I have 2 SAE that I purchased when had an outbreak of BBA- I bought them as Crossocheilus oblongus from Wetspot that is better than most at properly identifying their fish. Within a few months they grew quickly ( they get very large) and one killed the other one.
They both ate flake and pelleted foods from the beginning and Ive never seen them have the slightest interest in eating anything else. certainly nothing green. The one I have left can be very aggressive and chases my corydoras on occasion during feeding. I keep threatening him to take to the LFS where he will be sold to someone who gives him less than ideal conditions- but, Im sure I never will.
That is, he will get a reprieve unless he actually kills another fish. But, his aggression towards the corydoras is a short chase- nothing like my cichlids that will chase each other clear across the tank.
Interesting anecdote. Mine, which I've recently noticed doesn't seem to have the anal spot, takes great interest in flake food. However, I've been taking care to feed only when he is preoccupied across the tank, and he is maintaining his constant grazing on algae. Whenever I have someone else feed the aquarium for a while, he seems to have no interest in eating algae for a while after that.
Mine shows similar aggression. He'll almost just twitch at another fish, and when they dart away he'll keep swimming as before.
I didn't have much luck at all with the one I got, didn't eat anything and my tank was too small. Get the right pleco and it will eat much more algae than Otos and it eats GSA as well.
If your tank is too small for an SAE, would it not be too small for a pleco?
It is very interesting that yours have not touched algae. It seems, based on reports I have received, that everyone seems to have different results with these fish. Take, for example, Dr. Loiselle's write-up about Crossocheilus oblongus, C. reticulatus, and others (Here
). He says it took a single SAE only one week to clear a 29 gallon of black beard algae...the same fish that won't touch your algae! It is certainly frustrating, but I wonder if slightly different strains of algae, availability of other options, or other external factors like water quality are somehow affecting the dietary choices of these fish.
That's an interesting link. I haven't even heard of many species reference therein; I'll give that another read-through before I stock my new tank.
That seems very plausible that varying environmental factors can drive algae-eating behavior. And some of it might just come down to fish individuality - we all know of those certain species where some are a disaster (e.g. eating shrimp or plants) and others a dream.
Maybe, in my case, the availability of prepared food made it choose that over the algae? I imagine if I hadn't had to feed juvenile cichlids and tetras daily they may have eaten more algae. Looking back, also, I have geophagus that need a high percentage of green in diet, I was feeding New Life Spectrum Algaemax ( still do)- this may have contributed as well to their lack of interest in Algae growing in tank.
That's consistent with my experience. You might try feeding floating food instead, as I've found mine is a little slow to realize it's on the surface.