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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #726
> A local fish shop keeps the SAEs in a tank that contains an
> ornament with guess what, attached black brush algae. They
> don't touch the stuff, nor do they eat a particular variety
> of hair algae also present.
One explanation for this is that the SAEs are getting enough fish
food to curb their appetite for red algae. Many have noted and warned
that SAEs' red algae consumption rate goes down when there is an abundance
of fish food, which they prefer.
> I am a little disappointed that to date no one has
called into > question the blanket statement "siamese algae eaters eat red
> algae." The numerous letters that Doug has reportedly received
> testifying to the opposite casts doubt on the truth of this
> statement. That they eat the spores is a hypothesis.
> As you may have guessed, I have some basic questions.
> 1) Has anyone ever actually seen an SAE eat black brush algae?
I have :-). When we first received some in our store, I ran a
little experiment: I isolated them all in one chamber of a system, and
began introducing red algae infested plants from other systems into the
chamber w/ the SAEs. I watched them as they began to swarm over the red
algae, greedily nibbling away. They virtually wiped out all the red algae
on those plastic plants, and on other plants I put in subsequently. While
they were eating red algae in one chamber, I took other infested plastic
plants from other systems, and put them in the same system as the SAEs,
but in a different chamber. The red algae remained on those plants, until
I moved said plants into the chamber with the SAEs. These SAEs were
relatively young, being about 1.5". During the couple of weeks I was
running this little experiment, I made sure to feed the SAEs very little
fish food. The SAE chamber is now being shared with some young
surinamensis (or proximus or ...?). Thanks to the gluttony of the little
surinamensoids, lots of food goes in there, and perhaps coincidentally,
the consumption rate of the red algae has slowed to just about 0.
Different size SAEs have been in there with the surinamensis, including
some the same size as the original batch, but none have shown that much
interest in the red algae.
The red algae was, btw, not what i would call young and fresh,
since it had been on the plastic plants for some time, and much of it was
> 3) Has anyone ever introduced SAEs into a tank containing
> audouinella and seen the algae disappear all the while
> maintaining adequate nutritional levels for the plants
> and algae? If not how do we know that the algae decline
> is due to the efforts of the SAEs and is not the result
> of lack of nutrients.
In addition to the above piece of pontification :-), let me add
that one of my co-workers took home a couple and put them in one of his
tanks which was infested with red and some kind of filamentous algae: the
SAEs made short work of all of it.
> > By the way, I really love these
little guys. >
They are kinda fun to watch, aren't they!