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BBA: the next step

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Old February 4th 05, 11:17 AM
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On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 07:19:59 GMT, Elaine T

Nikki Casali wrote:

Elaine T wrote:

Nice pics! I'm so glad the ruby shark hasn't terrorized them.
They'll figure out the algae thing when they settle in and start to
get hungry. They're slender fish, so they won't clean a tank
overnight like a pleco.

Hi Elaine, I too have fallen in love with the SAEs. I now have 16 of
them. In a 75 gallon tank (9 SAEs) they often come to rest like
fairies resting on annubia leaves. For some reason, in this tank and
only this tank, when I put my arm in to do plant maintenance or clean
algae from the glass, the SAEs gather round my arm and nip at the
skin. I sometimes chase them and they come right back. I swear they
know I am playing. Great community tank fish, so gentle, and useful
to boot.


Well, they worked. They have cleared 95% of the BBA. The 5% left is very
short stubbly growth on the leaf surfaces of my Saururus cernuus. They
target the BBA very specifically. It's around the leaf edges and stems
that the SAE spend most of their time. They've certainly evolved into a
niche exclusive to themselves.

The ruby shark does give chase to the larger SAE, but gets bored within
seconds. It's very passive, or extremely sophisticated and has learnt
what it is like to be bullied..

The SAE seem to spend most of their time as a threesome, together
grazing algae. They're certainly more gregarious than my mollies. At the
start, the two smallest SAE spent a whole day chasing the other one's
tail, la flying foxes. Their dark bands became greyed out or broken up
as if stressed out. I'm not sure what they were trying to prove, but
that's behind them now.

Hey, they also like to graze on the green fuzz algae that grows on the
glass surfaces. No other fish touch this. If I look very closely I can
see them clearing a path through the fuzz. They're very funny to watch
with their vibrating mouths! I think they go at something like 10 Hz? LOL!

Cool! That's great news. I'm so glad they settled into the tank. I've
liked SAE since I found my first real ones many years ago - they're
gentle enough to be tankmates for just about anything, yet lively and
always cruising and grazing. I'm not at all surprised that they're
after the green fuzz. They seem to like BBA first, and other soft green
algaes second. Heh, plus any other sort of fish food that lands in the


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