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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1076

Subject: SAE dietary preferences

Roxanne wrote:

>To address the question about whether SAEs will continuously eat algae, or 
>will ultimately develop a taste for flakes or other things I can say that 
>they will develop a taste for other things.  

There is no doubt that they are omnivores.  The biggest SAE's I have were
raised with Discus, where they were useless for algae control, as they
clearly preferred Discus food!<g>

For them to really work well on algae, you _do_ have to keep them hungry.

Those other things include 
>just about anything you feed your fish with as well as your fine-leaved 
>plants.  I have seen them nibble on Mayaca fluviatilis and they decimated 
>my Rotala wallichii; I had to pull the latter out. 

I know you've mentioned this before.  I don't kepp Mayaca at the moment,
but I have a huge stand of R. wallichi, and the several SAE's in the tank
don't touch it.  There is also no visible algae in the tank other than
occassional dot algae on the glass.

>Personally, I am not that impressed with the algae-eating behavior of SAEs 
>and wish there were more other alternatives.  I also use Otocinclus and 
>ghost shrimp (which do eat hair algae to some extent), but they feed 
>differently than SAEs.  Someone's comment that one needs to have a variety 
>of algae eaters is well taken.  

I agree completely.  I have yet to see any one creature that works with all
types of algae.  The good thing about SAE's is they eat one type of algae
that nothing else seems to touch. (red algae)

>The other thing I don't care for about SAEs is their tendency to get 
>territorial toward their own kind.  I had three in a 20gal tank and the 
>slightly larger, and therefore dominant, one always chased the other two 
>away from food.  They actually starved to death.  Now the dominant one is 
>alone and will remain that way.

This I can't understand.  I have probably 2 dozen SAE's in various tanks,
both my own and those at the schools.  _NONE of them, in any size tank
behave aggressively or even territorially toward each other or any other
fish in the tanks.  They seem to be among the most peaceful and mild
mannered of fish.  

As we've mentioned before, there seem to be a lot of fish that are very
similar.  Perhaps they are even just regional variations.  

All in all, I have to say, I'm glad I have mine and not yours!<g>

Subject: Which lights

Ken Guin wrote:

> I also searched the Web and even left a note
>on the APD.  I found a lot of information on the Web, but only got two
>responses from the APD. One response said that I should keep my old Tritons
>(12 tubes of 15W each).  The other response was from someone who had been
>using VHO and aquasun tubes for three years and loved them.  I must say that
>I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of response I received from the
>APD. There seemed to be more interest in what the word "combative" means or
>if plants think or not. 

Perhaps the real reason you didn't get more responses is that these
subjects have been beat to death many times over here on APD.  Another
reason is that I think very few aquatic gardeners are using either VHO's
_or_ CF lighting.  For most applications in the planted tank there are less
expensive forms of lighting that work at least as well.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association