Chinese Algae Eater Question

Cindy22

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Hi. I previously posted I was sold two CAE's, unknowingly. They are both males (they have the pronounced mating horns coming out on their noses) they are both about 3" long now and have always seemed to be fighting, but then again side by side most of the time. They haven't hurt any of their tank mates, but I'm afraid for them. My question is, should I separate them and keep each one in a 29gln tank with mates, or keep them together in their own 29 gln just for them? The pet store has offered to take them back, but I feel like they'll end up being fish food if I do. I have gotten attached to them. I don't mind them having their own tank, but the fighting worries me. Is it natural??? They act like buddies, then turn around and they're fighting, or playing???? I'm so confused, any advice will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks y'all!
 

DoubleDutch

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To me even a 29G is too small for this nasty buggers. I'd bring them both back and get a more friendly replacement.
 
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Cindy22

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To me even a 29G is too small for this nasty buggers. I'd bring them both back and get a more friendly replacement.
Yeah, I know you're right. If I keep them I'd definitely have to get a 55gln in the future. But, do you know what the pet store will do with them if I bring them back? They are very happy and safe here with me, that's what worries me. Thank bunches!
 

DoubleDutch

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Yeah, I know you're right. If I keep them I'd definitely have to get a 55gln in the future. But, do you know what the pet store will do with them if I bring them back? They are very happy and safe here with me, that's what worries me. Thank bunches!
I understand the feeling but they can will be getting more nasty and big when they mature. They shouldn't be sold so often.
 

Coptapia

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They’re not mature at 3” so they’re not sexable at that size. The “breeding horns” you refer to are they’re nostrils.
I’m afraid you have a dilemma only you can answer...
 
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Cindy22

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Thank you, I didn't know that about their nostrils. You're right though, this is a dilemma. Do you know though if they fight or if they're just playing? They won't kill each other, will they? Lol, thanks, I just wish I never got them.
They’re not mature at 3” so they’re not sexable at that size. The “breeding horns” you refer to are they’re nostrils.
I’m afraid you have a dilemma only you can answer...
playing? I've read that they like being in pairs, or more? If I do keep them will they always fight, or will they calm down if they have their own tank?
 

leftswerve

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They get huge, no one wants them when they are huge. Let the store take them. Wish them all the best and hope for the best. What you would have ended up with by not turning them over will be hard to deal with, both in size and aggression.
 
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Cindy22

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They get huge, no one wants them when they are huge. Let the store take them. Wish them all the best and hope for the best. What you would have ended up with by not turning them over will be hard to deal with, both in size and aggression.
Okay, I'll probably take them back. Thank you for your help.
Very sad.
 

Coptapia

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They get more territorial as they grow, so more aggressive towards each other. They can be kept together in pairs but breeding pairs are big fish so you’d need a much bigger tank. They’re also rheophiles, meaning they’re from fast flowing rivers and streams, which also means they’re not very tolerant of nitrates etc, so you’d need a big tank with a fast turnover, and plenty of water changes.
Not a fish to keep long term unless you can dedicate all this to them. And unless they become a mated pair, which is unlikely, you’d be doing it all for one fish.
Shops need to be a lot more liable for the fish they sell. Mis-selling fish should be an offence that the shop becomes accountable for, but sadly that will probably never happen...
 
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Cindy22

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They get more territorial as they grow, so more aggressive towards each other. They can be kept together in pairs but breeding pairs are big fish so you’d need a much bigger tank. They’re also rheophiles, meaning they’re from fast flowing rivers and streams, which also means they’re not very tolerant of nitrates etc, so you’d need a big tank with a fast turnover, and plenty of water changes.
Not a fish to keep long term unless you can dedicate all this to them. And unless they become a mated pair, which is unlikely, you’d be doing it all for one fish.
Shops need to be a lot more liable for the fish they sell. Mis-selling fish should be an offence that the shop becomes accountable for, but sadly that will probably never happen...
Yes, theyre fighting as we speak Im gonna take them back tomorrow. Shops should be fined for doing this! Hey, do you have any ideas what I shoukd replace them with? Someone told me Otto's but they usually die within days after getting them. Is that true? Lol, I need something easy! Thank you for your help, so much!

Yes, theyre fighting as we speak Im gonna take them back tomorrow. Shops should be fined for doing this! Hey, do you have any ideas what I shoukd replace them with? Someone told me Otto's but they usually die within days after getting them. Is that true? Lol, I need something easy! Thank you for your help, so much!
Hey, I have a baby Platy in my tank, hiding. Omgosh, I didnt know!!!! Just saw him. Omgosh!
 

86 ssinit

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Ottos are good fish just need the right conditions. How old is your tank? Sae are also good fish. Look a lot like the cae but much milder and don’t get as big.
 

12Cin12

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Okay, I'll probably take them back. Thank you for your help.
Very sad.
Hi Cindy22!
I've taken several fish back to the store and when I go back later, I see them swimming with tank mates - I don't think your's will become fish food. I'm telling you this to ease your conscience. I've had this dilemma quite often because I feel responsible for my fish and I RESCUED them from the pet store, so why would I take them back?? But in the end it's best for everybody. Plus I needed to stop anthropomorphizing my fish.
 

Coptapia

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From Seriously Fish. Talking about one Oto species but it applies to all...

“This is one of the commoner “otos” seen in the hobby, and is likely the one most frequently offered as an “oto.” It is an ideal for the planted . Unfortunately it can be quite delicate when first imported, and losses are not uncommon. This is usually down to lack of food, as it’s a small fish and needs to feed almost constantly, so it’s easily starved during transportation. As almost all otos are wild caught, they can be quite sensitive to water quality, too. Many hobbyists report fewer problems if the fish are added to , planted tanks, where water quality is stable and there is a plentiful supply of microorganisms and for the otos to feed on. Once the fish are past the initial stage and are feeding well, maintenance becomes much easier.”

Being algae eaters they rely on gut-bacteria to digest their food for them. During transport these gut bacteria die, leaving the fish unable to digest their food. This is why they often die.
If you get some I would only buy them once they have been in the shop for a few weeks, so you know they’re ok.
 
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