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I am starting a 75 gal planted tank and thought I wanted to get about three Siamese algae eaters as part of the clean up crew. I plan to have 30 Cardinal tetra and eventually a few discus. I was told by one of the LFS that I should not consider Siamese algae eaters as they would also (eat) my cardinals? As small guys they probably wouldn't but he said they get big and then 'how' do you catch them? Should I steer away from the Siamese Algae eaters? what are you views on this fish. Thanks
 

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My SAE is a bully, he chases my Red Cherry Barbs constantly, but they don't seem to mind since they are quicker. But yeah, they can be aggressive especially during feeding times. As for being carnivorous, I'm not too sure about that. The constant harassment may stress out the cards...to death.

Note: LFS might be mistaking it with a CHINESE Algae eater, because those tend to be butt holes w/ other fish. Definitely do your research because there are fake SAEs, make sure you are buying the true type (search youtube/google for help w/ identification).
 

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I have 2 true SAE's in my 75g tank. The bigger of the 2 (at least 4" long and very fat) can be pushy but given their mouth structure, I would have a hard time believing he could eat another fish. If the fish was dead, he certainly could nibble it down to nothing.
 

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No, they wouldn't eat them.

I've had 5 inch true SAE and thier relatives, Reticulated Flying Foxes (Crossichelus reticulatus) with young cardinals and a ton of other small fish down to a 1/4 th of an inch in size and never had an issue.

Mine don't chase around the other fish either, even during feeding. Though sometimes they might play chase among themselves. All of mine still eat algae at their older age.
 

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I am starting a 75 gal planted tank and thought I wanted to get about three Siamese algae eaters as part of the clean up crew. I plan to have 30 Cardinal tetra and eventually a few discus. I was told by one of the LFS that I should not consider Siamese algae eaters as they would also (eat) my cardinals? As small guys they probably wouldn't but he said they get big and then 'how' do you catch them? Should I steer away from the Siamese Algae eaters? what are you views on this fish. Thanks
Hi Designs in clay plants,

I have 2 SAE's in my 30 gallon, both about 4" long, I also have a school of about 12 Cardinal Tetras and a school of 15 Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha) and have not had an issue in over four (4) years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for the wonderful 'feed' on this fish. Now I am more confused than ever. I just read an article from:
Calling All Siamese Algae Eater Owners! Discussion in 'Freshwater Bottom Dwellers' started by pinkertd, Apr 29, 2009. Seems their are even sub species and look alikes and more. So how do we know for sure if we are buying the real thing? or where? I would hope that the fish stores post the taxonomy, if that's the right word , on exactly which species they are. The article also states: worse the one and only TRUE named Crossocheilus siamensis very very rarely is imported and nearly does not exist in our tanks. I'd love to have a few of these genuine true fish but lots of questions are popping up now.
 

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Your lfs can only identify them to the best of what the wholesaler did unless they are very good at identifying the fish, which almost all are not. A true SAE will have the black of its body extend all the way through the end of its tail and also have a black patch on its under belly near the anal fin. I'm sure there are other distinctive ways to identify them. I have maybe a 3" sae in with a school of neocaridina ranging from hatchlings to adults with zero issues. It will also school with my otocinclus' which is kind of interesting/cool to watch. The only remote aggression I see is when I feed them food once or twice a week and all it does is position its body inbetween the food and shrimp. When I had amanos the mama hen Amano would actually run the sae off and make claim on the food. Funny to watch. But fish, like people can be very different
 

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SAE's are constant feeders and become aggressive usually when food is not available. I have a total of 11 SAE between 3 tanks and I've never seen them attack any of my fingerling platys or adult fish. They will try once in a while to catch the tiny new born platys to no avail. I think my bettas and adult platys do a better job at catching and eating baby fish.

They need to be housed in odd numbers and the minimum is 3. Unless they completely run out of food then I see no reason for them to attack their tank mates. The amount of food determines the size of the fish. Feed too much and get really big very quickly. Feed enough and they usually will match the tank in terms of size.
 

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Yes, keep more than one SAE, if you are going to keep any. This way they do most of their playing with each other. Three is a good number to start with. Remember they get quite big, and may then want to latch on to fish with flat flanks like angels etc...
 

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SAE are social fish and with most social fish, group sizes of 5 or more.

I got a group of literally 1" true SAE and they grew to 5" in just ONE year! :grin2: Not exaggerating. My water temps areN'T even high!
 

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The probability of a SAE eating a cardinal is about the same as the probability of our 15 lb terrier eating our 200 lb Great Dane.

It's not to say that the little bitch cannot annoy the heck out of the big guy.

 
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I personally don't have any experience with SAE, but I highly doubt they would eat your cardinals. However, if you eventually want discus, I would use caution with the SAE. There have been some reports of older SAE sucking the slime coat off discus and causing some pretty major damage. I only kept bristlenose plecos with my discus.

A bit off topic, but I would suggest keeping discus in a bare bottom discus only tank. It's much easier, especially if you do not have prior experience with discus. If you have other questions about discus keeping, send me a PM. I kept them when I lived in Bismarck, which should have fairly similar water parameters to Western ND.
 

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I personally don't have any experience with SAE, but I highly doubt they would eat your cardinals. However, if you eventually want discus, I would use caution with the SAE. There have been some reports of older SAE sucking the slime coat off discus and causing some pretty major damage. I only kept bristlenose plecos with my discus.

A bit off topic, but I would suggest keeping discus in a bare bottom discus only tank. It's much easier, especially if you do not have prior experience with discus. If you have other questions about discus keeping, send me a PM. I kept them when I lived in Bismarck, which should have fairly similar water parameters to Western ND.



Re: the first paragraph above:
I fully agree that SAE's may, on occasion, take a liking to discus' slime coats as part of their diet - it's happened to me - more than once. This usually occurs when the SAE's get older, larger, fatter & lazier. If you keep SAE's with discus, you're taking a risk this might occur, and you'd need to keep a close eye on them.
Same goes for Otocinclus and many Plecos (except BNP's) which are not usually good tank-mates for discus.
 

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My BNPs will sometimes do a mock latch on fish that are annoying them. Young livebearers can be quite inquisitive. I once tried keeping baby swordtails with baby corys probaby 3 times their size.... pecked to death.
 
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