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Re: [APD] My SAE is now a SPE

I've never noticed mine getting lazy. They seem always to
be after either the fine thread of plant material --
whether algae or some expensive stem plant. The only time
they seem to be distracted from this endless endeaver is
when I put fish food in the tank, which they seem to prefer
over any grazing, for as long as the fish food is present.

They don't tear plants to pieces but gently nibble away at
the finest tips they can find. Perhaps they are only
scrubbing/rubbing for algae, but the end result to the
plant is the same as if they had bitten off the tiniest
little pieces, again and again and again.

If the SAEs are few and the plants fast growing and many,
the plants can stay ahead of the munchers. The same goes
for Ancistrus sp. If few in number, etc. they are the most
helpful cleaners of all. But if they multiply -- and they
breed easily when given cover -- they can abuse you plants

Otos might be the only herbivore fish that doesn't harm
plants at all -- but then, despite their industrius nature,
they are not very productive.

Scott H.

--- David Grim <grim1214 at bellsouth_net> wrote:

> I had about SAEs in a 240 gallon planted tank and
> couldn't figure out why my
> big piece of Java Moss covered wood wasn't doing well,
> until I saw the SAEs
> had turned it into their personal salad bar. I pulled a
> few out and the
> remaining two seemed to strike a balance between their
> munching and the Java
> Moss's growth. That was the only growing thing in the
> tank they bothered, as
> they were larger and they get lazy when mature and stop
> eating algae. Nice
> fish, though. I consider them one of the smartest
> freshwater fish out there.
> For some reason, they always seem to have a purpose when
> they cruise the
> tank.
> Dave
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