Siamese Algae Eater/Black Beard Algae

mattgirl

Some how or another I introduced black beard algae into my tank a couple of years ago. I tried all the various ways of getting rid of it. I did the one two punch twice. Adding a high dose of hydrogen peroxide followed by a water change and then add a high dose of Excel. It did kill off a lot of it but sadly each time it came back. It also killed several of my plants

I was finally able to find in stock and get a Siamese Algae Eater. Ordered 3, was sent 4 but sadly 2 arrived DOA and one other didn't look healthy. It didn't make it but thankfully one survived and is thriving. I am truly amazed at how much better my tank is already looking. This little guy is doing an amazing job. Within just a couple of weeks he has already tripled in size (he was tiny when I got him) and has cleaned up at least a third the BBA in this tank. He constantly eats and poops. I suspect all the algae to be gone within another month, hopefully never to be seen again.

If you are battling BBA I highly recommend you get at least one of these little guys. From all I've read they can get up to 6" long so be prepared for that. Mine is in a 55 gallon tank so size shouldn't be a problem.

Should you choose to get one be sure you get a true Siamese algae eater. There are other fish that look a lot like them. A true SAE will have a solid black line running from head all the way through the tail. All of its fins will be clear. If there is any color on any of them they are not a true SAE.
 

Basil

I just added one to my 40 b. And yes, I know they get large so I’ll be updating that tank to a 75 in the spring.
Cool fish although I’m not sure how much algae he has eaten yet. Luckily, I didn’t have a ton of bba. And he has definitely grown already.
 
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mattgirl

I just added one to my 40 b. And yes, I know they get large so I’ll be updating that tank to a 75 in the spring.
Cool fish although I’m not sure how much algae he has eaten yet. Luckily, I didn’t have a ton of bba. And he has definitely grown already.
Yours should be fine in the 40B for a few months but I am sure once grown he will be happier in the bigger tank. Since you don't have much BBA your little guy should help get rid of all of it.

I really wish more than one of mine had survived the trip. I don't know it for a fact but I think my little guy would be happier with some friends of his own kind. I've noticed he kinda interacts with my blood fin tetras from time to time. With all the corys in this tank, more than one 6" fish might be a bit too much so ending up with just one, although sad, might have been for the best.
 
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Deku-Cory

I keep hoping my LFS will get some, but they only ever seem to get Flying Foxes.
 
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mattgirl

I keep hoping my LFS will get some, but they only ever seem to get Flying Foxes.
I had the same problem. The only store anywhere close to me never gets them. I finally ordered mine from an ebay seller. AquaHuna finally got them back in stock but you have to buy 8 of them. Way more than I needed but I would have been willing to deal with 8 of them. I had already received mine before they got them back in stock though.
 
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Basil

Yours should be fine in the 40B for a few months but I am sure once grown he will be happier in the bigger tank. Since you don't have much BBA your little guy should help get rid of all of it.

I really wish more than one of mine had survived the trip. I don't know it for a fact but I think my little guy would be happier with some friends of his own kind. I've noticed he kinda interacts with my blood fin tetras from time to time. With all the corys in this tank, more than one 6" fish might be a bit too much so ending up with just one, although sad, might have been for the best.
He swims with the rasboras and dwarf chain loaches. I have trouble finding him sometimes lol!
I keep hoping my LFS will get some, but they only ever seem to get Flying Foxes.
I have a flying fox in my other 75. I didn’t get him to eat algae though. He is almost three inches now and is a gorgeous and cool fish. He currently cohabitates with the tiger barbs and Queen loaches just wonderfully. Hopefully it stays that way!
 
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Deku-Cory

I had the same problem. The only store anywhere close to me never gets them. I finally ordered mine from an ebay seller. AquaHuna finally got them back in stock but you have to buy 8 of them. Way more than I needed but I would have been willing to deal with 8 of them. I had already received mine before they got them back in stock though.
I know TheWetSpot has them regularly. If I can't find them locally, I may just order from there once the weather gets warmer. My LFS does do special requests, but they're limited by what their suppliers sell and I don't think the suppliers ever have SAE's. I wanted to keep the BBA at bay without needing to get one, but it's becoming clear to me that will be impossible.
 
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mattgirl

I know TheWetSpot has them regularly. If I can't find them locally, I may just order from there once the weather gets warmer. My LFS does do special requests, but they're limited by what their suppliers sell and I don't think the suppliers ever have SAE's. I wanted to keep the BBA at bay without needing to get one, but it's becoming clear to me that will be impossible.
I had found them in stock with some sellers but for the most part they charged $50.00 or more for shipping. I just couldn't justify paying that kind of price. Both AquaHuna and the seller I bought mine from had a lot more reasonable shipping charge of $12.99.

The fish were still shipped in a styrofoam lined box with a heat pack and got to me within 3 days. Sadly even then some were lost. Thankfully they honored their DOA policy. I would have preferred all live fish instead of a refund but did appreciate their customer service.

If you have room for one or two I don't think you will be disappointed. I am truly amazed at how quickly this one little guy is handling the problem.
 
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86 ssinit

Yes SAE are truly amazing fish. They can live alone and will interact with your other fish. But are best with 2. 2 are constantly together. Very fast swimming fish. Some say they stop eating bba but that’s not true. Once eating it they will always snack on it. Thing is for best results they should be trained to eat it. Since all new fish should be in a qt tank it’s a great place to train them. Add something with bba to the qt tank and don’t feed them. Amazing how fast they will clean the bba off. Many people just add them to the main tank and feed their fish regularly. SAE than won’t bother eating bba because they prefer the fish food. But once they’ve been trained they’ll eat both regularly. All of mine do.

Next I’ve never had a 6” SAE. Have 6 now from 1yr old to 6yrs old none bigger than 4”. I think the 6” thing is again from mixing up all of the fish they call sae. Cae can get big and mean and that is sometimes added to SAE characteristics.
 
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mattgirl

Yes SAE are truly amazing fish. They can live alone and will interact with your other fish. But are best with 2. 2 are constantly together. Very fast swimming fish. Some say they stop eating bba but that’s not true. Once eating it they will always snack on it. Thing is for best results they should be trained to eat it. Since all new fish should be in a qt tank it’s a great place to train them. Add something with bba to the qt tank and don’t feed them. Amazing how fast they will clean the bba off. Many people just add them to the main tank and feed their fish regularly. SAE than won’t bother eating bba because they prefer the fish food. But once they’ve been trained they’ll eat both regularly. All of mine do.

Next I’ve never had a 6” SAE. Have 6 now from 1yr old to 6yrs old none bigger than 4”. I think the 6” thing is again from mixing up all of the fish they call sae. Cae can get big and mean and that is sometimes added to SAE characteristics.
Thank you. I am happy to hear from someone that actually has these fish. I would prefer mine stays smaller than 6" so am happy to hear mine probably won't grow that big. I really wish more than one of mine had survived the trip to me. I love watching this little guy and can imagine how cute it would be to see them interacting with each other. I will seriously consider getting a couple more once spring gets here.

Thankfully this little guy got right to work on the BBA in my tank. I would have been beyond disappointed had he decided he didn't like it. He does eat fish food when I feed my other fish but he is out of luck if the food makes it to the bottom. The corys get to it first. If he wants to snack between meals he has to settle for the algae

I ordered a mystery snail along with these little guys. The snail is also helping me keep this tank looking cleaner. Once I am 100% sure there are no more assassin snails in this tank I will be moving my rabbit snails over to it. With this clean up crew in there algae shouldn't have a chance. I've not seen an assassin for quite a while now and I am constantly looking for them. They have all been moved to a tank with no pet snails in it. Once I go at least a month without finding any more assassins I am sure my rabbits will enjoy all the room in the big tank. Right now they are in a tiny 5.5 gallon tank
 
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86 ssinit

Some pics of mine
774599BE-D224-4D2B-B663-3454D7F4033C.jpegthis one is my oldest and about 4” long. There is another in this tank but it does look a lot older and not as active. Notice this guys looking for algae.
These 2 are my newest about 3-4” under a year.
7140F98C-CBC8-4B95-8BA6-F3039E4C7DD0.jpegand these guys are around 3yrs. Both living alone till about 3months ago when I closed the smaller ones tank.
03DB7F2D-FA2C-4441-8658-0D4313746D72.jpeg
 
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