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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://youtu.be/frDm_MIxNxg

I was blessed to find some good SAE's at Petsmart. They were labeled as Siamese flying foxes. After some study, turns out there are multiple levels you have to look at to get a good SAE. First level is:

1. No sucker mouth
2. The Black stripe has to extend into the tail.
3. The fins have to be clear with no yellow or black in them.

These three will rule out Chinese algae eaters, False algae eaters, and Flying Foxes. If you get any of those you may have trouble with them only eating fish food, not eating algae, and aggression.

But it still doesn't mean you have a good SAE. The second part is harder. Apparently, there are about 4 different types of SAE's that all live in the same waters.

Crossocheilus oblongus
Crossocheilus Langei
Crossocheilus atrilimes
Crossocheilus citripinnis

The oblongus (I believe is also called siamensis) is the truest form and is apparently nearly impossible to find. I couldn't completely confirm, but from mixed reports, these have no Barbels. That might be why some argue that if they have barbels, they aren't true SAE's.

However, though they might not be the
siamensis, they could be the Langei, which is what I believe I have, and they do have Barbels. Langei is what you want and I can confirm they have eaten nearly all my BBA/Red Algae.

The problem is you could also get the atrilimes which like soft plants and moss better than algae. The only difference I have found between the atrilimes and the Langei is the atrilimes nose curve down more.
Calling All Siamese Algae Eater Owners! | AquariaCentral.com

This thread is where I got most of my info from and it has a picture of the atrilimes and the Langei side by side so you can see the subtle different.

I think all these types is the reason for all the frustration with SAEs. You see a lot of people saying they didn't eat the algae, or they ate the plants, or they are mean, and I think it is possible they got the wrong ones.

Ok, so I made all these claims, but do I have proof to back it up. Well, my aquarium was nearly over run with black and red fuzzy algae. I almost threw away my Java Moss because it was so covered. In three days my aquarium looks completely different. They have almost completely cleaned the algae off the moss without hurting the moss itself. They cleaned the leaf plants who's edges were all covered.

I also had micro swords that were about 60% dead strands from shipping, and they completely ate all the dead strands, but didn't touch the live ones. I never expected that they would make this much of a difference! They seem very peaceful to the other fish as well.

So if you see these at Petsmart, I think they are worth the risk. Mine do have barbels, and maybe they aren't the absolute truest form, but they are getting the job done way better than expected. Hopefully this will help people pick the right ones.

A few other quick descriptions of mine are a black anal spot, a very bland tan appearance, and each scale is wreathed in black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am trying to keep them in the dark about that, hopefully it will be a while. Tonight they were swimming by the fish food and not paying it much mind. Hopefully it stays that way. As they finish off the algae I might start feeding them cucumbers so they don't get tempted with the plants, but so far so good!
 

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Yeah, I went and bought 7 of them at Petsmart 2 weeks ago. They look like Crossocheilus Langei to me. No black spot underneath.
 

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I saw some of these at my petsmart and was so tempted to get 3. My wife talked me out of it since we weren't 100%. Are these OK with discus?
 
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