Algae Eater for a Strange Community
I have a 110 (48x18x32" tall) that I have set up for 2 or 3 senegal bichirs, a half dozen leopard ctenos, and some swordtails. It's heavily planted with all sorts of plants and well lit (260 watts CF lighting - not in all the right spectra, but I haven't had time and funding and inclination to swap out the actinics yet) and has a ton of hiding spaces - 8 lengths of 2" PVC buried in the substrate (Mixed sand, soil, peat, and clay), plus gaps and crevices in the concealing rockwork. . In any case, there's an immense amount of real estate on the front glass, and I am starting to get more algae than I care to clean my hand. Right now, there's a mystery snail in there doing his inadequate best on it, but I am thinking of adding another algae eater of some sort.
So, what algae eating fish would work with a couple 2 or 4 bichirs?
I have a spare male albino bristlenose who's about 3" long now (about a year old) and who I expect will put on another inch at least. Would he work? I'm avoiding SAEs on this tank. I notice they get lazy as they grow.
Everything I've read says clown plecos aren't very good algae eaters, but my experience says otherwise. He chews on his driftwood all day long, but at night he does a number on my algae. Scrubs the glass bare - better than I can say for any of my snails. Normally I put some kind of veggies in the tank for him before the lights go out, but if I've got new algae growth I want him to work on, I just skip the veggies for a night or two.
I have a female Albino Bristlenose in my 46 and she's doing a good job. She's about the size of your male.
I once had a Hong Kong Pleco (Beaufortia Kweichowensis) that was the best algae eater I've ever owned! He was only about and inch long (maybe 1 1/2" tops), but he ate algae like crazy. I've never seen anything like him before. For such a small guy, he literally kept my 40 gallon tank spotless! It was amazing, but I can't find any in the stores around here. I've been seriously thinking about ordering one from somewhere.
(What are SAE's? I'm terrible with abbreviations.)
SAE = Siamese Algae Eater
The question I have is will my Bristlenose get bitten/eaten by my Bichirs if I put him in there?
If so, is there another algae eating critter that does as good a job as a Bristlenose that is big enough to withstand Bichir depredations, yet not so big as to completely wreck my aquascape (thinking 8" max). A rinoloricaria whiptail? A farlowella? Two of each? I don't mind getting a little esoteric (though once I get over about 20 bucks a fish the Missus starts to sputter.)
What's more, I want to be as sure as I can that the bichirs are unlikely to even try to eat the Bristlenose, as those little spikes what come out of the side of the face could lead to two dead fish for the price of 1 (very nice in a seafood restaurant, very bad in an aquarium).
As for Clown Plecos, they are great algae eaters that get a bad rap because no one ever sees them eating algae (or really ever sees them at all). Unfortunately, they are a bit smaller than Bristlenoses, so the same issue obtains.
Good deal. I have put the albino Ancistrus in there with him.
I got a long response from a bichir evangelist on another forum. The upshot of it was that vegetarian loricarids 4" and over but no skinnier than Rineloricaria sp. will work. Someday I may, if I can extract the Ancistrus, put a trio of Rinelorcarias in there.
Panaque maccus was not on her list, but P. negorolineatus and P. suttoni were.
Is this person by any chance, Anne (also known as beblondie in other forums), Tophat? I've always talked to her whenever I have time. And yes, Anne has full knowledge re the polypterus indeed along with possible tankmates. I've tried the Ancistrus sp. with no issues but it was 4 inches already. The other person who tried it here is Lonewolfblue.
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