SAE Question

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TNG

Fish Crazy
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Location
Victoria, Aus
Would anybody know if the SAE commonly sold are Crossocheilus langei, C oblongus, C atrilimes or something else?
According to Seriouslyfish, C atrilimes are much smaller than C langei which would be ideal for my tropical community.
Appreciate your insight.
 
It is likely different in different regions. In NA it is (or was) common to see other species labelled as SAE, and I believe this had or still does occur in the UK since Seriously Fish mentions it. I never acquire a fish I do not know without knowing the scientific name, and most stores will have this on their invoice from the source. Of course, this can be incorrect too, but it helps along with pictures of the species to help identify them.

With any of these fish though, it is important to reemember that they are shoaling/schooling fish, and whichever species must have a group. Five or six is minimum with these species. And they need space obviously.

I don't know your experience level, so I will just mention that most of them are not much for algae eating, in case you are thinking of them for this purpose. Those that do are very specific at the algae species they will or may eat.
 
Thanks Byron. Your (and other members’) advocacy for fish welfare is well noted.

I don’t have problem algae and the SAE aren’t for that purpose, but I had to refer to them as SAE as this is what they are commonly called, which is unfortunate really. Not only that, these species are native to many countries in SE Asia so the word Siamese only confuses the issue further.

I have espei Rasboras, the 5 banded barbs, gouramis and yoyo loaches in one tank and ruby barbs in another. If I could get Crossocheilus atrilimes, I’d move the yoyo loaches to the ruby barb tank, I then have SE Asian fish in one tank and South Asian fish in another. That’s all there is to it. The tanks are large and long enough so no problems there.

As to the stores correctly ID their SAE with scientific names, good luck to that. I’d be happy if they don’t mix up the SAE and the flying fox.
 
Concerning stores, it depends upon the type. I never search or acquire fish from chain stores like Petsmart. Never, since some years ago it became obvious that all disease issues (few though they were) came on fish from one of these, which I had thought better until this became blatantly obvious. I use/used independent stores, luckily there were a couple here though all but two have now gone bust. But they acquired fish from independent sources, including habitat sources in South America. The invoice of these stores always had the scientific name from the country of origin, and research more than once saved me from purchasing inappropriate fish. It is unfortunate that the commercial success (relatively speaking) of chain stores has driven other better stores out of business. In NA at any rate.
 
Names like "SAE" get you nothing, really. They are usually umbrellas that a few species travel under, and most stores seem to have the same problem as most hobbyists with their fear of names that can be used by any language. I've never understood the English speaking world's fear of Latin, but it gives us a hard time getting good, correctly identified fish.

I know in French, good stores want and use the Latin name, but most American and English Canadian stores don't want it on the invoice.

It leaves us in a difficult situation, because it makes your question really hard to answer. You have to go to specialty dealers with the species name rather than to regular stores or standard online sellers. It costs more, but you usually get the species you want. They understand the difference.
 
it has been a long time since I kept SAE. But I seem to recall that at that point in time their Latin name was "Crossocheilus siamensis." Clearly this has been changed. I know that species get reclassified sometimes. Was it considered an invalid name? My first attempt to get them resulted in Flying Fox instead (thank-you AZ Gardens). My second attempt got me these:

i-h6bbxc5.jpg


I seem to recall a rather in depths article from back then which explained the differences in appearance betwwen the SAE, Fox and CAE. The one thing I do know is the ones above ate all sorts of algae. If I stopped feeding the tank they would even eat BBA. That is the reason for the above picture. I had two algae outbeaks in my high tech planted tan., One was caused because I did not use teflon tap all the connections on the CO3 system and a 5 lb. bottle emptied in about 10 days. The second was caused then one of the 4 power compacts bulbs over the tank burned out and I did not have a replacement on the shelf. I took me a week to get a new one delivered. Since then I have kept spare bulbs for everything.

If you look really hard you can make out some of the BBA on the dwarf hair grass. The SAE above and a few more were moved from another tank into this one to take care of the BBA.
 
it has been a long time since I kept SAE. But I seem to recall that at that point in time their Latin name was "Crossocheilus siamensis." Clearly this has been changed. I know that species get reclassified sometimes. Was it considered an invalid name? My first attempt to get them resulted in Flying Fox instead (thank-you AZ Gardens). My second attempt got me these:

i-h6bbxc5.jpg


I seem to recall a rather in depths article from back then which explained the differences in appearance betwwen the SAE, Fox and CAE. The one thing I do know is the ones above ate all sorts of algae. If I stopped feeding the tank they would even eat BBA. That is the reason for the above picture. I had two algae outbeaks in my high tech planted tan., One was caused because I did not use teflon tap all the connections on the CO3 system and a 5 lb. bottle emptied in about 10 days. The second was caused then one of the 4 power compacts bulbs over the tank burned out and I did not have a replacement on the shelf. I took me a week to get a new one delivered. Since then I have kept spare bulbs for everything.

If you look really hard you can make out some of the BBA on the dwarf hair grass. The SAE above and a few more were moved from another tank into this one to take care of the BBA.

That’s a nice school of SAE. Did they grow to 6” / 15cm or were they a bit smaller?

Yes, there are articles explaining the differences between SAE, Fox, CAE. They are not too hard to differntiate, but the subtle differences between different species of what may be considered SAE (Crossocheilus oblongus vs C atrilimes) are hard to tell, especially when the critters don’t stay still.

Thanks all for your responses.
 
I researched this fish (or these fishes) some time back for the profiles and the following is the result.

The common name Siamese Algae Eater is regularly applied to several related but distinct species. The species Crossocheilus langei is the one most often encountered in the hobby as the “Siamese Algae Eater” [SAE] and is the best at eating black brush [aka red beard] algae. The "true" SAE is actually Crossocheilus siamensis, a species initially described by H.M. Smith in 1931 as Epalzeorhynchus siamensis and moved by Banarescu into the genus Crossocheilus in 1986, and which has probably never been seen by hobbyists since the holotype [the specimen collected and used for the description] is the only one known. To further confuse, the fish described as C. siamensis by Smith was subsequently determined to be conspecific with a prior described species, Crossocheilus oblongus, so in fact there never was a C. siamensis as a distinct species, and the name now is a synonym for C. oblongus.​
Confusion abounds with this fish, beyond the fore-going. There are several near-identical species within Crossocheilus, and they are occasionally seen in the hobby. Their usefulness as "algae eaters" is variable, depending upon the species. Then there are two other fish often confused with the SAE, known as the False Siamese Algae Eater, Garra cambodgiensis, and the Flying Fox, Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus. Both of these regularly appear in the hobby, but neither will handle brush/beard algae like the common SAE. The False SAE can be distinguished by the dark lateral band that ends at the caudal peduncle whereas on the subject fish this band continues into the caudal fin. The Flying Fox has white-edged red and black coloured fins, not clear fins as in the subject species.​
Then there is the Chinese Algae Eater, a fish that is sometimes offered as a SAE. It is much less desirable for several reasons as outlined in the Profile of that species, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri.​
 

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As usual, Byron hits the nail on the head. The one thing I knew way back when was that I wanted the fish which had that stripe extending into the tail, My first attempt to get them resulted in my getting Flying Fox, Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus. You cannot believe how hard these are to catch in a well planted tank. It took me close to a year to nab the last one.

I think a lot of the problems with identifying this fish is due to the fact that when they are all fairly young it is difficult to tell them apart. And since younger fish are cheaper, a lot of mistakes were made by the sellers was well as the buyers.

I have not had "SAE" in about 12 or more years and I hate to admit it, but I do not remember their ultimate size. I have been keeping Sahyadria denisonii since not long after I lost the last "SAE." The redline barbs do not eat algae like their cousins. but they sure are a lot prettier.
 
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Thanks for the kind words @TwoTankAmin.

I should just mention, since I have no idea of your (@TNG ) level of knowledge, that all of these species are shoaling/schooling and must have a group. With these particular fish, smaller groups seem to work OK, no less than six and a distinct hierarchy will be formed within the group. As for size, they all attain (assuming healthy and normal) 5 to 6 inches, so this means a spacious tank.
 

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