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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had false siamese algae eaters eat red algae? In particular black brush algae?

My goal was to buy a siamese algae eater (sae). I looked up the characteristics of the sae in Baensch Aquarium Atlas 1. I bought the fish that matched the picture. I recently learned from many internet sources that the fish pictured in the Atlas is a false sae. Here is how I know: dark lateral band does not extend into caudal fin, no anterior barbels, no crosshatch pattern on dorsal scales, light lateral band does not blend into dorsal cape, fins have a yellow hue, mouth is ringed in red, blue spot behind pectoral fins.

All of the aquarium stores in my small, isolated town do not have true saes right now.

Thanks for your help.

- Jeff
 

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CAE (which is yours) and Foxes will eat algae, its just that SAEs are a plus due to people's experience that:

1. They eat more algae and remain eating algae longer.

2. They're not aggressive.

While I agree on the second one that they aren't as aggressive, I question the first one. Yours will eat algae as well, I don't see any hard evidence that they eat any less or anymore than SAEs really....even from personal experience.

Lets just say its a big mixed rumor. I had SAEs and they didn't seem to do squat, but they love eating fish food.

I think a nice group of otos would do a lot better than SAEs, but that's just my opinion.

Now I gotta head out to OSH....sigh...getting tired of driving!!!!
 

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CAE (which is yours) and Foxes will eat algae, its just that SAEs are a plus due to people's experience that:

1. They eat more algae and remain eating algae longer.

2. They're not aggressive.

While I agree on the second one that they aren't as aggressive, I question the first one. Yours will eat algae as well, I don't see any hard evidence that they eat any less or anymore than SAEs really....even from personal experience.

Lets just say its a big mixed rumor. I had SAEs and they didn't seem to do squat, but they love eating fish food.

I think a nice group of otos would do a lot better than SAEs, but that's just my opinion.

Now I gotta head out to OSH....sigh...getting tired of driving!!!!
Actually, Chinese Algae Eaters (CAE) only eat algae while young. As they age their diet changed from algae to a more carnivorous diet at which point they will chase your fish to ea their slime coats or flesh.

I suggest you return your CAE for a Flying Fox, Otocinclus or Bristlenose Pleco. If you're looking for a fish to eat hair Algae, look into Jordanella Floridae, aka the Florida Flag Fish. It's a type of killifish native to Florida who will peck at hair algae. Most fish do not have the correct mouth for hair algae, especially suckermouth catfish or loaches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's good to hear that the fish I have will eat algae.

I have two Otocinclus sp. in the tank (15 gallon) with the false sae and they do keep the green algae in check. They don't seem to eat the red algae. I bought what I thought was a true sae to eat the red algae.
 

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Actually, Chinese Algae Eaters (CAE) only eat algae while young. As they age their diet changed from algae to a more carnivorous diet at which point they will chase your fish to ea their slime coats or flesh.

I suggest you return your CAE for a Flying Fox, Otocinclus or Bristlenose Pleco. If you're looking for a fish to eat hair Algae, look into Jordanella Floridae, aka the Florida Flag Fish. It's a type of killifish native to Florida who will peck at hair algae. Most fish do not have the correct mouth for hair algae, especially suckermouth catfish or loaches.
Natty said:
CAE (which is yours) and Foxes will eat algae, its just that SAEs are a plus due to people's experience that:

1. They eat more algae and remain eating algae longer.

2. They're not aggressive
.

That's why I said that. SAEs also tend to eat more algae while they're young, at least from my experience with them.
 

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.

That's why I said that. SAEs also tend to eat more algae while they're young, at least from my experience with them.
It was directed more toward:

Yours will eat algae as well, I don't see any hard evidence that they eat any less or anymore than SAEs really....
SAE will most likely forever eat algae, they're more for eating hair and red algae versus soft brown or green. That's what suckermouths are for.
 

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It was directed more toward:



SAE will most likely forever eat algae, they're more for eating hair and red algae versus soft brown or green. That's what suckermouths are for.
You mean pretend to eat algae. After they get a whiff of real food (what you feed the rest of your fish) they'll mostly go for that, especially as they get bigger.

SAEs are overrated IMO and if you don't control hair algae yourself, there's seriously no "algae eater" that'll be able to handle it. In the end it really depends on you.

Had 5 cases where I had hair and thread algae with SAEs in the tank, didn't find them helpful much or at all. They will help TRY to keep it down, but I don't find them effective, after a certain point they seem to ignore it altogether.

So they will eat algae, how effective they are depends on what you have in mind for them and your perspective. Even though SAEs do go after algae, their effectiveness deminishes from my experience so the term "FOREVER" that I bolded has a pretty loose meaning to it. Just because you continuously do a job throughout your life doesn't mean you retain the same optimal effectiveness or efficiency for the duration of that period.

Basically in short, SAEs can be neat, but IMO, they're just not able to keep it long enough to be worthwhile.

They're smart little things and they're anything BUT suckers :hihi:
Try catching one in a planted tank and you'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I only feed my fish (platies) twice a week. Hopefully that will force the false sae to eat some algae.

After watching the store clerk catch my fish in their planted tank there is no way I'm going to try to get it out of mine! It took them 10 minutes and when they were done they had uprooted all the plants. All that for a $4 fish.
 

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there is no way I'm going to try to get it out of mine!
When they get bigger and aggressive you may change your mind. I have SAE's that I bought online and they are full grown and do quite well in the tank. I bought what I thought were SAE's at a lfs and they turned out to be CAE's. They got big and I started missing fish. They can be caught, but in a planted tank it takes a lot of patience and ingenuity.
 

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Guys, I find that there's two tricks to catching SAEs:

Trick 1: Put a net near the surface and leave it there for a day or two. While you're feeding, the SAEs would rush up for food and you just need to pull up the net really fast. They learn very fast unfortunately.

Trick 2: I like this trick more. Just turn off your lights for a few hours, come back and get them. They'll most likely be at the bottom, sleeping. I've also used night vision on my camcorder to nab them completely in the dark. It's a dirty trick but it works fairly well for me.

Why catch them when they're fully active and alert? Just wait till they're not, makes your job a lot easier.
 

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I've also used night vision on my camcorder to nab them completely in the dark. It's a dirty trick but it works fairly well for me.
LOL,LOL. As I stated inguenuity!! I use the trap method. I cut a 2 liter bottle in half. Put the bottle on the bottom of the tank with food in it. Patiently wait. When the go in after the food I slowly put a net over the open end.
 

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LOL,LOL. As I stated inguenuity!! I use the trap method. I cut a 2 liter bottle in half. Put the bottle on the bottom of the tank with food in it. Patiently wait. When the go in after the food I slowly put a net over the open end.
LOL I tried that once and I think the other SAEs saw it and they never fell for it again or whenever they saw me they would rush the hell out of there.

Smart sneaky little bastards, they're sure fun to catch though aren't they? :hihi:

They're way too smart to stay with algae when other better food is present. Can't say I hate them but I'm not too crazy about that either LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Follow-up

It has been two weeks since I purchased my false sae. I'm happy to report that it does eat red algae.
 
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