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SAEs and Wallichii

Dave and Karen wrote:

>>> Dave Whittaker wrote:
	>SAEs will eat a Mayaca species which I keep. I believe
	>someone re-classified it as Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan". I'd
	>be surprised were they not to molest R. wallachii as well.
	>They tear at my hygro leaves, but don't seem to bother
	>the Eusteralis stellata. Both plants are a real challenge
	>as a previous poster has mentioned.

I haven't had Euseralis in a long time, so I can't remember.  But I grow R.
wallachii regularly, and have SAE's in every tank.  They have never touched
_healthy_ R. wallachii, but I have seen them eat it down to the stem if it
starts to go down hill at all.  I think this is the same sort of behavior
that has occasionally given snails a bad name.  I think that many soft
leaved plants become more palatable when they have gone around the bend a
bit. (like an over-ripe banana attracting fruit flies)

I have grown wallichii well for a couple of years now and in my case my fat
SAE's who also love to eat the frozen live foods and who are not too
interested in the bit of algae here and there in my big tank just love to
mow down fresh wallichii.  The tender new growth is their favorite part of
the plant.  My wallichii is in favorable conditions and it fights back by
sprouting side branches as the new growth get mowed down.  Just as the side
branch new growth looks like it is getting a good start, the SAEs notice the
potential feast, and take appropriate action.  I have tried doubling up the
amount of wallichii and had a little better luck, but if I travel and miss
feeding for a day or two, the wallichii is mowed down.  I have also tried
just giving in to the SAEs and giving them all the live food they want.
That makes them happy as clams, but is not a guaranty on the wallichii
either.  I have tentatively decided that SAEs and wallichii are not a
compatible match for my conditions.  But I'm quite sure my wallichii is
offering good strong growth and putting up a fight.
Regards, Steve Dixon