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. Garra cambodgiensis 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. Crossocheilus oblongus Crossocheilus Langei 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). 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 Crossocheilus langei is the genuine Red Algae Eater. Crossocheilus atrilimes is a Java Moss Eater. The Lemon-finned Crossocheilus is similar to Crossocheilus atrilimes but possesses maxillary barbels" So..........tell me what you think of this! And which type do you (and we that purchased from Mgamer) have?