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Otos and CAE's

At 03:48 AM 12/23/99 -0500, you wrote:

>Most of the information is about identifying SAE apart from the false SAE.  
>But how about CAE and ottos?  I can't find a real picture of CAE.  All I 
>found are handdrawn pictures.  And it does looks like an otto.  
>I've asked a few FS and all of them said they are known as algae-eater.  
>Well I guess mine are most likely CAE.  I hope someone can clear this up for 

That's probably because Otos and Chinese Algae Eaters don't look anything
alike.  Otos are tiny catfish, not much more tha an inch or inch 1/2 when
full grown.  Chinese Algae Eaters, even at their smallest are usually
bigger, and they get about 6" long and grow quickly.  Even if you are
comparing BIG Otos and tiny CAE's they are not that similar.  Otos are much
wider across between the eyes, then taper toward the tail, CAE's viewed
from above are more torpedo shaped, slender from one end to the other.
Otos are white to pinkish white below, with a fairly straight deep black
stripe running the length of the body. (there may be a break in the line
close to the caudal peduncle)  The dorsal surface is grey or mottled
black/grey.  Most have some black markings on the tail fin, though the
shape of these markings varies by species. (there are a few species with
minor variations, but this fits both of the more common species)  CAE's
have a golder or browner tone, and the horizontal stripe is zig-zag,
looking sort of like a zipper.  

Try to find a store that has both in stock and look at them side by side.
This shouldn't be hard as both fish are easy to come by.  I think when
you've actually seen both, you will realize that they are really pretty
easy to tell apart.