Cleaning crew.. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Cleaning crew..

I have 9 neons and a pregnant black molly in my 29 gallon tank. I noticed yesterday, clear algae is developing on the substrate and some of the fake plants. I am looking for something other than cory cats to bottom feed and clean up any left over foods that happen to fall to the bottom after feeding time or during the night. I plan on either getting a few otos, a snail, or maybe a smaller pleco breed to clean the algae in the tank. This is not really a show tank as it isn't in a well travelled area. I was using it to QT when and if needed the other fish would move to the 55 temporarily. Shrimp would be ok but I think I would rather have like a small catfish breed other than cory.

I was thinking a couple smaller catfish and a snail or 3-4 otos.

Ideas?

20 Gallon Planted Guppy tank. Amazon Sword, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cardinalis.
55 Gallon -1 BN Pleco, 1 High Fin Syndontis, 1 Oto, ~18 Kenyi Cichlids
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 05:17 PM
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What you have does not sound like algae, it sounds like biofilm. The only thing I know that cleans biofilm well is shrimp.
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking either a Banjo Catfish or Bumblebee Catfish, maybe both as well as 3-4 otos. The cats will end up in the 55 gallon moving the bronze or peppered corys to the 29.

Any problems that anyone can forsee with this combo including the fish that are included in my signature?

20 Gallon Planted Guppy tank. Amazon Sword, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cardinalis.
55 Gallon -1 BN Pleco, 1 High Fin Syndontis, 1 Oto, ~18 Kenyi Cichlids
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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What you have does not sound like algae, it sounds like biofilm. The only thing I know that cleans biofilm well is shrimp.
Thanks I will check into that. Will a gravel vac take care of it, how can it be prevented from coming back in the future without shrimp?

20 Gallon Planted Guppy tank. Amazon Sword, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cardinalis.
55 Gallon -1 BN Pleco, 1 High Fin Syndontis, 1 Oto, ~18 Kenyi Cichlids
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 05:37 PM
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Thanks I will check into that. Will a gravel vac take care of it, how can it be prevented from coming back in the future without shrimp?
I'm not sure a gravel vac will permanently solve the problem, biofilm is a variety of tiny organisms so something like oto's might help. Not overfeeding will also help.
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 09:10 PM
My suggestion....

gravel vac, 3+ otos, more cories, and/or some shrimp (but not ghost).

Mollies & Guppies are also good for that on a smaller scale.

Gravel vac should be done for sure, otherwise it will just build up and the clean up crew wont be able to manage it. It builds up quicker and thicker in smaller tanks.

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 09:25 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.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to move 3 bronze cories from the tank I have for the time being. Maybe an oto or 2 will move over from the 55 until I get some funding for a couple more fishies.

Will RCS be eaten/bothered by mollies, platies, neons and otos?

20 Gallon Planted Guppy tank. Amazon Sword, Dwarf Hairgrass, Cardinalis.
55 Gallon -1 BN Pleco, 1 High Fin Syndontis, 1 Oto, ~18 Kenyi Cichlids

Last edited by deman3; 03-22-2011 at 09:34 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 09:43 PM
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I am going to move 3 bronze cories from the tank I have for the time being. Maybe an oto or 2 will move over from the 55 until I get some funding for a couple more fishies.

Will RCS be eaten/bothered by mollies, platies, neons and otos?
I dont think so...the only one that MIGHT try to eat them is the mollies, if they are big enough. But I still think its a safe bet.

*They call me, Amanda*
Tank 1: (29 gal planted) empty
Tank 2: (15 gal) empty
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-22-2011, 10:34 PM
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I think otos, like cories, prefer to be in groups of 3 or 4. Could be wrong, but you might want to check it out.
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