Algae eating fish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
Algae eating fish?

I was just curious as to what types of algae eating fish were suitable for my 125L tank.

I currently only have a Pleco, that wont grow much larger than 5 inches
(Along with 4 Juvenile Mollies and 3 Guppies, but they only eat the Algae off the plants and decor)
He is rather spoilt and chunky, despite me cutting down on his diet, since I have Driftwood in my tank, that he loves to nibble on.

I was thinking about getting either a few otocinclus, Bamboo Shrimp, or Loaches.
Not sure about the latter, as they can be rather vicious at times, and not entirely sure if they eat algae.

I was hoping someone could perhaps give me a few ideas too.
(Anything but snails). (As Aesthetically, I despise them; despite their advantages to an aquarium).

(I currently have a planted tank with some Moss, and Carpet grass, and duckweed in, but it is newly established and is still growing, so there isn't an abundance of it yet).

Last edited by Dawes; 08-11-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 11:48 AM
thekoimaiden's Avatar
The only loaches that will eat algae are not suited for your tank. These are the hillstream loaches such as Beaufortia kweichowensis and ‘Protomyzon’ pachychilus (Panda Loach). They need lower than average temps, fast-moving water, and a high level of oxygenation.

I can't really speak as to what would be good for your tank because I use an algae scrubber and snails to keep my tank clean.


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post #3 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 11:48 AM
Olympia's Avatar
Bamboo shrimp won't eat your algae. Most loach species don't eat algae either.
You can try otos.. but usually it's a better idea to find out what's causing the algae and stop it.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-11-2012, 01:14 PM
Absntmind's Avatar
I would go with oto's based on personal experience. They will really attack the algae, are gentle on the plants, and do not get very large (small bio-load). The do like to be in groups, plus from what I understand are mostly wild caught so can have a high mortality rate after introducing them to a new tank. I like to think I keep a pretty stable tank and I ended up losing 1 out of the 5 I purchased.

That said, they are cute and active fish. Just be prepared to feed them once the algae is gone.They are picky and most do not like algae wafers. Mine will eat blanched zucchini...
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-12-2012, 02:12 PM
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Remember that with one or two exceptions, fish that are classed as "algae eating" will only eat the common green algae and brown (diatoms). Some of the problem algae like brush will not be touched. The one or two fish that will eat this (only) have issues that usually disqualify them from many community tanks.

I also recommend one algae-eating fish per tank, as any of these will do a very good job on the common algae and it seems better to restrict their competition. Otos, Bristlenose pleco, Farlowella, Whiptail cats, livebearers especially molly, some of the rift lake mbuna, and some others i can't think of at the moment will all handle common algae. But not all these are suitable for every tank.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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