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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1076

> Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 13:35:22 PST
> From: Roxanne Bittman <rbittman at kirk_dfg.ca.gov>
> Subject: SAE dietary preferences


> 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.

I have SAEs in two tanks (a pair in each).  The large pair in one tank are
and have always been entirely social - they're rarely move than a few
inches apart.  The half-grown pair in the second tank chase each other
about - they don't seem nearly as social as the adult pair but they also
don't seem as aggressive as Roxanne describes.  Could this be a gender
difference?  Perhaps individual variations?  A different but
similar-appearing species?

I also have 3 false SAEs.  When young they appeared very similar to SAEs,
except their fins had a yellow cast with a pink flush at the tips of the
fins and indistinct dark bars crossing the fins.  As adults these guys
aren't going to be readily mistaken for SAEs because in addition to the
fin color and the fact that the bar doesn't extend to the fork in the
tail, they have a more "barrel-shaped" body than SAEs and their scales are
dull - without the bright reflected shimmer that the SAEs have.

The false SAEs are aggressive and act much like Roxanne describes.  All
three were housed together when young and the larger of the three forced
the other two entirely into hiding.  I moved the alpha fish to another
tank.  The two remaining false SAEs don't get along, but neither is
dominant.  The other false SAE is in the tank with the pair of larger SAEs
and on occasion he chases them around a little.  The true SAEs remain
pretty good-natured about the whole thing.

The false SAEs do eat algae and given no alternative they even seem to eat
black brush algae.  The true SAEs didn't eat the brush algae until they
were about half grown.  They do eat it but its pretty obviously not their
preference.  All of those fish will eat at least some fish food.

I once had a very serious infestation of black brush algae.  It entirely
covered some fairly large rocks and created the appearance of a miniature
long-grass prairie, complete with the grass (algae) rippling in the wind
(current).  I introduced two young CAEs and they removed every speck of
the brush algae from the surface of the rocks and all other flat surfaces
in the tank.  They couldn't get to the corners and edges of the rocks or
to the edges of leaves.  O'course CAEs are not to be kept with
weak-swimming or delicate fish.

Roger Miller

yes, still in Albuquerque where the nearby mountains have been getting
snow all week, the hiking trails are closing and the skiing trails are
opening up.