Suggestion for algae eaters? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-13-2010, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Suggestion for algae eaters?

In the past week I had a giant bloom of algae over all the glass and gravel of my tank and leaves of the plants, and figured it was a good time then to pick up something else for my tank. It's 16 gallons, the algae is mostly some brown flat stuff but some little puffy green bits. My parents want to get a chinese algae eater but I thought that those get too big for my tank. I kind wanted some ottos but I heard they can be really delicate about water chemistry and I only have a test kit for ammonia and not ph or anything. I was also thinking maybe shrimp, do they eat algae? Just worried though my betta might eat them all if I get them, but I would love something other than fish in there too.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-13-2010, 01:57 PM
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I have a few ottos, and they are all doing just fine. I heard that otos are best for planted tanks as they won't eat up the plants like plecos suposedly will. I know there are also some smaller sized plecos, I think Clown Plecos stay pretty small if I remember corectly but I could be wrong.a single Ghost shrimp made quick work of one of my 10 gallons, but not sure how well they do with Betta's. I would go with the oto my self, and perhaps a test fo nitrite, and nitrate as well, or at leat bring your water in to your LFS and see if they will test it for you. Most do so for free.

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-13-2010, 09:02 PM
The ottos I have are doing fine too. I havn't lost a one in my tank. I put 5 in there. I'd say the shrimp would be harder to keep. But, that's just my opinion.
Never had bettas.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-14-2010, 12:54 AM
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Chinese algae eaters crack me up. They're a) not from China and b) don't eat algae. They're from SE Asia and eat whatever they can find (including your other fish, should the mood strike them, which it often does).

For a tank of your size I don't think I'd recommend any fish for algae (especially the algae you're having). They all either grow too large or need to be in schools or won't eat that type of algae.

What about snails? They won't really keep your glass completely crystal clear but they'll help control it. Olive nerites would be great as they can't reproduce in freshwater and love munching on algae. They can be difficult to find, though.

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-14-2010, 05:45 AM
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The juvenile Chinese algae eaters (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) do eat algae but the diet changes as they mature. They eventually become more aggressive and can attack their tankmates as they search for slimecoating as their protein source.

I'd keep 1-2 nerite snails only. They will eat nothing but algae and biofilm so do NOT scrape the algae off if you plan to do your maintenance routine otherwise you will have to culture algae yourself if you want to keep these snails alive. Ramshorn snails (Planorbis sp.) are another alternative. By the way, I'd upgrade the filter too if you want snails.

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