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Re:SAEs attacking Angels

Ken Guin writes:

> I have just had something happened that I have never seen mentioned  on the
>  APD before. I have eight SAEs in my 110g heavily planted tank. The sizes of
>  the SAEs range from about an inch (six of them) to about four inches (two 
>  them). I also have eight adult angels in the same tank.
>  About two weeks ago, I noticed one of the big male angels turned sideways 
>  the tank. I thought he could have been in stress, so when I looked closer, 
>  noticed one of the smaller SAEs nibbling on the angel's fins. This
>  particular angel had long flowing veils and the SAE was going after them. 
>  seemed that the angel was turning sideways in an attempt to prevent the SAE
>  from nibbling on his fins.
>  I watched for a few more minutes and noticed that two more of the SAEs were
>  also nibbling on this angel's fins. Several days later, I noticed that the
>  smaller SAEs were doing the same thing to another angel with long fins.
>  Since I had never noticed this before, I thought the angels would 
>  take care of themselves because they were much larger than the SAEs.
>  Well, I was wrong. For the past week, the SAEs continued to pester the
>  angels and yesterday when I came home from work both were dead. Other than
>  the angels' fins being somewhat frayed, there were no other signs of 
>  These were very healthy two-year old angels and the remaining six are in
>  great shape, so I don't think they died from disease or bad tank 
>  If the angels died because of the SAEs' harassment (and I believe they 
>  could it be that the SAEs were starving from lack of algae and they decided
>  to feed on the angels' fins. Has anyone else ever noticed such SAE behavior
>  before?
>  Any suggestions as to what might be going on here would be greatly
>  appreciated?

I have 4 SAEs and eight angels in a planted 55 gallon.  So far, no problem.  
I have two possible sugestions, and without actually being there, I can't say 
either of them is even close to correct.

1) Are you sure you have SAEs and not flying foxes?  If not, check some of 
the web-photos to be sure.

2) Algae and fungus are pretty similar in "feel" (let's not get a flamefest 
going now about systemic differences,  I know the differences.).  maybe they 
taste similar.  Are you sure the angels didn't have something growing on 
their fins?  It's unlikely that the SAEs would develop a taste for fin and 
then stop when their first targets were gone.  I had a CAE once (and only 
once) that slowly and systematically wiped out the majority of my tank before 
I figured it out.

I've had swords nipping at angel fins until they were pretty tattered, but 
the angels never died from it.

Bob Dixon