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Re: SAE behavior

In the last week I have noticed some odd behavior among my SAEs.  Every
once in a while two of them will circle each other head to tail, swimming
very vigorously.  Looks like spawning behavior to me, despite their being
only 3" long (about 18 months old, I think).  And strangest of all, the
pair (but not others in the tank) had nearly lost the longitudinal stripe,
it had turned light grey and splotchy.  Anyone seen anything like this
Hi Dave:

I have three SAEs, each around 3" long, and two of them have occasionally
shown the same behavior, with the same color changes.  I've wondered if
it's spawning behavior, and I've been meaning to look into it - but the
most I've been able to find out about spawning, thus far, is what Karen R.
posted a few days ago:

"SAE's _have_ been bred not only "in captivity", but in aquariums.  And by
more than one person, although I wouldn't callit 'routine' quite yet."

Perhaps we can get her to either post more details, or get a report from
someone who  has spawned SAEs. 

Anyhow - I haven't seen the SAEs do anything unusual since I added a few
clown loaches and removed the livebearers and danios from the SAE's home
tank during the summer.  Water changes and live-food feedings didn't seem
to be trigger events, and I don't think there were any significant changes
in temperature or pH.  

Assuming that the SAE tango is some sort of spawning behavior, and not,
say, a territorial dispute, I can think of three conditions that might
possibly have precipitated each event:

1)  The addition of algae to the tank (for the benefit of my late pitbull
2)  An increase or reduction in the (small) amount of salt added to the
tank for the benefit of the swordtails and platies.  I stopped doing this
when the swords and platies were moved to another tank.
3)  Hormones from other spawning cyprinids - each time that I saw the SAEs
doing their strange little circling-dance-and-color-change routine, there
were zebra danios spawning in the same tank.  I've seen anecdotal evidence
that the spawning of one species of fish can influence the spawning of
other species (under aquarium conditions) - FWIW.  (And, BTW, when I had
only one SAE, s/he used to follow the zebras around the tank while they
were spawning, with what seemed to me to be a  kind of "Hey guys, wait for
me!" attitude.)  (Why, yes, I _do_ spend a lot of time sitting on front of
the fish tank - why do you ask?)

Since I don't keep a log, I'm relying on memory to support the above
guesswork; and if my past experience is any indication, my memory is every
bit as reliable as a '75 Chevy Nova.