Good Algae/ Waste Eater - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Good Algae/ Waste Eater

I am looking for recommendations on a good algae eater/waste consumer for my tank. Currently I have 3 tinfoil barbs, and 2 gouramis in it. The tank is 29 g planted and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thankx
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 02:11 PM
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Im no whizz, but you could have a bristle nosed plec, clown plec, thats what i am hoping in my 25 gallon tank
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 02:20 PM
tinfoils get real big.your gonna need a larger tank soon =)

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 02:21 PM
bristlenose pleco will eat your plants..well some but not all type if the arent fed well.

5x2x2 aro,highfin bat,fei feng,ST,albino tinfoil,c.perch
4x1.5x1.5 planted tetras,harlequins,
otto,WMM,2 types of celebes rainbows,rcs,amano, bamboo,red ramhorns,MTS
3.5x2.5x2 flowerhorn,pleco
3x1.5x1.5 russel's lion,blue cleaner,sixline and leopard wrasse,maroon clown pair,green chromis,scorpion,tiger cowrie,turbo,lyretail anthias,jewel,anemone,star polyp,marbled and giant green mushi,zoa
2x1x1 nano sw shrimps
22 May 2012
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 05:40 PM
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It rather depends upon what you mean by "waste" (I think we all know what algae is). If you really are meaning fish waste, only bacteria and snails will consume that. If you mean uneaten food, some fish might pick bits of it, but not reliably. Here again, snails are your friend; reducing the amount fed to eliminate it is advisable. The fish waste should be allowed to settle into the substrate where bacteria can convert it to organics and nutrients for the plants.

There are fish that eat specific types of algae; several (otos, some but not all plecos, Farlowella) will eat diatoms (brown) that usually only appears in new tanks during the first copuple of months, and these also eat common green. Brush algae will be eaten by the true Siamese Algae Eater, but they get large (6+ inches) and are not appropriate for a 29g tank. Some regular fish like mollies will nibble on algae, and rift lake cichlids do (the mbuna grazers). My pencilfish Nanostomus beckfordi frequently pick off green algae from plant leaves. But not to excess.

I'm not a fan of having algae-eating fish solely for that purpose. First, they frequently do a limited job (too specific as noted above) and they add to the bioload themselves; if it is a fish you really like and want as a fish in its own right and it happens to eat certain algae, that's different. Like my Farlowella that are to me fascinating fish, and they are ravenous algae eaters but only the common algae, but they keep the plants spotless. I have a trio because I really like the fish; their algae eating is a bonus. Keeping the light duration minimal (sufficient for the plants in balance with the available nutrients) will usually keep algae from being troublesome.

Byron.

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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post #6 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kitten_penang View Post
bristlenose pleco will eat your plants..well some but not all type if the arent fed well.
BNP are plant safe plecos, mine don't touch my plants. I rarely feed them, they just whatever leftovers they can find.

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post #7 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 11:10 PM
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BNP are plant safe plecos, mine don't touch my plants. I rarely feed them, they just whatever leftovers they can find.
Neither does mine, he gently cleans the leaves of algae. Great little fish.

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-24-2010, 11:50 PM
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Agree with others with respect to the Bristlenose Pleco, they seldom do damage to plants but will consume dead or dying plant matter.
Also agree with Kitten with respect to the TinFoil barbs being unsuitable long term for a 29 gallon tank,
The Tinfoil Barbs will grow too large for anything smaller than 90 gallons in my view.
I might consider a barb such as Puntius nigrofasciatus (black ruby Barb). they are much smaller as adults and enjoy eating all manner of algae but i might worry bout delicate plants.
I have a group of ten in an 80 gallon at the moment and they are a very pretty fish in my view.

Another fish that stays relatively small and is unique with respect to alage control is Herotilapia Multispinosa (Rainbow cichlid) These are also a very pretty Cichlid when kept in proper enviornment (ie) dark substrate ,with subdued lighting . They are one of only a couple fish that will consume Filamentous Algae.
They are relatively peaceful fishes for cichlids but do not tolerate lapse maint of the aquarium and frequent small water changes will benefit them.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-25-2010, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the great responses! So I bought 2 Small Bristlenose plecos last night at the LFS. And one of them immediately went after my small cambodia plants. By the morning about 30% of them were remaining, they would eat at the bottom of the stem and I would find them floating. So I am not going to have any of them in the tank and I will return them and buy more plants. A hard lesson learned :( I liked my plants.
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-25-2010, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewsz123 View Post
Thank you for all the great responses! So I bought 2 Small Bristlenose plecos last night at the LFS. And one of them immediately went after my small cambodia plants. By the morning about 30% of them were remaining, they would eat at the bottom of the stem and I would find them floating. So I am not going to have any of them in the tank and I will return them and buy more plants. A hard lesson learned :( I liked my plants.
you should get some of those big mystery snails :) i have nuisance snails in my smaller tank and i like the fact that they've eaten off all the algae on my heater so now i can actually read the dials even if they are multiplying at an alarming rate. (the other day i saw my betta eat a baby snail so maybe she will keep them in check..)

mystery snails need a male and female to reproduce so they won't become a nuisance like my nuisance snails :)
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