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SAEs eating plants

There are several reports of SAEs eating certain types of plants
mentioned in the APD archives. I don't believe it has anything to do
with the plants being bleached; in fact the plants in question have
never been bleached and are still eaten by the SAEs.

I know that Olga's SAEs are far less likely to eat the same plants than
mine are; they also grew much faster than mine. I think Olga feeds her
fish more generously than I do and more frequently. Most of my fish get
flake food as their primary diet (although the killiefish always get
live food).

I think the SAEs become habituated to eating certain plants when they
get hungry. They may continue to eat the plants even when they are not
hungry. I have noticed that plant eating decreases when I provide
zucchini. The bristle nose pleco has a habit of rasping the older Ocelot
Sword leaves whenever there is no zucchini. I admit not having enough
time to devote to the care of my aquariums as I would like.

As far as SAEs being aggressive feeders, this is relative. Fish like
Bettas and Killiefish can literally starve to death when kept together
with a large population of "community" fish like Platys, Swords or other
easy to keep fish (including SAEs). I find that Neon Tetras and Cardinal
Tetras are also much less aggressive at taking food than the other fish
I mentioned.

You may have noticed I haven't been able to post much recently. This is
due to an unscheduled trip back to Alberta recently for personal
reasons, a pending software release due shortly and mortgage and house
purchase commitments. I'm glad Paul spoke up on the bleach topic; I
can't add too much more. I think Paul meant that others (non bleachers)
were reserving the term aquarist for themselves (non bleachers) not as
Karen implied (that only bleachers deserved to be aquarists). Anyhow,
its not worth quibbling over; we should not be exclusive.

BTW, I am not a rabid bleacher. I DO object to people who refer to
bleach treatment in a derogatory manner. I hope that is clear.

I offer as clarification one more time the following statement which
should be absolutely clear:

Bleach treatment, propagation by sterilized seeds, sterile tissue
culture and emerse culture are the only effective prophylactic
(preventative) methods for preventing hair algae from being introduced
into an aquarium with aquatic plants (that I am aware of). Other methods
(algae eaters and nutrient limitation) are effective methods of control
but should not be considered prophylactic measures.

Now if anyone again quotes me, please quote me accurately and do NOT
paraphrase the preceding paragraph.

I believe that sodium hypochloride (bleach) is commonly used to
sterilize tissue culture samples such as Tropica uses to propagate

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!