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"True" Siamese Algae Eaters


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I have a problem with black bush/beard algae in my tank, and am after some fish that will be able to eat it.

I have heard that SAE will do the job - however I know there are many varieties/similar species, eg flying foxes. What ways can you tell if the fish is a "true" SAE - the ones that actually eat the BBA?

Also, do the "true" ones eat plants? Are they peaceful? Should they be kept in groups, pairs or singularly?

Do you know of any LFS in Sydney that sell them? I went around to 5 fish shops today and could not find any.

Thanks in advance

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Hi Barracuda

Try this link


However SAG will only really eat BBA when the fish are young and when they dont have anything else to eat...there really is no easy way to get rid of it.

Try double dosing with Aquagreen Dino Spit or Flourish Excell (do a Google search for correct doses).

Some believe that BBA grwos when CO2 is out of wack...or when any other nutrient is out of wack however if you just want to control it then the overdosing as outlines above will work....

The overdosing may kill certain plants though...mostly vallis but may affect others...if you just have anubias, crypts, swords (and other tough plants) etc then it SHOULD be fine

Mike :)

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Hi barracuda,

Depending on the other tank inhabitants have you considered trying some dwarf shrimp to help with the algae?

I know the red cherry shrimps will eat it and im sure most of the other dwarf species will eat it as well.


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  • 5 weeks later...

I had the same problem with the BBA. The SAE's do a good job, and I also found that bristlenose have a go at it.

A real SAE has the line that runs right through to the back of the tail, but so does the flying fox. The one that doesn't is the fake SAE. SAE's have clear fins, flying foxes have reddish coloured fins, which is the easiest way to pick them. SAE's also have a solid colour above the black line, where Flying Foxes have two distinct colours above.

Just google "sae vs flying fox". There are hundreds of pages.

Here are a couple of good ones:




Here is a picture of a real one:

IPB Image

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I have what I believe to be a Chinese Algae Eater, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, he is only about 6cm long and very thin, he does a great job on the BBA and any other type of Algae, but as mike has stated they only really do this when they're young.

He's supposed to grow quiet large but I have to keep him in a small tank by himself because he is quiet aggressive towards tank mates (he kept sucking on my Acei), I tend to pull out my Anubias when they need a good clean and wack them into his tank for a few days.

As Vis has mentioned if there isn't another source of food a common BN will have a good attempt at it.

They do a good job but I don't know if you need 5 of them, some of the species can reach 11 inches in length.

Maybe try the Dino spit first, if you've seen pic's of Mike's planted tanks he knows his stuff when it comes to treating Algae.



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  • 2 months later...


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