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CAEs, SAEs, & Other matters
Wanted to put in my $.02 on a couple of items, and post some info
that I feel will be of interest to many.
First, the Chinesse Algea Eaters (CAEs). I have mentioned to
several people that IMO baby ( < 2 inches ) CAEs are the most
effective green algea eaters going. Sub-Adults ( from 2 to 4 1/2
inches ) slowly change from eating Green algea to other foods. This
can include the slime/muecus (sp ?) on the sides of goldfish, discus,
etc. Causing damage to these fish. As adults they are territorial and
a poor community fish, and eat algea only if there is no other choice.
Too many times I have overheard salespeople recommend these fish for
algea control to the unsuspecting, without reguard to fish in the
tank. Unfortunately in my area there is no market for adult CAEs.
Second, some general info on SAEs. To condition adult SAEs for
breeding requires a healthy ( a lot of ) algea in the tank. I think
this is why I have been successful at spawning on demand. I encourage
algea growth ( now close your mouths before you catch some flys ) to
help in my breeding attempts with catfish. The SAEs are used to bring
experiments that have gone array, back under control, and to clean up
breeding tanks for the next attempt. This is not something that most
people want to try with their prise plant tanks, and I would not
recommend tring it to anyone that doesn't have a good grasp of
Sears/Conlin concept of using water quality as the main control for
Greenwater, with its accompaning compliment of small critters, is
an abolute must for survival of the fry. Without huge amounts of
Greenwater available you will experience very high losses of fry in
the first two weeks. If the Greenwater gets out of hand, you can add
Daphania. They will cleanup the Greenwater problem, and become food
for the growing SAEs. At this stage, approx 1/4 inch, the babies begin
to show their stuff as algea eaters. They seem to be forever hungry.
Veggies, algea, algea tabs, etc all work well.
A word of caution on Greenwater. Depending on how you get/grow your
culture, you may be introducing unwanted critters into your tank. In
my case it was Hydra. I used a dozen baby Panaque Nig. to do it in.
I'm working hard at getting all my information together to post. I
realize that the above statement may discourage a lot from tring to
duplicate my success, because you would not want to introduce
additional algea to your tanks. Althought I feel that algea
growth/Greenwater are essential (it works for me), you may find a
better way. So please try within acceptable parameters for your tank.
I may be focusing on one possible trigger for spawning. There may well
be others that I'm missing.
SAEs are very intolerant of cloudy water. As Steve Pushak mentioned
in his post about substrates, "Be careful with clay.....". I had a
tank with a clay/vermiculate/laterate substrate, and the powerhead
dislodged and fell to the bottom. As someone else mentioned when it
happened to them, it always lands with the intake in the substrate. By
the time I saw it, all the fish were at the surface gasping for air.
Five of the eight SAEs in the tank were dead, and two of the others
didn't make. All of the others survived. I wouldn't want to perform
this type of experiment again to find out, but it seems the SAEs had a
very low tolerance for the cloudy water.
Hope this helps,