SAE: Terrible algae eater?

Discussion in 'Catfish' started by fbn, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Hello, I have a SAE. I figured he would eat the algae I had in a couple of days. Well, I have had him for maybe a month(???), and he is terrible! If he does eat the algae, he HARDLY does. This is not a CAE or a flying fox. I'm practically positive about that. I thought the SAE would be really good at eating algae, but all he wants to eat is the shrimp pellets and flakes. Is this a one-of-a-kind SAE?? Thanks!

  2. harpua2002Fishlore VIPMember

    I have several and they are all fantastic algae eaters. Not sure what to tell you, lol.

  3. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Mine goes around like he is eating algae, but he doesn't LOL! My pleco used to keep the tank perfectly clean. This fishy fell way under my expectations. He is still a pretty cool fish, though.

  4. haedraWell Known MemberMember

    SAE's are known to be excellent algae eaters. Is it possible that what you have was misidentified? I have an SAE who hoovered up all my beard algae in approximately 3 days. ;)

    However, different creatures prefer different types of algae, and there are many.

    On another note, if you are keeping him pretty full on commercial foods he might not be hungry enough to be munching algae.
  5. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Well, there is absolutely no way I can keep him from eating flakes. He comes swimming right up to around the top around feeding time. I'm about positive its an SAE. It doesn't have any reddish fins like a flying fox, and the black stripe is nothing like a CAE.
  6. gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    Can you post a pic of him?
  7. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Well, I have baseball practice in a couple of mins, I can try to tonight.
  8. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Well, after observing it some more, it is definitely getting red in his fins. So, I guess I was wrong?! Will he kill my fish? The fish store said he was a SAE. I specifically asked is they were true SAEs. Is there anything I should do? Any behaviours I should look for? He seems to like going up to my one platy.
  9. gremlinWell Known MemberMember

    He will not kill your other fish - as long as you provide for his needs adequately. I love my CAE. I would recommend no more than one cae in any tank smaller than 100 gallons and the smallest tank size I would recommend for 1 cae would be a 29 gallon long. Larger is always better. CAE's are a big fish in a not-so-big body. They do very well at eating algae when they are younger - most of the time. However, they prefer meatier foods. They also have large appetites. They can easily polish off 3-4 bottom feeder tablets each night, even when they are less than an inch long. They also like to have multiple hiding places. I recommend three for one CAE. Caves, hollow logs, or dense plants all work. Mine loves long narrow places that are open on both ends. Even under a rock ledge will work as a hiding place. CAE's are very territorial and will chase other fish away from "their" caves. Having multiple hiding places can minimize this behavior.

    I know CAE's can and have attacked and killed other fish in people's tank. I (fortunately) have not had this problem. My CAE is housed in my pond over the summer with my two sailfin plecos, 3 cories, multiple mosquito fish, multiple flag fish, and multiple goldfish. I have never had a problem. Over the winter, my entire cleaning crew is housed inside together and I still have no problems with aggression. I just make sure to keep them all well fed and provide them with lots of hiding places. My CAE may glare at me sometimes, but (s)he is fat and healthy and larger than any other I've seen.
  10. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Well, if he is developing red fins, wouldn't that be a flying fox? Thanks a lot!
  11. Betta WhispererWell Known MemberMember

    Maybe he's getting enough other food from fish feeding. He may be getting full on that and doesn't have the need to eat the aglae.
  12. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Yea, maybe...but even when he is "eating algae" off the sides of the tank, it doesn't seem to get any cleaner.
  13. GoGreenWell Known MemberMember

    Sorry to hear that your fish never read the fine print of his job description, maybe he is trying to think outside the box-"why sould I eat this this green slimey stuff when that human drops yummy flake into the tank?";D

    Oddly enough, I have a platy who is trying to eat as much algae as possible, she was so slender when I introduced her into the tank, but has morphed into this little fatso in no time.

    Perhaps that is the way of fish, there is sometimes an oddball in the bunch. Maybe give your tank 2 days of fasting to see if that will stimulate his hidden instincts? Otherwise, if it were me, I would just keep a close eye out for any untoward behavior, you don't want him to pick on anyone.
  14. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks a lot for the post! I have recently had a platy that has ballooned haha. They sure grow FAST!
  15. ~Fanci~Valued MemberMember

    I see this thread is a couple of months old but thought I would add some info for anyone looking regarding the SAE's. I purchased 2 about a week and a half ago...I am planning to either take one of them back to my lfs or give it to my sister.
    Surfed through fishlore and a few other sites that seemed to indicate the SAE was a schooling fish, or at least not good as a solitary fish, so I decided to get a pair of them...not a great idea! One of the 2 is super territorial with the other one though and will chase it away from food especially, but all through the tank. The behaviour is stressing out my tetras/guppies big time. The more calm SAE sometimes tries to school with the tetras (which I think is pretty sweet), and the tetras seem okay with it when he/she moves slow. These fish can move incredibly fast!
    I too picked these guys up because of a BBA outbreak but so far they're not doing much in the way of algae clean-up...they are still quite small though so I think that is probably part of the reason.
    I was doing some more reading online today on the SAE's and found another site that says to keep them as a single, or in groups of 4 or more. Maybe this is to prevent this territorial behaviour?
    Anyways, that is my experience thus far with this fish. Hope it helps for anyone who is thinking of getting 1...or 4+ ;)
  16. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Fanci-I believe you do not have SAE. They are a peaceful fish. Probably CAE or flying fox!  
    CAE....very close resemblance!

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