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Re: Crossocheilus spp.
> I first brought up the idea that there was more than one sp. of
> Crossocheilus being imported quite some time ago (see past issues of APD).
> I think that this may explain why so many different aquarists have
> reported such varied behavior in these fishes. I really think that this is
> an area that should be explored.
That should certainly be explored, but my opinion is that that varied
behaviour comes more from how they are kept than if they are different
> It seems that most people purchase a group of "SAEs" at one time
> from one source. How many people have purchased these fish on different
> occasions and noticed that they looked a little different or behaved a
> little different? It is my opinion that there are a number of
I have purchased four groups of them, all from different shops and
during different years. And I'm sure that all of the 11 SAEs I have
had are the same species. Old fish behave differently from young
ones. A school of six behaves very differently from a pair or from
a lone fish. Different tankmates, different amount of algae,
different plant species, different tank temperature and water
chemistry have also affected my SAEs.
I have seen thousands of SAEs here in Finland and some in Sweden,
and they all look nearly identical. Also all the photos of
American and German SAEs look the same (when they show a real
SAE, otherwise they look like "false siamensis").
> Anyway, it would be interesting to hear from anyone that could
> shed some light on this. How did Liisa and Frank originally Identify the
> SAE as Crossocheilus siamensis? Did they send samples to a taxonomist,
> follow a published key, or what?
We are not ichthyologists, and we didn't kill our dear SAEs to send them
anywhere. We read all the material we could find about this species
and its relatives, including a book by the original author of SAE,
Smith. I talked a lot with the leading Finnish aquarist-ichthyologists
and Neil met aquarists and ichthyologists from all over the worls.
Germans found out that SAE is a "good fish" around 1970. I havenīt
seen the original German articles from that time, but one of the
guys I talked with had seen, and used them as a base material for
his own articles in fish magazines. I can't be 100% sure that the
SAE we have today is the same species that was described as
Epalzeorhynchus siamensis back in 1931, but it certainly is the
same fish that Germans had in 1960's and 1970's, when its algae
eating abilities were discovered.