03-22-2011, 08:25 PM
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Otos would be my choice, since they clean the sides as well as plants, substrate, etc. Probably 3 or 4.
As for prevention - definitely need to use a gravel vac when cleaning, and also to clean the sides of the tank periodically with a sponge or something. If you do add otos, either don't overclean the sides or plan to add algae tabs, because they might not get enough to eat if you do.
Also, as mentioned above, don't overfeed. Only enough for your fish to eat in 2 or 3 minutes a couple times a day. Only type of food that should remain in the tank for more than 5 minutes are algae tabs or sinking pellets, because bottom feeders tend to graze lightly rather than pig out in a few minutes. Also, fresh veggies, like peas, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, etc., can be left in longer, and taken out if not eaten by the time it starts to look like it's decomposing.