Welcome to AquariaCentral.com

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. You will be entering into a wonderful world of aquatic information, for all aquarists, no matter what their experience level.

Our members will do their best to help you in your aquarium endeavors. We have a vast assortment of Forums to dive into:

-General Freshwater
-Marine and Brackish area
-Terrarium and Vivariums
-Coldwater
-DIY, Classifieds, Members Tanks Photographs and more.

We even have a general area, that is just as much fun as the rest of the Community, for off topic discussions and a real-time chat room for instant advice!

Joining Aquaria Central has numerous benefits, but the best, is our 112,000+ members, helping one another in this fascinating hobby!

Register now, and be sure to check out our scheduled contests with exciting prizes!

Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today! !

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Welcome to the Internet's friendliest aquatic forum!

- Team AC

Sign Up

Calling All Siamese Algae Eater Owners!

Discussion in 'Freshwater Bottom Dwellers' started by pinkertd, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. pinkertd

    pinkertd Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    In early March I acquired two true SAE's from Mgamer to add to my planted 75G pleco tank. I had remembered reading in a couple of places that SAE's would eat moss and was a bit concerned about the fate of the taiwan moss I keep in that tank, but decided to take a chance anyway. I figured if they did keep it mowed down, I am also growing it in two other tanks so I should always have a decent supply of it.

    I recently added some amano shrimp to that tank and recalled reading a short blurb somewhere about SAE's and that they might eat shrimp, so I've been doing a lot of observation in that tank when the shrimp are out and about. One of the SAE's loves to perch on a large piece of driftwood in that tank. The other night while an amano also shared that stretch of driftwood with the SAE, the SAE seemed particularly active and they do tend to sometimes move a bit spastically, when I saw the amano jump, I really wasn't quite sure if the SAE was interested in the amano or not. Or whether the amano jumped at just being startled buy the quick movement of the SAE.

    This is what led me to do some more in-depth research into the SAE's and what I discovered is really quite interesting and unlike anything I've read about SAE's to date. I want to share this information with all you SAE owners out there, there are some very interesting statements I've stumbled on, and I'd like to ask you to go back and view your SAE's in an effort to try to figure out what "variety" of SAE they really are. If you're the owner of an SAE from Mgamer, please indicate that as well so we can compare thoughts.

    It seems that there is much more to the SAE identity mystery than just trying to figure out if it's True Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis), Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus), or False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra taeniata). "Even if you have eliminated the chance of it being a flying fox, garra, or chinese algae eater there is more to come…… what you think may be a genuine Crossocheilus siamensis may not actually be.":) Read on:

    So we know the true Siamese Algae Eater is the Crossocheilus siamensis which is often confused with the Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus) and not so similar Chinese algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) as well as a fish known as the False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis) which prefers fish food to algae.

    [​IMG]
    Garra cambodgiensis
    [​IMG]
    Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus


    The only real gem for planted tanks is the Crossocheilus siamensis as this is the one that WILL eat brush algae (red algae) unlike most other fish…. All others also rather eat fish food and will not touch any algae.

    So how do we tell them apart from a false Siamese algae Eater? Well the rule so far has been that the fins should be be all clear and the black horizontal line goes all the way to the tip of the tail. Sounds pretty easy but it seems one of those things so many get wrong…including publications (Baensch Atlas has a picture of a fake SAE instead of a true SAE in the book) and the internet has an array of wrong images listed under Siamese Algae Eater.

    You may now smugly look at your tank and think ‘YES, I have a true siamensis’ but don’t get excited yet. Even if you have eliminated the chance of it being a flying fox, garra, or chinese algae eater there is more to come……

    Intrigued as to how so many people can be confused a little research was needed…
    It seems a whole group of fish who look very similar and near identical all swim in the same habitat and these are all caught up and labeled as one of the above names and sold in the shops. So even in one tank in the shop you can have a mix of near identical fish who are actually different fish – yes it is so confusing but it gets even worse…


    What you think may be a genuine Crossocheilus siamensis may actually be :-
    Crossocheilus oblongus
    Crossocheilus Langei
    Crossocheilus atrilimes
    Crossocheilus citripinnis

    WHAT?????
    Yup these guys all swim around together in a habitat and believe me they all look like the real deal…but don’t act like the real deal when it comes to Algae.


    [​IMG]
    Crossocheilus oblongus
    [​IMG]
    Crossocheilus Langei
    [​IMG]
    Crossocheilus atrilimes

    Note that in images the coloration varies depending on stress as well as lighting etc.


    There is a whole art to telling these guys apart which comes down to shading in a certain light, the exact millimeters of the horizontal stripe as well as the barbels or lack of. To make matters worse the one and only TRUE named Crossocheilus siamensis very very rarely is imported and nearly does not exist in our tanks.

    So who is the imposter you thought was your true Siamese algae eater?

    If you are lucky it is the Crossocheilus Langei which I believe we all label as and know as the true Siamensis – these guys are the only real brush algae eaters. All the others prefer fish food….

    If you are unlucky you have the Crossocheilus atrilimes who favors soft plants and moss which makes sense to me now…. some people report their SAE eating moss etc. while others say they don’t touch theirs.

    If you have a Siamese Algae Eater and are curious as to which one you really have now here is an excellent link:
    http://math.muni.cz/~niederle/tabulka.html

    In the photo below the SAE in the back is a Citripinnis and the one in the front is a Langei (note the coloring is the same but the snout is different).
    [​IMG]

    It seems that if you want the true algae eating one (C. Langei) then look out for a dark blotch under the abdomen and litle barbles on the front then you can't go wrong:

    Crossocheilus langei
    [​IMG]
    Crossocheilus langei is the genuine Red Algae Eater.
    [​IMG]

    Crossocheilus atrilimes is a Java Moss Eater.
    [​IMG]

    The Lemon-finned Crossocheilus is similar to Crossocheilus atrilimes but possesses maxillary barbels"
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So..........tell me what you think of this! And which type do you (and we that purchased from Mgamer) have?
     
  2. TwoTankAmin

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2002
    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    On another site
    I have had the false sae for sure, they were my first try and I did out them all eventually to be replaced. I am no expert but I can offer you a photo of what I felt were real SAEs in my tanks. I had to get them all together into one tank to battle a bba outbreak. You tell me what they were (most have since passed to the great tank in the sky).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. pinkertd

    pinkertd Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Nice photo and tank!!! Without being able to see the mouths up close, I couldn't tell you. From what I've learned, since the true SAE Crossocheilus siamensis are rarely imported, C. Langei is the one you hope to end up with. Apparently it is the only one with barbels and has a black blotch in the ventral area. However, this black blotch will only appear as a small black dot on young fish. This is the only one that will indeed spend most of the day eating algae. In the photo of C. Citripinnis and C. Langei side by side, for sure you can see that the mouths are shaped differently. The ones I have at home have pointier mouths like the C. Langei and I can't wait to go home and investigate them to see if they have barbels. I love the pair I have, they seem to be very gentle and peaceful, they are always all over the plant leaves and glass doing what I think is cleaning! If you can magnify your photo, see if you detect any barbels.
     
  4. serissime

    serissime second-guessing

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    490
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    wow, I've never owned any of the above, but this is really interesting. Thanks for the information!
     
  5. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    26,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Graduate student
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    I love the complex, but hate ID'ing these species. I thought I actually had a Flying fox, but now I think I might have a different Crossocheilus species.
     
  6. pinkertd

    pinkertd Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,976
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    New Jersey
    TwoTank - I just took another look at your photo and the SAE to the far right shows the dark area down by the vent....so you're correct! You had the C. Langei which are the only ones that eat algae.

    I checked mine and they have the dark vent spot and barbels, so yah, I have the Langei as well. And that is why they are not eating my moss.

    And I should add that they do not eat shrimp!
     
    #6 pinkertd, Apr 29, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
  7. msjinkzd

    msjinkzd AC Members

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    18,306
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    wife and mother
    Location:
    PA
    very interesting, great post. Maybe we should take some of those images and information to add to the sae sticky
     
  8. KarlTh

    KarlTh AC Members

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To be fair, even Baensch struggled; the picture of C. siamensis in Baensch 1 manifestly and famously is no such thing.
     
  9. noodles62

    noodles62 Just Noods......

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,678
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Supervisor/Office Asst.
    Location:
    WNC
    Interesting article Deb. I also purchased 3 from MG. I know that they have two little barbels (1 on each side of the mouth). I will look for the dark patch on the abdomen when I get home. I really love the little guys. They are so fun to watch them swim around in their spastic little way, they are quite pretty and very peaceful. I can't wait til they are big enough to put in my main tank. (It has a hungry Angel in it!) LOL
     
  10. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    6,545
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    SF Bay area, CA
    I keep changing my mind about which 2 species of crossocheilus I have. Seeing the mouth differences I now think 1 might be citripinnus. As a youngster it looked like a "true" SAE. After a year or so it's fins started to get yellowish, I thought oblongus. Gradually it's mouth has changed, I thought maybe due to injury or disease. It has some difficulty eating & is now housed with other same sized fish with more competition. It's fins are now quite yellow with a little whitishness.

    The other 3 I bought together & have the dark vent area but the largest (that lives with the "citripinnus") is now, at 4-5 inches, showing a tinge of yellow in the fins. Only the other 2 have any moss in their tank & they seem to ignore it.

    All are avid fish food eaters & constant grazers. Neither tank has BBA but both have diatoms & GSA, they are grazed but not controlled. The younger 3 did control BBA in another tank when small as did the "citripinnus".

    I'm as confused as ever. I'll look for barbels.
     
  11. dundadundun

    dundadundun ;sup' dog? ;woof and a wwwoof!

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    4,296
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    S.E. PA
    since reading this i've noticed both of mine have the blotches. one has the larger barbels you can see in the pic. the other has very tiny ones a bit lower... i am the only one that can see them due to my eyes are both better than 20/20, so i'd dare to say most would consider that needing magnification. the funny part, i have seen one atleast eat bba... not sure about both now. the larger of the 2 has a favorite perch where it seems he loves to snack on java moss periodicallly. the smaller one has never touched it at all. i'd dare to say the little guy is a langei and the larger one that seems to have a more yellow tint to his fins is probably an atrilimes. as far as i see they both fit the descriptions, pics and traits of said species stated above. the only thing i can't figure out is that they both have the spots about the anal area. funky... i'm wondering what else there is to find out in the future. i thought for sure this was not possible at one time as i was sure i had read all there was to know and i'd struck gold when i saw the "real ones" for sale. my how things have changed in such a short time. a very interesting read... and a second thought once again about the elusive "true sae"... thank you.
     
  12. angyles

    angyles AC Members

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    this is so interesting because I've been wondering why two of mine look different from the other two. 2 are definently Langei, but the two others have a lot more gold to their color, a lighter band above the dark band, and are way fatter than the other two. Now I know those two are Atrilimes! I knew ther weren't flying foxes or false SAEs so I thought "maybe that's what the girls look like" HAHAHA

    either way, I don't have algae problems and they all seem to love each other and line up in a little row on "the beach" in the evening and stare at me. No wonder those atrilimes are so fat, they've been gobbling up the flakes all this time!
     
  13. Lupin

    Lupin Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    21,430
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Office employee.
    Location:
    Lupin Information Super Highway/Goldfish Informati
    I added the link to this in the old sticky for the time being. I am considering changing the stickies because this one is better with more identification added than the previous.
     
  14. addicted2fish

    addicted2fish " Can you come out to play ? "

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    very neat info . I found mine from a LFS. the fish guy; finally got in the true' sae's . so I bought 7 . I now have 5 in my 75 gallon, and one in my 55 gallon, the one that is in the 55 gallon is FAT ! I just thought its eating alot , would make sence that its eating flakes . the other 5 in my 75 gallon are all about the same, and they usually swim together, stay hid under the plants and zoom around like mad fishys' I know I have had jumpers, and they have survived. lol ~ I will look for barbels & the dark spot. great info ~ thanxs
     
  15. gmh

    gmh AC Members

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2007
    Messages:
    2,625
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    semi-retired
    Location:
    Santa Barbara area
    Thanks for the info. I knew less about ID'ing these guys than I thought. Mine does have the smudge on the abdomen and tiny barbells so I guess he or she is the real deal.
    I've kept my SAEs with Amano shrimp with no problems and I have never noticed them eating my mosses.
     
  16. mellowvision

    mellowvision Seafood Lover

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Messages:
    5,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    thanks for this thread. it helped me pick one today.
     
  17. ctenophor

    ctenophor AC Members

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    another interesting trait, if you have a tank that is too small for a school of true sae's get a school of otto's and one sae, the sae will school with the otto's

    it is awesome to see.
     
  18. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker old school newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2008
    Messages:
    1,585
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    westminster sc.
    purchased all mine from mg, and they do eat bba. tho they will eat flakes they are constantly on the algae covered rocks
     
  19. rcalzadilla

    rcalzadilla AC Members

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    South Florida
    Where can I get some C. Langei. I'd apprecite the info.
     
  20. jpappy789

    jpappy789 Plants need meat too

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    26,337
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Graduate student
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    Not sure which online vendors there are out there but might as well try asking if your LFS can special order first.
     

Share This Page

zoomed.com
tfhmagazine.com
hikariusa.com
aqaimports.com
Store