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FAQs on SAEs, Other Crossocheilus species

Related Articles: Siamese Algae Eaters

Related FAQs:  Flying Foxes, Algae Eaters

Not the real thing at right

SAE, ID     9/17/13
Dear WWM,
Great website by the way.  I think this is a real sae from my research but I'd really appreciate your opinion... Real, fake or flying???
<Looks like the real thing to me
Also, it seems very timid I think this is because of the nature of the fish and because its in a new tank but should I consider a group (maybe 2 or 3) or is it okay alone?
<Better in groups; happier, more interesting>
My tank is heavily planted 120litre with community fish 1 bn Pleco,  4 peppered cories and 5 tetras and 8 emerald eye Rasboras and an Opaline gourami.
Many thanks
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>
SAE    /Neale     9/18/13
Dear WWM,
Great website by the way.  I think this is a real sae from my research but I'd really appreciate your opinion... Real, fake or flying???
<Looks like the true Siamese Algae Eater to me. Flying Fox lacks the black band on the tail fin Should have one pair of whiskers, too. The classic reference guide for comparing the various look-alike species is:
There's a lot of good material at The Krib!>
Also, it seems very timid I think this is because of the nature of the fish and because its in a new tank but should I consider a group (maybe 2 or 3) or is it okay alone?
<As you've seen, this schooling species is shy and nervous alone. Will it live, yes, but it may never really settle down. A trio is better bet than two, but as with any schooling fish, keeping fewer than 5-6 specimens doesn't always work because the pecking order within the group may be so truncated that bullying occurs.>
My tank is heavily planted 120 litre with community fish 1 bn Pleco, 4 peppered cories and 5 tetras and 8 emerald eye Rasboras and an Opaline gourami.
<Sounds busy!>
Many thanks
<Welcome, Neale.>

Siamensis and Black Ghost Knife Fish, incomp.  4/7/2011
<Hi there>
I have a 60 gallon tank with 4 Siamensis (3 inches), an Angel, Pleco, a few Rasboras and Rummies, and a 14 inch Black Ghost Knife Fish that I've raised from 3 inches.
I've had the Black Ghost about 5 years; the Siamensis I got about a year ago.
Everyone seemed to be getting along fine until the other day I noticed the Black Ghost had a wound at the underside of the base of his tail. At first I thought he might have caught it on some driftwood, but later I noticed that the flesh was actually gone down to the fine bones in his fin. Then today, I caught my Siamensis nibbling on him at the wound site. In fact, they would not leave him alone, even though he kept trying to get away. I isolated him immediately, but my question is, do you think the Siamensis might have caused the wound in the first place, or were they merely taking advantage of the opportunity for fresh sushi?
<Can't say, but I know of other cases of SAEs doing such nibbling>
From everything I've read, they are not aggressive towards other fish in a community tank. I've double-checked to make sure they are indeed true Siamese Algae Eaters, and not one of the false variety, which, I understand, can be aggressive. They are definitely the true Crossocheilus siamensis, so I'm puzzled.
I'm definitely keeping Squiggles (the Black Ghost) in quarantine until he is healed, but I'm concerned about putting him back in the tank with the Siamensis, especially now that they've had a taste. Your thoughts?
<I would be (unfortunately) separating these fishes. Bob Fenner>
Jaz Taylor

dead SAE   8/27/09
The Siamese algae eater I've had for at least 1 1/2 years died suddenly.
<As always, do a check of water conditions, at minimum, temperature, pH, and nitrite. Don't leave this too long after the death -- a nitrite spike for example can die down within hours, so a nitrite test you do too late
won't tell you much of anything.>
I found him floating vertically at the bottom of the tank tonight, with a slightly reddened abdomen and what appear to be some of his intestines floating outside of his body. This seems pretty specific, not the typical
fish death I've seen.
<Unfortunately, it's not at all specific. The red abdomen is pretty common, and simply implies blood has collected there, or else the skin has been damaged by a scavenger of some kind. As for the guts hanging out, if your tank has something like a Plec or other scavenger, the belly of a dead fish will be quickly opened up.>
Any ideas what caused this?
<Almost always, sudden, premature deaths are caused by environmental issues. The chances of anything else being to cause are very small. Check water quality is good, water chemistry stable, temperature is where it should be, circulation of the water remains sound, and that there's been no nearby use of insect sprays, paints, or anything else that might poison the water. I'll make a general point here: tanks that are fine for years sometimes "go bad" when people have underestimated the amount of aquarium space and/or filtration required. A tank that worked when your Siamese Algae Eater was a baby might not work once the fish was full grown. As the fish grow, water quality and/or chemistry will become inadequate, fish will
die off, until the aquarium settles down to its maximum stocking level.>
<Cheers, Neale.>

Siamese Algae Eater Question, beh.  7/6/08 Hi, Two of my Siamese algae eaters constantly do this strange thing where they look like they are attacking each other, but no harm is being done. When they do this, they take turns - one looking like the aggressor and the other the just rotating while being "attacked". They do this for about 10-15 minutes each time. I have four SAEs in my tank, but it's only the largest two who do this. Should I be worried about this behavior or is this normal for them? Thank you, Lydia <Hello Lydia. What you describe is very normal indeed. Crossocheilus siamensis is a schooling fish in the wild, but when kept in very small numbers (such as four) the stronger fish will chase the weaker fish. This happens with other schooling fish sometimes, most notoriously Tiger Barbs. In any case, the solution is simple: buy at least two more specimens, and you should find they settle down and school together properly. Occasional chases will still happen, but not enough to worry about or to stress any one fish. Cheers, Neale.>

Siamese Algae Eaters as Betta Companions... No   10/22/07 Hey, all! <Tori> My roommate and I are planning our first aquarium, and she really loves the male Betta fish. I'd like to get an Eclipse 5 gallon tank, and I'm looking at getting some algae eaters as well. I know that Corys make good Betta companions, but I've heard positive things about Siamese Algae Eaters, namely that they're not as aggressive as the Chinese ones and are smaller. Would these be all right to get, or should I stick with the Corys or some Cherry Shrimp? <These latter are far better companions/choices... Along with maybe large non-hermaphroditic snails. SAE's require much more pristine, larger conditions...> Also, would it help my fish to get along better if I bought a tank that is longer as opposed to taller, so that bottom feeders would have more space? <Yes... much better for all> (I'm looking at the Eclipse Hexagon versus the Eclipse Corner.) Thank you! ~ Tori <Thank you! I like the way you think! Bob Fenner>

Siamese Algae Eaters killing Shrimp? 10/14/07 Hi, Great Site! I recently purchased 2 Siamese Algae Eaters (as far as I can see the are the real ones, not just flying foxes etc) to add to my 70L tank. The tank had one overly curious Zebra Loach, some Neon Tetras and two large-ish Amano Shrimps. Before buying the SEA's I checked whether they would cause any problems with anything I had in there, just in case, and nothing came up. They're only small at the moment, about 2.5 cm. So I bought some. The next morning after putting them in the tank I noticed one of my Amano Shrimps laying dead in the entrance to a pipe that I've laid under the gravel for the loach to hide in, his lair if you will. And the other shrimp was hiding on the ground and struggling to move (later that evening I found him half eaten at the front of the tank). Is it possible that these two SAEs killed both my shrimp that were if anything a cm bigger than them? Failing that how about my Zebra Loach? He was always chasing after them, but mainly around feeding times when they were partial to nicking his pellets. But they had been fine for the year or so that I had them together for. Thanks in advance for your help in solving my mystery! Andy <Andy, SAEs, and indeed most small Crossocheilus/Epalzeorhynchus-type fish are relatively harmless towards shrimp. Many "Amano" style aquaria mix the two animals together. On the other hand, Loaches are dedicated invertebrate feeders, and many species are equipped with strong jaws expressly modified to crush shells. Shrimps are especially vulnerable at moulting times, and it may well be that your Loach had ignored them until one particular moulting event where "he had a bit of a nibble" and found the results were tasty! Cheers, Neale.>

Crossocheilus denisonii in a community aquarium   8/23/07 Hello WWM crew! <Hello!> I have a 65 gallon tall planted tank (dimensions are 30" Tall, 28" Wide, and 18" deep), it has been running for about 6 months and I am considering adding a small group of Crossocheilus denisonii. The current inhabitants are: 8 Female Betta splendens 5 Melanotaenia lacustris 9 Brochis splendens 3 Caridina multidentata 5 unidentified algae shrimp, the LFS called them "Blueberry shrimp" overall brownish with a little blue tint, especially on the belly, overall the size and body shape looks exactly like the Amanos and a few ghost shrimp <Very nice selection of beasties. I'm a great fan of Brochis spp., a sadly overlooked but very rewarding fish.> The Bettas came from an earlier smaller tank that got converted to salt water, they have been living happily together for almost a year. They don't bother each other or any of the other inhabitants, although they like to play with the Corys sometimes, following them around on their scavenging and mimicking them, its kind of funny to watch really... (I don't believe they do it because they are hungry, as they get as many bloodworms as they can eat in a few minutes every other day, and they get to snack daily on some of the micro pellets for the Melanotaenia lacustris. Plus they usually take a bite or two out of the wafers for the Corys as they are sinking to the bottom'¦) <I've had similar experiences with female Betta, and consider them rather jolly animals, and much more fun (and easier to keep) than the males.> I eventually plan on rounding out the stocking with a group of 30-50 Paracheirodon axelrodi, and perhaps a handful of Carnegiella strigata as replacements to the Bettas if I decide to move them back into a smaller Betta only tank (but they seem to be enjoying the community tank, so I am leaning towards leaving them...) The cardinal's I plan on adding weekly in groups of 10 until I get a dense enough shoal, I will also be adding a second canister filter around the time I start adding the cardinals.... <Very good. I love hatchetfish (we have similar tastes in fish, I suspect) and have found them to be quite entertaining animals. Not long lived though, 3-4 years seems about the tops. But definitely "something different".> Anyway my main question is would one or a small group of Crossocheilus denisonii be appropriate in this community? I have read conflicting reports on their temperament ranging from them being extremely docile for Barbs and enjoying being housed in small schools to them being highly aggressive towards their own kind and everything else in the tank. I am going for a peaceful community here, but I would like a few larger fish as the centerpiece for the aquarium, and I don't think I can keep up with the water change regimen for discus... so if Crossocheilus denisonii is not a good candidate for this setup I would love to hear a few suggestions for me to research for something that will be eye catching and reach a size around 4-6" that will be peaceful in a group of 1-5 in this community. <Crossocheilus denisonii is a difficult fish in many ways. For a start, it's a subtropical fish, and in tropical tanks I suspect by analogy with other subtropical fish you're not going to see this fish at their best. Lifespan is probably less, too. Anyway, while they work with rainbowfish, clown loaches, plecs, and other robust species of similar size, I wouldn't trust them with small tetras, Betta spp., or shrimps. They're basically on par with something like a red-tail shark.> I also have three other quick questions: one; how many algae shrimp would be appropriate for a tank this size? <As many as you want.> two: when I first added the rainbows there were three, and they did nothing but hide for a week, I figured that the group was too small and added two more, within 20 minutes all 5 were out in the open and schooling around, but one of the original three became dominant rather quick, he chases the other 4 around on a semi regular basis, but doesn't seem to pick on any one more than the others, this behavior is typically the worst around feeding time. Is this anything I should be overly concerned with? my LFS will exchange him for another one if I want, or I have been thinking of adding 2 more to increase the group to 7 (and maybe down the road increasing it to 9) would that have any effect of the behavior? <Not 100% typical behaviour for rainbows, but not unknown either. Adding some more *females* may help calm things down. But otherwise, don't worry too much.> and my last question: I have had a small amount of blue-green (I think) algae showing up on some of the leaves of some of the plants, I think the cause was lack of circulation in the bottom of the tank, I added a powerhead and that seems to have done the trick, it is gone from the plants that were only lightly affected, but a few have some patches that are not going away. none of the plants were expensive, and most were given to me by friends, and I have no problem throwing them out and replacing them if that is the best course of action, but I would appreciate any suggestions on how to alleviate this that you have, I would like to get it under control (as in completely out of the tank'¦ as I understand it Blue-green algae is BAD) before I add any new fish. <Blue-green algae isn't "bad" in the sense of harming your fish. But it is "bad" in the sense of being difficult to eradicate. The only practical solution is removing infected leaves or objects on sight. Once it's established, I've not yet found a reliable way of removing it completely. What is true is that certain things encourage it: high nitrates/phosphates, compacted substrates, direct sunlight for example. As ever, getting the vascular plants to grow abundantly and rapidly is the single best way to inhibit algae/blue-green algae growth.> Thanks for all the help! ~Bryan <Good luck, Neale>

Re: Crossocheilus denisonii in a community aquarium   8/23/07 Dear Neale, <Hello Bryan,> thanks for responding so fast! Well if the Crossocheilus are subtropical then they are definitely out, I keep the tank right around 77-78 F. <Fishbase gives a preferred temperature range of 15-25 C, which is 59-77 F. The optimum is somewhere in the middle, around 20 C/68 F.> Excluding Discus do you have any suggestions for a "centerpiece" for this tank? I'd love to keep Discus, but I'm hesitant to try as I don't want to kill a $50 fish.... (or any fish for that matter) I typically do two 10 gallon water changes a week (sometimes one 15-20 gallon change if I am really busy) I don't think I can manage more than two maybe three water changes per week in the long run, but I could certainly change more water at each water change... would I be better off not trying to keep Discus? <Modern, tank-bred discus are much easier to keep than their wild-caught ancestors. Assuming you have some experience of keeping fish, then there's no reason not to try keeping discus. The big mistake people make with discus is keeping them too cold -- they really do need higher-than-average temperatures, around the 28-30C/82-86 F. When kept too cold, their immune and digestive systems don't work so well, and that leads to them becoming sickly. Not all tropical fish will tolerate such conditions. Check your species against a reliable aquarium book or on Fishbase if you want to keep discus in this aquarium.> I couldn't agree with you more on the Corys, they are by far the most entertaining fish I keep (including saltwater) and I only wish I had a long tank instead of a tall one so I could keep more of them... originally I had planned on keeping the tank confined to a South American / Amazon biotope, but the bettas moved in'¦ and I just had to have the rainbows'¦ <I'm the same. My big community tank contains fish from South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. I don't really see a big deal with doing this, though I appreciate the idea of creating biotope aquaria. But sometimes you have to work with the fish available in your neighbourhood, and that means bending the rules.> Anyway I thought of a few more questions after I sent the first email.... first of all if I decided to add a few Carnegiella strigata could I keep the bettas in the tank or would it be more advisable to move them as both species fill the same niche? And what is an appropriate sized group for hatchets? <I'd tend to recommend against Carnegiella and towards Thoracocharax and Gasteropelecus spp if you can. The latter two genera tend to contain more robust species that handle the rough and tumble of a community tank rather better than little Carnegiella. As for how hatchets would interact with the Betta... they probably wouldn't. Hatchets stay in the open water, Betta stay among the plants. Hatchets aren't strict surface dwellers, or at least Thoracocharax and Gasteropelecus aren't. They dip down as much as 10 cm from the surface, only really going to the very top at feeding time. My Gasteropelecus sternicula are fairly pushy little creatures and have acquitted themselves well with halfbeaks as far as surface feeding goes, so I don't reckon you'll have problems.> Also, when the tank was first set up I put in about a dozen ghost shrimp of varying sizes, now there seem to be only two or three of the larger ones left, could something be snacking on them? Or is it more likely just a life cycle thing? I haven't noticed any Amano's or "Blueberries" going missing, and they are substantially smaller than the Ghost Shrimp... (better knock on wood after that one'¦) And lastly do you have a guess at what the "Blueberries" might be? I was thinking they may just be a color variant of one of the more common types such as Caridina japonica or Neocaridina heteropoda, the general size and body structure seems to be the same, it's just the coloration that is different... (by the way one got up pretty high on the tank on a piece of airline tubing and a got a good look at him backlit by the halide, backlit they are partially transparent and you can really see the blue...) I will try to get a picture, but I don't know if my camera is good enough to get good detail on something that small... <Freshwater shrimps are odd like this. Sometimes they thrive, and sometimes they don't. I've started keeping cherry shrimps, and have been pleasantly surprised to discover they multiply quite quickly, so in the space of about two months I've gone from having two to having around a dozen. But cherry shrimps don't have marine/brackish water larval stages so do well in aquaria for their entire life cycle. Amano shrimps, on the other hand, won't breed in aquaria because the larvae develop in brackish/salt water. Some people have done this, but it's a chore, and beyond what the average hobbyist is going to want to do. Shrimps tend to require clean water and most aren't wild about acid pH or low hardness, so check these factors. They also eat algae and microbes, rather than anything prepared, so be sure and let some algae grow. I find Java moss works well, too. It collects fragments of food, and microbes grow in the moss. The shrimps happily spend hours picking through it.> Thanks Again! ~Bryan <Good luck, Neale>

Breeding Siamese Algae Eaters 7/6/07 Hi: I have searched your site and the web and I'm not finding anything on raising Siamese Algae Eater fry. I have two SAE's as far as I can tell in my community tank. See attached pictures. They have been keeping my beard algae in check. <Greetings. To the best of my knowledge, Crossocheilus siamensis has not been bred in home aquaria.> I put plant clippings from my large community tank in a five gallon tank to grow them up and replant them in the large community tank. A couple of days ago I noticed a fry swimming in the tank. It is white/clear with a slightly yellow body and has a long body like the swordtail fry I use to raise. I'm guessing it came from an egg attached to one of the plant clippings. What do I feed it? I have been giving it powdered and liquid fry food and some frozen baby brine shrimp but I can't tell if it is eating it. I would like to raise this little guy up to see what it is. <Almost certainly *is* a Swordtail fry, in which case, a mix of algae and finely powdered flake is the ideal diet. With baby livebearers, the "art" is to feed often but in small amounts. Six meals is entirely standard among 'pro' livebearer breeders. As with any baby animal, their metabolism is jigged to grow rapidly while eating more or less continually. As fish mature, their growth rate slows down, which is why people who underfeed baby fish early on end up with smaller fish that never get to maximum adult size.> Any help you can give me would be appreciated. If these are flying foxes and not true SAE's what do I feed the fry? <Your fish look like true Crossocheilus siamensis. The Flying Fox Epalzeorhynchus kalopterus is admittedly similar, with the mid-body band running onto the tail fin, but Epalzeorhynchus kalopterus also has dark bands on the dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins, which your specimen appears to lack. Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus is marginally less peaceful than Crossocheilus siamensis and is a solitary rather than schooling fish.> <Hope this helps, Neale>

SAEs, Foxes... sel.   4/24/07 I am also having trouble finding places that sell real Siamese algae eaters.  I've read a lot about how most fish advertised as SAEs are actually flying foxes, and based on the descriptions, this seems to be the case. <Often the case, but does it matter? They're all pretty similar, and none of them are either [a] totally peaceful or [b] going to stop algae growing in your tank. The flying fox is marginally more aggressive, but in your 55 gallon tank this shouldn't be an issue. The main thing is you avoid the notorious "Chinese algae eater" Gyrinocheilus as this is a very disruptive animal. Maybe even consider something else entirely, like a Bristlenose Plec, which will graze algae but otherwise keep entirely to itself (and mostly out of view).> I live in Ann Arbor, do you know of any places that sell SAE's in that area? <From my vantage point in Berkhamsted, England, I can't really offer any useful advice on the variety of fishes sold in your area. If all else fails, talk with your local mom-and-pop tropical fish store, and ask if they'll place a special order. Many will, particularly if these are fish that they can easily sell once you've take your pick from the batch. Cheers, Neale>

Fish ID   12/14/06 I purchased this fish and forgot the name/type.  Can you please ID this fish? < You have a Roseline Shark from India, Crossocheilus denisonii.-Chuck>

Looking For Roseline Sharks, Crossocheilus denisonii  - 03/12/2006 Hi Chuck,  Thanks for such a speedy reply.  Question - Does the roseline shark go by any other name?  I have the Aquarium Atlas by Riehl and Baensch and was unable to find anything that went by that name.  Is there another resource where I might find a photo?  Need to check up on habitat requirements.  Thanks again.  Kerry <Crossocheilus denisonii also goes by the name  Denison's Flying Fox or Denison's Barb. They come from India and like neutral water in the mid 70's. They get about 6 inches long. You should be able to do a google search on the internet and find a photo. If not look at the  Baensch Atlas Photo Index 1-5. They are actually much prettier in person than should in that particular photo.-Chuck>

Pedant/ic alert!  - 01/03/2006 Robert, Sorry, can't help it, but ... <Heeee!> "wherefore art thou" means "why are you" not "where are you" as commonly believed.  Juliet was declaiming, "Romeo, why are you in my life?" supposedly confounding it so terribly, and not asking where is Romeo currently running around impetuously as most actors have him doing. <Yep... am semi-aware... and the pitch is sort of...> So the question, "Wherefore art thou, magical Siamese algae eaters?" could reasonably be answered, "To magically rid your tank of algae, and not because of my looks,"  as their usefulness outstrips their attractiveness. <Hotay... and don't mean to be so off-center... better question would definitely be "Wherefore art thou (used in the trade) CAEs? Gyrinocheilus aymonieri are the "why" fish in this situation/use> Thank-you for your page on these fish and their imposters.  Most helpful, information I can sure use. Bo Ure <And thank you for the lesson in Shakespearean English! BobF>

Bacterial Hemorrhagic Septicemia Hi guys, I just have a quick question, and was wondering if you could help me out? I noticed today that my Siamese algae eater has developed some red, vein-like structures around the base of its head and on its neck. They are not particularly large, but they are noticeable if you are looking at him. Aside from this, his behavior has been normal and he seems to be eating fine, and in good health. So, do you have any idea what these vein-like things might be? Thanks for answering my question, Mark <Hi Mark. Your SAE has bacterial hemorrhagic septicemia. Sounds bad, doesn't it? It's not. It's usually caused by high levels of organic material in the water. Do a few daily water changes and it should clear up on it's own. Then increase your regular water change schedule to keep things pristine. Don>

Another Mean Epalzeorhynchus bicolor.... 02/02/2004  Hello I have recently bought a red tail black shark at about 1.5''. I also bought 2 Platies (one red, one yellow). I just found out that red tail sharks do not tolerate other fish with red markings.  <Or many other fish, for that fact!>  Unfortunately enough, this is true! The shark has bitten some scales off the right side of my platy and most of it's tail too!!! It died about 3 days after but the yellow platy is doing fine.  <This aggression is not color-selective.... I suspect it is only a matter of time before you see aggression toward the yellow fellow. As they grow, Redtail black sharks tend to become quite aggressive.>  I was wondering just so this doesn't happen again what species would be compatible with a red tail black shark? (if any)  <Well, tank size would be a good help in determining this. Provided it is large enough, some of the moderately sized Gourami - Trichogaster trichopterus, in any of its color morphs (blue, gold, "three-spot", platinum....), Trichogaster microlepis (the "moonlight" Gourami), perhaps paradise fish (Macropodus opercularis), other moderately sized semi-aggressive fish would do nicely. Perhaps also giant Danios, or even the smaller Danios - these are extremely resilient fish.>  And would it bother a ghost shrimp or snail?  <Likely would eat ghost shrimp, but at the low cost, might be worth trying. Bite-sized snails will turn into snacks, but larger ones would probably be safe.>  Just one more thing, should I buy a school of neon tetras or 3 guppies (two female one male).  <To go in with the Redtail? Neither, IMO. If you must have one or the other, the guppies would fare much better than the very delicate Neons.>  Thanx for any info, Joey.  <Glad to be of service! Wishing you and your finny pals well, -Sabrina>

CO2 and SAEs Hi. <Hello.> I set up a 75g plant tank last week. I have a pressurized CO2 system with a controller (Pinpoint). I have the controller set for 6.9-6.8 ph and the KH is 4.0. <Sounds good> I picked up 5 true Siamese Algae Eating fish last Sunday. They have been doing well until yesterday. They are staying close to the bottom and not really doing much of anything. There color is ok and they don't seem to be breathing hard. Based on what I read the CO2 level shouldn't be too high for them. <Hmm....  I haven't heard of these fish having any sensitivity issues with CO2; they are very, very widely used in planted aquaria that involve CO2 injection, and regarded as one of the most efficient algae eaters for such tanks.  Do certainly check your CO2 and O2 levels, but I think it would be wise to look for other issues, as well.  Have you checked ammonia, nitrite and nitrate?  Did you quarantine the fish prior to adding them to the tank?  Are the fish showing any symptoms of illness?>   Please let me know if you have any opinion. <Well, it could be possible that they're just settling into a new environment, but certainly do be on the lookout for anything else amiss - test the above levels, fix if necessary.  If nothing is out of whack, you might try stopping CO2 for just a couple of hours to see how they respond - though I really don't expect that the CO2 is the cause of this (unless it's way off).  If they were not quarantined, I might suspect ich or some other parasite of the gills, perhaps.> Thank you.  Ken <Sure thing - hope this is just something simple!  -Sabrina>

Help with finding SAE's (Siamese Algae Eater) - 2/16/03 hello bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I live in NY and am looking for the real sae. do you have any idea where I can find & buy some ? thank you ! <no idea what the local shops inventory is around you <G> this week. But... there are several incredible aquarium clubs in New York with tens of people that surely can help. Do try the Brooklyn Aquarium Society (BAS) for regional advice on an outlet. Kindly> * note... query is in regards to this subject: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/saes.htm

Re: Otocinclus/false Siamese algae eater hello:  i read your articles about these fish.  i have a 29 gal with three Otocinclus and one false Siamese algae eater.  will they be able to keep the algae under control? <Mmm, with otherwise good husbandry (careful feeding, regular water changes...) should be able to in a planted aquarium. Bob Fenner.>

Re: Otocinclus/false Siamese algae eater okay thanks.  i do careful feeding, water changes...but only have few micro sword. <Please see here re algae control in freshwater systems: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwalgcontrol.htm and the linked pages (at top, in blue) beyond. Bob Fenner>

Planted tank algae, big mis-id'ed "eater" Quite a bit of string algae building up in one of my tanks and the outdoor pots. The pH on these guys seems to always creep up as well. <Related events.... the algae is rapidly photosynthesizing, using up alkaline reserve, in the meanwhile poisoning/outcompeting its "higher" kin the vascular plants. Neat eh?> No string algae in the fireplace tank. The fireplace tank has a pH that is constantly falling <Use a little baking soda here> and a large Siamese Algae eater. <Large? This species doesn't get that large... are you sure you have the REAL thing? Check here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/saesagb.htm Thought you had a stinky Chinese Algae Eater? Time to trade that bad boy in> Question: is the string algae related to the increasing pH?  <Yes> Note I don't see the SAE eating it. <It won't... likely a blue green, likely not a true SAE> I have a bacterial product that is supposed to get rid of it called String Algae Treatment, S.A.T., do you think it would help? <Worth trying. Pls report back to me your results. Bob Fenner>

E. kalopterus longevity? (Lifespans of captive aquatics) Hello Robert, Sorry to bother you but I just read your article on SAE "Will the Real SAE Please Swim Forward?" and I have a question that you might be able to answer. I have a Flying Fox, E. Kalopterus, that I bought in -93 or -94 (not sure which). That makes him 8 years or so. Do you know how old these fish can get? <Know of ones near a decade... bet some of the Public Aquariums in Europe have had Flying Foxes this long or longer...> He is now about 14cm (5.5 inches) and he hasn't grown much in years as far as I can tell. Thanks for your time, Steve Danielsson Stockholm <Thank you for your input. As I say, many Public Aquariums do keep, even post longevity records on their stocks. You might want to try perusing some of their sites (links on the WWM Links Page) for more here. Bob Fenner>

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