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Steve Pushak wrote:

>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.

I think if you were able to feed your fish more and more often, that
besides the fact that they wouldn't eat your plants, you would also find
that there was enough to go around even with killies and bettas in the same
tanks as SAE's.  If a fast swimming fish isn't being fed enough to satisfy
its growth rate, it stands to reason that it will snap up all that it can
when food is introduced.  I don't have any bettas at the moment, but even
with their distinct disadvantage of long, man-made fins, the ones I've had
in the past have been able to live long and healthy lives. 

I have 3 year old killies living in with SAE's too, and able to get their
share.  There certainly _are_ killies I wouldn't mix with SAE's, but I
wouldn't mix them with any large boisterous fish no matter how
non-agressive the bigger fish were.  Generalizing about killies is sort of
like generalizing about cichlids.  There are ones that make excellent
community fish, and others that don't.  Some because they are too
agressive, others because they are too retiring, or have special dietary

I haven't kept neons in years, but I keep a school of about 50 cardinals in
with 2 6" SAE's, and again, they are able to compete well enough that they
are big and fat.  In fact, I grew most of the Cards up in the same tank the
SAE's grew up in... BOTH species got big and fat on discus food.<g>

I know George has mentioned this before, but if a tank is well planted and
fast growing, as long as it's not grossly over stocked, you can usually
feed your fish quite well without running into algae problems.  

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association