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SAEs & R. wallichii

Karen asked about my water conditions in connection with SAEs eating R.
wallichii shoots.  Yes, my water is quite soft.  It comes in from the
Sierras at about 2 - 3 dKH and about 3 dGH.  I add baking soda and Seachem
Equilibrium to bring both of those readings up to 4 - 5 degrees.  

My SAEs are the classic variety (as shown on Lissa's web site).  And they
have been good algae eaters when I was growing more algae in my tanks than I
am now.  <g>  I have tended to spoil them in their old age.  Despite their
turned down mouths they are pretty good at competing for food and just seem
to love live food.  They get right in there with the rainbows and get their
share of the good stuff.  What I have always found so interesting is that of
the 30 + species of plants I have grown in my tanks, only R. wallichii and
java moss are eaten occasionally by my rather well-fed SAEs.  

Don't anyone take this the wrong way.  My SAEs are fat and happy and playful
as they school around together.  Also very peaceful.  They are a fun fish to
keep and I'm quite happy that they have found additional delicacies in my
tank.  I am, however, trying to do something with Java moss on a piece of
driftwood in the 40 gallon, but I guess it will have to wait for another
iteration.  Another thought, Karen, is the possibility that these plants
concentrate some nutrient that the SAEs need or benefit from.  This is what
I imagine my cat is doing in the backyard when he eats grass.  <g>

Regards, Steve Dixon