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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #80

Subject: Clown Loach Eating Plants?

>   I have been noticing that all my sword plants in my 29 gal tank were
>getting holes through out one or two leaves apiece.  I had suspected my
>algae Eater because I have been warned that they sometimes can attack plants.

CAE's are much more likely to attack other fish than they are plants.  They
also don't eat much algae beyond babyhood.

>Today when I woke up I heard a very annoying clicking sound from the tank. I
>turned the tank light on and waited for it to start again. The gang of 3
>clown loaches were attacking a helpless sword leaf! It amazed me to hear this
>load clicking noise and see a new hole appear where they just attacked. I
>looked on many online info source before I bought these rather expensive gems
>(clown loaches, $12 each) and nothing indicated to me that they attacked
>   My question is has anybody else experienced this same phenomenon? (Did I
>just miss that paragraph that describes their vegetarian diet?)

Yes, unfortunately, they will attack plants, and their damage is
particularly noticeable on Sword leaves and Anubias flowers.  They are neat
enough fish that many choose to keep them anyway.  There plant eating
tendencies can be curbed somewhat by feeding them cucumbr, blached zucchini
and banana.  In fact, one of the "tricks" to raising very small juvenile
Clown Loaches is to keep a piece of banana in the tank at all times.  At
small sizes, they need to eat almost continually.


>Subject: Experiences with Selling to LFS, Blah Blah [Longish]

Erik wrote:

>I have, however, discovered the alternative option, which was to bring in
>cuttings to the local aquarium club meetings. The buyer pays less than
>retail, gets good quality specimens right out of a healthy tank, and can
>ask how they were grown on the spot.  The seller gets more than wholesale,
>and knows it goes to a home where they will at least try to propagate it. 
>only downside of this has been that trimming days don't always synch up
>with club meetings. 

This is my first choice as well, but as you mentioned, It's often necessary
to trim when a meeting is just too long away.  In those cases, I'd rather
take them to the LFS than throw them in the trash.  (BTW, annual auctions
are likely to bring you even more $ for plants, particularly the more
unusual ones, or particularly well grown specimens)

>The other alternative is to trade or sell over mail.  I've also had mixed
>success with this, sometimes getting "burned" by the trade, but I take it
>in stride. 

I've also made the occasional good trade, and think this is very worthwhile
with more unusual plants.  But I don't think it's worth the time and effort
to box up stuff like Water Sprite and other fast growing common plants.

I think Steve's comment that this is an opportunity to give back to a hobby
that has been good to me is a good one.  I'd _never_ throw away plants that
I could even give away in a reasonable period of time.  I even have a tank
set up _just_ to hold cuttings of more interesting plants.  I _do_ have to
admit that I just toss the Salvinia though ;-)

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association