01-23-2007, 03:11 AM
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If you're looking for an algae eating fish to help with maintenance in the tank, does it have to be a pleco? Otocinclus are a much better and safer option for a tank of that size. They are small (4 inches full grown) and eat a lot, not just in quantity, but also in different types of algae. Otos are live plant safe, peaceful, and fun to watch.
Do you have live plants? If not, another good option is something called a "mystery snail". They are a tropical (warm water) relative of the apple snail, so they don't reproduce to zillions overnight, get quite large (1 should be enough in up to a 30 gallon tank), are fun to watch, and also eat a lot of algae. Mystery snails are also peaceful, so won't bother the fish. DO NOT keep a mystery snail in a planted tank, they will devour the plants in record time.
In that size of a tank, the only pleco I would consider long term would be the bull dog, but keep in mind they need softer water. While the otos thrive in softer water, they are able to do well in pH of up to 8.0 without problems.