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Dave's SAE questions
Dave brought up some good questions about SAEs. So here are some
answers, and ofcourse, more questions.
Yes MY SAEs eat black brush algae. I have seen them do it a
million times. I have used them to clear out infestations many times. I
have noticed that they prefer the young new growths of the algae. Mine
spend their time nibbling the new growths from the edges of Anubias spp.
My largest tank had a serious infestation of this algae. I treated the
Anubias spp. with a water/ bleach solution and then added two 2" SAEs. The
algae has never returned (in any force) because the SAEs keep it in
check. Nothing else was changed in this tank (100 gal. w/ 160 watts). The
SAEs are not starved, but do compete with Congo tetras and West African
cichlids for food. I did not bleach the rocks or driftwood in the tank for
fear of killing all the Java moss attached to them. With the algae on the
plants gone, the SAEs cleaned up the rocks and driftwood in about 3 weeks.
So why good luck for some and bad for others? I recently received
a copy of Robert's "Freshwater Fishes of West Borneo". This book has some
excellent photos of three Crossocheilus spp. Guess what? They all look
exactly like the fish known in the hobby as the SAE. Cyprinids are not my
specialty so I have not developed a real good eye for them. However, the
photos led me to wonder if there is not more than one Crossocheilus sp.
that is imported into the hobby? Could there be some members of the genus
that eat this algae and others that do not? Has anyone checked with
importers to see where these fish are suppossed to be coming from? Has
anyone taken one apart and compared it to the holotype of C. siamensis or
are we just guessing that the SAE is only one sp. and that sp. is C.