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Discussion Starter #1
I finally couldn’t take it any more! My Siamese Algae Eaters were just not eating algae and devastating my plants! I went to my LFS and traded my three SAE’s for three Oto Cats. I know that this was not an equal trade on a cost basis but I hate SAE’s. They are nasty and aggressive. They attack other fish and devour certain plants.

Is my experience common?
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

I dont think you have (had) SAEs based on my experiences keeping them.
Sounds VERY uncharacteristic.
http://www.thekrib.com/Fish/Algae-Eaters/

Otos are great but fussy about water conditions and acclimation plus they really only eat green algae.

good luck.
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

In my experience with larger sae's and even plecos, once they get old and or lazy they would rather eat flake or bloodworms then boring old algae. I keep them because i have room and like to know the have a great home.
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

I've heard of SAE's eating plants, but if they are very territorial and aggressive it sounds like you had one of the "False" SAE's (flying fox/etc).
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

I have had them for over a year and they still eat algae, don't harass other fish, and they never eat my plants.
 

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Adult SAE's definitely develop an appetite for a variety of 'greenery', and not just algae. :( You cannot keep moss, wallichii, and a variety of fine leaved plants can all be their own personal salad bars. BUT, I have found that if I don't have one in each of my 50's traces of bba start to show up. My CO2 levels are fine, and over time I have just attributed it to my water conditions (very hard). You learn to live with them if you have to.
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

maybe you guys are feeding them too much? I feed mine once a day with blood worms. They never eat my plants and always eat algae, maybe I am just lucky?
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

So far, my SAE isn't eating any plants, but he is an aggressively territorial b*st*rd.

Unfortunately, his territory is wherever he happens to be at the moment, so it's more like a personal space bubble. Any other fish gets to close to him, and he chases them off. :axe: Doesn't seem to nip, just chases. Just a crotchety, grumpy fish who wants to be left alone, I guess.

I've seen him cleaning plants, but not actually eating them. So far, he's a great algae eater, always looking and sucking. The tank is algae-free at the moment, though, so he will eat flakes, also.

What I appreciate about my SAE is his tendency to clean vertical surfaces. He's often working his way up a plant stem, or the airline tube, or the siphon return tube.

I don't currently have any mosses or Riccia, though, so I can't say for sure he'd leave them alone.
 

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Maybe he's lonely. My 3 SAEs are always together.
As for "sucking"? Are you sure it's an SAE? Mine "nibble delicately".

I like my 3. They are fine little cigars.
 

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I have a 6" SAE in a plant tank and he leaves everything alone (crypts, red root floater, salvinia oblongifolia, pellia, mini pellia, subwassertang, sword plant, java fern, bolbitis...) and I have 4 in my other well planted tank (3" fish) and hey dont bother several hygro sp., downoi, tennelus, najas, pellia, or java fern. They do display at eachother a lot (side shimmy/tail whacking) but leave everything else alone. My rainbowfish pair keep them in line.

sorry to hear your bad luck. ive never had problems with mine. they will eat regular food, but you cant blame um. fish are opportunistic.
 

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Folks, I have 3 SAEs in my 38-gallon tank. Based on what everyone's saying, I should remove them. I put them in there to take care of any algae in the tank. What algae eaters should I swap them for, should I find them cleaning out any plants?

Thank you.
 

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I have 2 SAEs in my 72 gallon tank and do a great job cleaning up the hair algea and no not bother any other fish. Now the CAE is a different story...
 

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Re: SAE's good bye!

I have two SAE, one is 5 years old and the other is almost 2.

I have these plants in the tank:
# Ludwigia arcuata
# Ludwigia glandulosa
# Cabomba furcata
# Echinodorus tenellus
# Echinodorus uruguayensis
# Eleocharis minima
# Rotala rotundifolia
# Sagittaria subulata
# Rotala macrandra
# Nymphoides sp Taiwan
# Limnophila aromatica
# Glossoestigma elationides
# Rotala wallichii
# Rotala sp "Vietnam"
# Myriophylum tuberculatum
# Echinodorus bleheri
# Echinodorus ozelot red
# Marsilea creanata
# Anubia brateri ver nana
# Cryptocoryne ponderifolia
# Cryptocoryne wendii "green"
# Heterantera zosterifolia
# Rotala rotundifolia var "colaratta"
# Blyxa japonica
# Java moss
# Microsorum pteropus
# Microsorum pteropus var. "Philipinas"
# Riccia
# Proserpinaca palustris
# Echinodorus scheleteri
# Aponogeton undulatus
# Aponogeton crispus

I have never seen them eating the plants.

What I have seen is the SAEs cleaning plants with a lot of long filamentous algae, that no other fish eat.

Bye,

Juan
 

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r'bow lover
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Re: SAE's good bye!

Folks, I have 3 SAEs in my 38-gallon tank. Based on what everyone's saying, I should remove them. I put them in there to take care of any algae in the tank. What algae eaters should I swap them for, should I find them cleaning out any plants?

Thank you.
I don't know if that's the consensus, but ottos and shrimp would be less boisterous and more manageable in a smaller aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
This is interesting? Some people seem to have no trouble with their SAE and others do.

In my case, I am certain that I have True SAE's because I researched them before I bought them and went to a place that advertised them as True SAE's and they physically fit the description of True SAE’s.

At first the three I had in my 50 gal tank seemed tame enough and acted as I expected. They chased each other and did some displays. As they grew they became more aggressive toward other fish, especially at feeding time. They were very aggressive when I fed them algae tablets and aggressively chased other fish way. I believe they were in a mating mode but I could never verify any eggs because they typically went into the dense plants (They are actually rather shy towards humans).

They gradually started eating more and more plants. They particularly liked tender new growth and ate the central rosettes from my sward plants. At first I thought that this was some type of rot but I figured it out after many of the plants developed peculiar U shaped hole in the leaves about the size of a SAE sucker.

I think I’ll stick with Oto’s from here on.
 
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