Helping SAPs adapt

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Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Fin » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:56 pm

Howdy again,

I introduced myself on here about a month ago. After some rather heated replies telling me I needed to get a bigger tank for my SAPs, I did find one. I found a 55g long and managed to pick it up for 20 bucks from a college kid who couldn't have it anymore. The tank cycled quickly for me since I switched everything over from the older tank, took about a week total. I moved the SAPs as well as the other creatures in to the larger tank and got a current fan as well.

My question is this, I've currently got the current fan on one side of the tank, angled slightly towards the front glass and down. It's been about a month since the SAPs have been in, and they've been less neurotic and have cut down on the glass surfing by about half, but I'm wondering if there is a better way to set the fan in order to help reduce more of the glass surfing. I can take some pics to post if needed to help understand how I have it set now. The tank is not heavily planted, but has a health amount, as well as other obstacles to help break line of sight.

Fin~

Also, if I can't get these guys to calm down a bit, I may be interested in selling them, but I'm wanting to give them as much of a chance as possible because I do like them when they're not going nuts.

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by purplecandle » Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:53 am

SAPs are known for being neurotic so you probably never be able to cut that out completely. I would try heavily decorating the tank.

Good job for getting the bigger tank!
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by puffykid » Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:56 pm

posting pictures would definitely be helpful I think RTR said that they are considered channel fish and so are use to a stronger stream, maybe buy a powerhead or something to increase overall flow. Also use more decor in the tank they are very skittish and would appreciate it, especially plants I feel like puffers seem to enjoy a very lush multicolored home, use plastic ones for easier care. There are some silk spun fake plants that you can buy on amazon for cheap and they are pretty realistic looking.


Bertie has been keeping Saps for a while now he may be able to give you some more advice and personal care since he has experience with them.
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bertie 83
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by bertie 83 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:37 pm

Aim the powerhead straight across the front glass, place a tall ornament a little way along the back on the opposite side. This will give good current along the front but break it up on the back a bit. My sap was always a nightmare until I put him in a huge tank with incredibly powerful flow, he was a lone fella tho. They get safety in numbers. They may glass surf forever but don't let this put you off as they are magnificent creatures to keep.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by bertie 83 » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:54 pm

Just to add in a tank that size you should be able to get them to adjust nicely, forget about tall plants mine shredded them straight off. He is totally fascinated by rock work. Provide heavy flow down the front and they will swim at it until they get to the end, drift back and swim again
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Fin » Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:29 pm

Ya, they've been doing a good amount of that now, more so than before, I was just trying to figure the best way to orient the powerhead I have. It cycles 500g an hour. I have 3 SAPS, one is large than the others. The large one still corner surfs, but the smaller ones spend about 50% of the time in the current.

When I get back firework stuff tonight I'll take a picture. I had trim some of the dead leaves off my plants so they're much shorter than they were before. I used all the plants and driftwood from the smaller tank, which was extremely heavily decorated, and it pales a little in comparison in the big tank. The plants I'm sure will grow and reproduce quickly as I do provide carbon and nitrogen for them. I supply one of the LFS with my plants, so having more soon is of little concern.

I'm sure when I take a picture there will be some questions about part of my tank setup and I look forward to explaining it as I am rather proud of that part.

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Fin » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:12 am

Ok, tank pictures and some of my little guys, as best as I could get on my phone's camera.
This is the tank. The powerhead is on the left, a little above the middle of the tank. I thought a 500g an hour turnover was a lot, but I'm wondering if it's not enough as it doesn't seem to quite hit the end of the tank. There's a quiet zone near the end of the tank where the big piece of drift wood and small tank break up some of the current. The small tank does not fill the entire end over there as it's only a 2g tank. The shrimp and crabs prefer to hang around there.
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Closer view of left side of the tank
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Right side of the tank.
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Swimming around!
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Supper time after fireworks
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Shima the Dwarf was curious and wanted a close up
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Sometimes Shima will follow them around like a puppy dog. I know it's silly, but sometimes I like to entertain the thought that he would like to grow up to be one of them, even though he's the same size as the 3 SAPs right now

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by RTR » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:19 am

SAPs are main channel fish outside of the flood season. They are not often out in the main flow, but nearer the sides, navigating around the rocks or clay banks. During the floods they (like many other fish) move out into the flood plains for breeding. They really need exercise. Without it, they do not adapt well to captivity IME.

Other fish are problematic in their tanks. The biggest issue IME is in feeding the tank. If prepared foods are provided for tankmates, the SAPs will eat it and then suffer major incisor overgrowth, requiring routine trimming. The SAPs do far better for me basically in species tanks with a pair or trio of small suckermouth cats for glass and foliage algae grazing. If tablet or large pellet foods were provided for the cats, it was added in the dark cycle, while the SAPs were in the foliage sleeping. At least half the SAPs ration of smallish snails (ramshorn or common pond snails) was also added during the dark cycle, to give the SAPs prey to hunt during the light cycle.

The last SAP tanks I set were all basically species tanks, plus 2-3 small worker suckermouth cats. Those tanks were two-foot square cross-sections. The long front glass was set for the strongest current, with vertical spraybar with the openings parallel to the front glass itself to maximize current. No plantings were allowed to intrude into the front 6-8 inches to allow swimming space and current. The back glass was kept clear for 4-6 inches, with a planted strip down the center of the tank which did not quite reach the ends of the tank. There was another vertical spraybar diagonally opposite the front glass spraybar to complete a circular current in the tank. The SAPs could search the planted strip for food or play in the current at will. The SAP slept in the foliage, the cats in 2-3 small commercial cast "caves" in the planted strip. With a diet ~95% live snails, I only rarely had to trim incisors on any SAP. These tanks were part of the wall of tanks separating the pool room from that tank room, so were viewable from both long sides.

Unfortunately, I never saw any spawning activity. We know little about their spawning other than that it is during flood season and outside the main channel.
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Pufferpunk » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:35 am

My SAPs had bite marks all over them from DPs. They were separated.
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Fin » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:19 am

Pretty much everything in my tank gets along and leaves each other alone. I have several SAEs ( Siamese Algae Eaters Crossocheilus siamensis) for algae and clean up duty, 2 fiddler crabs, hence the driftwood that extends in to the small tanks for the out of water section they require, 2 vampire crabs which primarily stay in previously said tank because they prefer a majority of their time on land, and a colony of ghost shrimp.

I've only ever seen one of the puffers nip at a crab when I first put them in their, but due to their size and age, it's never happened again. The shrimp occasionally disappear, and I may have to restock them about every 2 months, but that's alright since I originally put them in their for food. I've seen the SAPs occasionally try and nip at one of the shrimp, but I've never seen them hunt the shrimp with any serious intention. I just know that the shrimp tend to disappear. The only problem that the dwarf puffer and SAPs have, is that they don't like the same food. No matter what I try, the dwarf will not eat anything but live food, which is hard to deal with considering the LFS does not stock live bloodworms. The SAPs will eat just about anything, but when I do provide snails for them they do not eat the entire thing, they are more like the dwarf puffers and suck it out of the shell. I believe it's because of their size. The dwarf is about max length at 1.5ish inches and the largest of the SAPs is only marginally bigger than him, maybe pushing 2 inches on a good day.

So, stocking issues aside, from the tank picture, what would you change or suggest changing? The powerhead is more toward the middle of the tank, so moving it closer to the front glass for starters? More vegetation towards the back?

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by bertie 83 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:34 pm

My opinion is that saps should be kept alone, mainly because dentistry is needed too often. I would never keep them with the much more aggressive dps. However every fish is different and it is your tank at the end of the day. Aim the powerhead along the front glass.
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by RTR » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:52 am

Many hobbyists get faked out by not being accustomed to to immature fish. First lesson to remember: adult fish are not like immature fish. Many hobby fish are not mature until they are several years old. This definitely applies to all puffer except DPs (which mature fast).

FYI: SAEs graze algae well when young/immature. As adults they require high-protein foods and ignore algae, so coplete strongly with other adult fish for foods (and due to their size, generally win out over snallish fish such as SAPs) They are not as bad poop-factories as suckermouth cats of comparable size, but should not be kept with smallish fish such as SAPs. They are pollution factories as adults. Trade them off.

Don't forget that snails should be sized to the puffer. The size of the puffer's eye is a good size scale for the snails it can eat.
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by puffykid » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:30 am

Ya sorry have to agree SAE are among the fish that lfs push that shouldn't be in the average fish tanks along with sailfin plecos, pet stores are in it for the money and not for the well-being of the animals. Giving saps species only tanks are important for them and may be one of the major factors for why they remain jittery and will down the road lead to often having to cut their teeth.
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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by bertie 83 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:51 pm

My sae was able to hold its own against a full size and very aggressive fahaka. Honestly I would never put one in a tank with anything, unless it is more vicious killers.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly

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Re: Helping SAPs adapt

Post by Tim » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:03 pm

bertie 83 wrote:My sae was able to hold its own against a full size and very aggressive fahaka.
:lol: This doesn't truly surprise me, juvenile sae's I've kept were always harassing my other tank inhabitants. Great at eating algae too at that young age, but terrors at the same time. I am sticking with otocinclus 8) .
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