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flying fox

3203 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mistergreen
I have a bit of a bba problem in a planted (pressurized CO2) 55g tank. So I figured I should pick up a few Siamese algae eaters. I bought 3 fish. They were labeled Flying Fox. I asked the LFS if Flying Fox was the same as Siamese algae eaters and was told yes. Now as I surf the web, I see they are not. Anyone have any experience with these fish. They are very active right now and are doing some clean up, but I worry about what the eventual outcome might be.
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as far as I know true SAE's are the only thing that will eat bba. Have you looked online to see which one you actually have? They are often mislabeled and you could have actually bought SAE's.
I have two of each from what I have investigated and they both eat algae. If you have a somewhat large algae problem, don't feed them much or not at all and the algae will disappear quickly. I had a similar issue with my LFS and the same comment that they were the same.........I understand that the Chinese algae eater can be a big mean sometimes, so don't go get one of those. All of the hair algae was gone in my 29 in about 10 days or so. Just give them a chance.:redface:
SAE's eat shrimp, right?
my FF seems to graze on brown & fuzz algae.
And they are territorial btw.. they'll chase down certain fish and other FF. They seem to do better aggression wise in a large tank (100+G).
MY ff just keeps everyone out of his cave. he never hurts anything though
Telling the differences between the two is actually pretty easy. One of the easiest ways is where the black meets the other color on the side of the fish. If the line is sharp and not broken at all then it is a flying fox. If it sort of blends to make a line that isn't that sharp then it is a SAE.

If I am not mistaken, only the SAE has the set of barbels by the mouth. (I might be mistaken though).
My 10 gallon was infested with BBa and one true SAE cleared it up pretty darn quick. Petcetera, where i got them had them labeled as flying fox but I did a little research before hand and could tell the difference quite easily.
The Krib has a lot of good resources like:
Both FF and SAEs have the small barbels. They are both in the carp family. Neither eat shrimp, but FFs are territorial...actually not so much territorial, just a little aggressive. I have one FF and it will shoo away the SAEs where ever it may be sometimes.
Here are some pics of one of mine. He wasn't all that photogenic and decided to turn into the camera at the last second. I think an SAE would eat at least smaller shrimp and wouldn't be surprised if a big one will go after larger shrimp

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I never had an SAE go after shrimp, but they loved to destroy my moss.
Do real SAE and FF have a sucker mouth? My LFS has flying foxes and chinese algae eaters, but I suspect the chinese algae eaters my be mislabeled.
My two SAEs were labeled as Siamese Flying Foxes. I too did some research before I bought them and knew how to tell if they were true SAEs.

Mine do a great job cleaning up algae, and have gotten HUGE. They don't mess with my other fish or my shrimp.
The SAE's I bought were labeled Epalzeorhynchus kalopterus at the lfs tank which is a Flying Fox but they were actually true SAE's (and they are now correctly labeled). Well not positive actually, I know they are not flying fox but they might be another variant since many say one distinguishing feature is the SAE have clear fins. I thought mine were clear at least at first, but now they seem to have a very yellow cast to the fins, especially when hit by the light just so. All other features are indicitave of an SAE. Although not apparent in the pic, they have 1 set of barbels. This pic actually caught my oddball one also, who has a mostly silver head, not sure if that means anything.

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What you have there is a SAE

this is a true FF.

notice the fins & an iridescent light line above the black line too. You can also tell from the behavior.
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