Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #25

On Sunday, 22 October 1995, Anne Seales wrote:

> This is anecdotal (strictly forbidden, I know ;-) but one of our local fish
> stores swears that Anostomus anostomus (or was it Abramites hypselonotus? A
> headstander type, anyway...) will eat thread algae.  I cannot verify whether
> this is true, or whether someone who works at that store has a freak fish in
> their own tank & is falsely extrapolating.  FWIW. YMMV. DHMR. :-)

I have A. anostomus in my plant tank, and while it does indeed nibble on
thread and other types of algae (the upturned mouth is realy good at reaching
it in inaccessible locations), I can't really recommend it for a community
tank.  Mine "owns" the entire tank, all 6' of it, plus about 2' on either side,
and delights in chasing the fish around.  Fortunately he rotates his victims
so each fish gets a bit of a break.  In addition, he prefers non-algae food,
and if this is in short supply will happily nibble the plants as well as
the algae.  In his defense I must say he's really an attractive fish.
Interestingly, the only more aggressive fish I've had in that tank was the
infamous Chinese Algae Eater, which harrassed everthing from the otos to
the Anostomus.  The CAE now lives in the quarantine tank, and will stay there
until some suck^H^H^H^H kind soul offers him a home.

As for Abramites hypselonotus, put one in your tank and you'll solve all your
problems with brush algae growing on the leaf margins.  This is because it
will eat the leaf margins right down to the stems, and then eat the stems
too.  Mine was banished to his own 30g tank after destroying nearly everything
in the display tank.  Currently his tank contains crypts, Java moss, and Java
fern, and for the most part he leaves these plants alone, although if deprived
of plant matter (zucchini, beans, carrots, peas) he'll attack them too
(he ate the top half of three Java fern leaves once).  Like the Anostomus, the
Abramites is a very attractive fish, well worth consideration if you can live
with its dietary preferences.

Does anyone have a spotted headstander?  These fish apparently eat algae
and are more peaceful than A. anostomus.
Kevin Conlin   Montreal, Canada   "We're Canadians.  We HAVE to be polite"