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Siamese seaweed: maintenance in the aquarium and care

There are fish that have a purely decorative function, but there are others that can make a significant contribution to maintaining the biobalance in the aquarium. Siamese seaweedfish belongs to the latter, being an excellent cleaner, tirelessly destroying unwanted aquarium algae.

Therefore, he is a welcome guest of any aquarium, but it is not so easy to take care of him.

Siamese seaweed is an excellent cleaner, tirelessly destroying unwanted aquarium algae.

Siamese algae are often referred to as catfish, although in fact it is a fish of the Karpov family. In various sources, it can be found under the abbreviation CAE, formed from the English Siamese Algae Eater.

This is a relatively small, up to 15 cm, peace-loving fish in the wild nature living in freshwater bodies of water in South-East Asia, Thailand, Indonesia and Sumatra. It has an elongated body covered with scales of inconspicuous shades (gray-greenish or light brown), and almost transparent fins.

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Characteristic signs of the algae are:

  • black zigzag strip stretching along the whole body;
  • a peculiar jaw with a small antennae, designed to scrape away algae.

In addition to the algae and catfish confusion mentioned above, he also has a real “twin” – a Siamese flying fox, sometimes called a false Siamese algae. They are very similar both in appearance and lifestyle, and in nature they often form mixed beaks.

Despite this, it is still necessary to distinguish them: foxes are much more aggressive, which complicates their maintenance in mixed aquariums, and even algae is struggling worse.

These two types of fish can be distinguished by the following features:

  • the strip running along the body of a fox does not capture the tail fin;
  • the fox has two antennae pairs, while the real seaweed has only one;
  • Fox’s jaw has a clear pink tint, which is why it resembles a round sucker;
  • real algae, being at rest, take a characteristic posture: they rest on the soil with tail and pelvic fins, while the pectoral fins do not touch it and remain free.

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Of course, the newly-made owner is interested in the characteristics of the keeping and breeding of the Siamese seaweed. This is very important, because with proper care, CAE can live for up to 10 years, the benefit is that they have not too many requirements.

Caring for them is simple, even a beginner aquarist can handle it.

Since these fish are able to grow up to 15 cm, they need a rather large aquarium – at least 100 liters per pair. And also it should be borne in mind that they are different jumping ability, in connection with which the aquarium should either be covered with a lid, or to have a broad-leaf floating plants in it, which will cover the water from above.

Although SAE is not picky with respect to conditions, it is still better to adhere to certain water parameters:

  • temperature is about 23−26 degrees Celsius;
  • acidity from 5.5 to 7.5;
  • stiffness from 5 to 20.

“Siamese” love clean water, saturated with oxygen, so you need to attend to the organization of aeration and the purchase of a powerful filter. And also regularly have to replace at least 30% of the water in the aquarium.

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The soil may consist of large smooth stones and driftwood, as well as of fine gravel. There should be a lot of vegetation so that the fish could hide if necessary, but choosing plants should be careful, for example, Javanese moss will almost certainly be eaten by algae, and water hyacinth roots may suffer.

Despite the benefits and the associated popularity, these fish can be bought exclusively at pet stores. Reproduction of the Siamese Algae in captivity is too laborious and requires special technology, so almost all of the fish in the shops were either caught in natural waters, or bred on fish farms using hormonal drugs.

Reproduction of the Siamese Algae in captivity is too laborious and requires special technology.

As you might guess from the name, algae are a favorite delicacy of the “Siamese”. Alas, in aquarium conditions, it is almost impossible to provide it only with this food, so you will have to feed something else. There should be no particular problems with this, the algae-eater is not picky at all: he eagerly eats both live, and frozen, and artificial food.

He loves vegetables: he can be given chopped and boiled water leaves of lettuce and dandelion, zucchini, cucumbers.

We should also say that CAE is one of the few fish that can cope with the black beard parasite algae. It is best eaten by her young fish, but in order for them to become interested in such food, they will have to be put on a diet: do not overfeed, or even hold a couple of days half-starved.

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The algae aquarium is a rather peaceful creature and therefore it can be easily kept with other non-aggressive fish.. Rare exceptions prosperous neighborhood as follows:

  1. Problems may arise in the case of tail finch fish – the algae can pluck their fins.
  2. Cichlids may not appreciate such an active neighbor as SAE, which runs the risk of ending in disrepair for both fish.
  3. Another bad neighbor for the seaweed is a two-color labo, distinguished by territorial behavior. Once in the same aquarium, they probably will arrange a fight for the territory.

It is also better not to keep several algae males in one aquarium, as this can also result in the division of the territory. The rest of the SAE is quite a calm aquarium inhabitant, which does not cause much inconvenience to the rest of the fish.

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