Siamese Algae Eater Behavior

Champanier

I bought Siamese Algae Eaters by mail about a month ago. They were very tiny - about 3/4 of an inch. Three survived and are in a quarantine tank with 9 Amano Shrimp and a dwarf flash pleco. Before we went on vacation for two weeks, they all swam around the tank and would hang on the glass to eat. Two were often together, and the third was sometimes by itself and sometimes with the other two. When we came back four days ago, I couldn't find the SAEs at all. Finally I found that two of them have taken up residence under a piece of driftwood. One faces one direction and the other the opposite, with their heads positioned so they can see out, but their bodies are hidden. The third is on the opposite side of the tank hiding in a sponge filter I had removed from the filter intake when I replaced it. I left it in so they could eat the algae. I guess that they got used to the quiet when we were gone and now that there's activity, they're scared. They've grown to about an inch and look healthy. Is this hiding behavior typical for SAEs? Meanwhile, the Amano shrimp are happy as can be and scampering all over. Last night, Waldo, the pleco, came out of the decoration where he lives for about a minute, but he doesn't go near the SAEs and mostly just stays still. I understand that SAEs can be aggressive to one another and I wonder if there will be a problem when they get older with the pair that stay together and the loner.
 

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StarGirl

Mine have never hid at all. Are you sure they are SAE? Do they have a sucker mouth? You said they ate on the glass that is why I am wondering. Do you have another pic of the whole body?
 

Champanier

Are you sure they are SAE?
Not at all sure - I don't know enough to tell. They were sold to me as SAEs, but I don't think that's any guarantee. They were so tiny, it was hard for me to see much, so I don't know about the sucker mouth.The most distinctive thing I see is that looking at them from above, their heads are wider by their eyes and narrow in the front. These are pictures from three weeks ago. To get a sense of how small they are, the substrate is sand. If they're not SAEs, do you know what they are?
 

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StarGirl

Yes they are SAE's. The one in the original pic almost looked like a Chinese Algae Eater (CAE) Do you have any other fish that may be bullying them? How big is the Pleco? Like I said mine have always been very boisterous and shoot around the tank. They are very hungry too.
 

Champanier

Do you have any other fish that may be bullying them? How big is the Pleco?
The pleco is less than two inches. He barely moves and seems scared of his own shadow. I've had him for a month and only seen him a few times! He mostly hides in the decoration. The shrimp are about the same size as the SAEs and they are active and crawl near (and over) the SAEs, but they don't seem to be aggressive to them. I don't know how the SAEs feel about it!
 

StarGirl

Mine were about a inch when I got them. Now one is about 4-5 inches and the other about 3 inches. Tell you what there has never been one tiny speck of algae in my tank. They eat a lot, I feed them and the pleco fresh veggies a few times a week (the Amanos eat it too) And wafers every day. Try a piece of Fresh Zucchini (skin on raw) and see if they come out. They love that. I weigh it down with a plant weight. On second thought you may want to blanche it first as they are littles still. Mine are all monsters, even the 2 inch Amanos....lol
 

Champanier

I'll definitely try the zucchini. The Amanos like it too. I had originally planned to put all these in the 55 gallon tank with the goldfish, but the goldfish are growing so fast, I'm afraid they'll try to eat them. I've gotten fond of the Amanos - they are so interesting to watch - always busy. I'm going to see how big the shrimp get and put in a lot of driftwood so they can hide before I try it. I'll wait till the SAEs get big enough. The pleco probably would be fine, just because he barely moves, but I think I'll just wait for everybody to grow more (and hope the goldfish don't grow faster!) The shrimp do a great job of eating algae - everything I put in the tank gets completely cleaned.
 

Champanier

Thanks for your help! I added blanched zucchini (funny to watch the shrimp carrying away zucchini as big as they are!) and sat further away without moving. Everybody came out to play!
 

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