, dumping 10 gallons
of water onto the bedroom floor.  Oh well, some days you get the bear, some
days the bear gets you.