Crossocheilus langei = Is the only one with a black smudge spot on the abdomen. Black-brown lateral stripe begins at the tip of the snout and ends at the end of caudal fin. It is three scales broad, it precisely follows scale rows. Nearly straight lateral line is positioned in the centre of the stripe. It has two fleshy rostral barbels and two minute maxillary barbels that in some specimens are only visible using a magnifying glass, in others a preparation microscope is necessary. Maximum length just under 6".
Crossocheilus oblongus = No black smudge spot on the abdomen. And the black horizontal stripe does not extend to the end of the caudal fin. The black stripe is bordered by a paler stripe above. It has two pairs of maxillary barbels. Maximum length is 4". Has a rounder snout that Langei.
Crossocheilus atrilimes = No black smudge spot on the abdomen A black stripe begins at the tip of the snout and ends at the end of the caudal fin. It is only one to two scales broad. Its upper margin follows scale rows, but its lower margin doesn't. Two rostral barbels but no visible maxillary barbels are present. Maximum length is 3", the smallest of the different species.
Crossocheilus Citripinnis = No black smudge spot on the abdomen. A black lateral stripe begins at the tip of the snout and ends at the end of the caudal fin. It is anteriorly two and posteriorly up to three scales broad. Its upper margin follows scale rows, but its lower margin doesn't. It is bordered by a paler stripe above. Two rostral barbels and two minute but distinct maxillary barbels are visible. The largest with a maximum length of just over 6". Has a rounder snout than Langei.
Some observations of my langei now that I've had them most of the year....
- These fish come from fast flowing streams. They LOVE current in the tank and choose to sleep on a plant leaf directly in the current.
- They do consume BBA, preferring fresh new growth to the coarse old growth. They consume young tender staghorn algae as well. They are constantly cleaning the plant leaves. The only leaves they can't take care of are the ones that float right on the surface of the tank under the lights. So those leaves will still grow staghorn algae in my tank.
I have a large, long leaved (36") crypt in another of my tanks and over time those leaves will grow some really odd looking algae growths on the top of the leaves being directly under the lights on the surface of the water. As the older leaves begin to show that they are dying, I cut the leaves off and put them in the tank with the SAE's. It's like hot-diggity-dog for them when I do this. They love to eat that stuff!
- In nature they are aufwuchs grazers feeding on algae, diatoms and other phytoplankton. Their natural diet does not consist of much protein. Mine are constantly even grazing the glass together.
These fish (langei) need vegetable matter in their diet on a regular basis. They love zuchinni so it is ideal that they are in one of my bristlenose breeding tanks.
If biofilm and algae run out and you do not give them enough vegetable matter to graze on.....they will graze on your moss! I have recently drastically cut back on the zuchinni being offered in that tank....and have very little taiwan moss left. It used to cover a large piece of driftwood. But I thought this morning...the driftwood looks nice, I haven't seen it in a while! LOL!
Very, VERY interesting thread, and one that does seem to ring true in my tanks as well. I've got 3 supposed SAE, all of which love munching on java moss (not to the point of eating it all, but certainly taking care of a lot of its brushiness unfortunately). Alas, no dark patch on their abdomen. I'm pretty sure they have barbels, but I'll have to take a closer look later - they're sleeping/hiding right now.
i did... and got langei (2 for 2). i was not happy with my overall experience though. i was charged $75 for shipping more times than i wish to recall for 1 shipment. i did it on a prepaid credit card since i was going blind on a whim. after the card was empty i was getting emails stating i had to put more money into it to satisfy charges on it. mind you they already had their shipping charges (which they would not disclose to me till after they had my card info... and i had the package) TWICE!