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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #414

>Tom, your SAE's must be related to our five :) I wasn't sure if they
>actually eat the ultrafine leaves or damage them trying to clean them.
>However, they hang out there quite a lot, so I think they are well past the
>cleaning stage. In any case, our wallichii is surviving and growing, but
>nothing to write homepage about. Too bad, because I really like the
>contribution this plant makes to an aquascape.

They don't completely kill the plant but watch them very close for some
time. They sure do hurt the plant which is a fav of mine(well what is not a
fav?). They all do it to some extent keeping the growth from thriving.

The good news is that you don't need SAE's to have a nice planted tank
and............most of the fine needled plants also don't ever get BBA or
brush algae etc so you don't need these fish with this plant. But it would
be nice to have them or/and the Rotala together.

The Rotala grows great without them but so-so at best with them. The tank
that does better has less than great conditions also for the plant yet it
does much better due to the removal of SAE's only. If you have trouble with
this plant try: clean water, fair amount of light, snailies, Shrimps, semi
low nutrients. You should do well with it then. It's a hard to grow plant I
think for most folks. It sprouts new growth easily though so you can revive
it after you screw up<G>. I've has mine same batch for years and years.
Every tank with SAE's that I've ever had this plant in has had problems. The
tanks have all done well with every plant pretty much except this one.

If the SAE's can get at the plant they will chew on it and they will damage
the vegetative growing tips. A non-believer? So was I for some time. Watch
closely. Try them with and without in a tank. Wait a couple of weeks. See
for yourself. I didn't want to believe it either after someone mentioned it
to me.
Every SAE that I have had does this. I have has larger older ones, young
ones, golden colored ones, silver colored etc from different shipment etc.
Maybe one or two might not do this but most certainly do. Fish behavior can
have exceptions here and there and so can plants.  
Tom Barr