Books, Algae, Javas and SAE's

Subject: Aquatic plant book


>      I'm looking for a book in which I can find aquarium-plants 
>      their descriptions and pictures. If anyone knows of such a 
>      you tell me the title and ISBN number, so I can order it.

There are several aquatic Plant books available, but they are all 
very limited and/or saddly out of date.  IMO, the best reference 
book available right now is the 2 volumes of the Baensch Atlas.  
The advantage is that they are also fish atlases, the disadvantage 
is that together they are moderately expensive.

Probably second best (best photos on the species it _does_ cover, 
and good for identifying non-aquatics) is the privately published 
Oriental Aquarium Catalog available from Superior Tropica Trading 
Co. (has nothing to do with Tropica, Denmark) (718)835-9335.  It 
does not, however have much information on the plants just a 
little icon code beneath each photo similar to the TFH 


Subject: red brush algae, java fern and SAE's

> Though my planted tanks have had various algae attacks over the 
> don't believe I've ever had a problem with the red brush algae t
> plague so many others.  Is it possible that the stuff just doesn
> Milwaukee water, with a pH of 7.5 (up to 8.0 in some heavily pla
> without CO2), and a GH of abou 10dkh?  Or is it more likely due 
> red/blue lighting from using mostly Gro-Lux type bulbs (although
> Triton and Biolume on occassion)?  Or any other thoughts?  

Red Algae does seem to do better in softer water, but it is also 
very sensitive to copper.  Have you ever tested your water for 
copper?  I know I have copper in my tap water, and even after I 
remove as much as possible with GAC before using the water, I 
still have enough residual to prevent red algae... it also 
prevents me successfully keeping both Ludwigia and Valisneria. :-(

I suppose, on the whole I'd rather live without a few copper 
sensitive plants than have red algae.  A lot of people would kill 
to be in your shoes!<VBG>

> Would those same water and lighting conditions explain why I hav
> no success with Java fern?  Mine grow at a rate somewhere betwee
> nana and stalactites.  Then after a few months they start to get
> stringy algae on their edges and start declining.

Maybe, maybe not.  Java Ferns generally do very well in hard 
water, are not particularly sensitive to pH, and are copper 
tolerant (if that turns out to be the reason for your lack of red 

One possibility is that the Java Fern you're using came from a 
source with softer, lower pH water, and the plant just needs time 
to adjust.  Sometimes this means leaving the rhizome in place even 
when all the leaves have died and just waiting.  When it regrows, 
it will be adapted to your tank conditions and do well from then 

It is also possible that there is someting about your water (or 
other plants in your tank) that is just not to the liking of Java 
Fern.  If this is the case, (and it's true for every one with one 
"easy" species or another) and the majority of other species are 
doing well for you, just move on to some of the zillions of other 
wonderful species there are to work with.
> Finally,does anybody have any clues about identification of smal
> Siamese algae eaters?  There appear to be at least three species
> shipment of flying fox and stone lappers I received recently.  A
> the key in the AGA article, many appear to be SAE's, but that's 
> their fins don't turn yellow as they grow.  I'd like to label an
> with the proper ID.  Any help would be appreciated.

Liisa may have a better method for you, but I have had no problem 
ID'ing even small SAE's by looking at the tails.  Regular "Flying 
Foxes" are more brownish/yellowish even at small sizes.  But both 
SAE's and false SAE's are grayish with a black stripe.  BUT, on 
the false SAE, the stripe stops at the caudal penduncle, where it 
continues right through the tail on the SAE's.  Now CATCHING the 
right ones when there are 100 zipping around the tank is another 

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA