Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Kaddock 02-09-2009 10:30 PM

River Loach Questions
I just bought a chinese hillstream loach for my 2 gallon aquarium to take care of the algae. This is a new planted setup, with candy shrimp and I am planning to get a tiny school of fish to complete the feature. My concern is for the loach. Since this is a new setup, there is virtually no algae for him to skim from the tank. I have dropped algae wafers in with hopes that he would like them, but as far as I can tell he hates to do anything but stay on a flat surface... any advice??? thanks! :-P

aunt kymmie 02-09-2009 10:33 PM

2gl? That's a pretty small tank for a loach, shrimp AND a school of small fish. Was 2 gl a typo??

Kaddock 02-09-2009 10:38 PM

Nope 2 gallon. I probably won't have fish, maybe a couple of guppies... The loach is supposed to have reached it's max size according to the fish store, about two inches. The shrimp are tiny and the plants are lush. The filter rocks and there is a constant current.

aunt kymmie 02-09-2009 10:47 PM

I just read this at

"They will take prepared foods, but ultimately, it seems that algae and all the little goodies it contains are a large contributor to long term success with these fish. In their natural habitat, they graze the rocks for micro organisms (aufwuchs).
Therefore, they are not suited to fresh, newly set up tanks. They will take pellet food, flake, Algae wafers, shrimp pellets, live and frozen foods, particularly frozen Bloodworm and Brine Shrimp. Jim Powers feeds his fish blanched kale leaves, which they relish.
Several of us that have been keeping them for a while have set up a small aquarium outside in a sunny position and placed easily movable pebbles in it to allow algae to grow on them. If you have enough, they can be rotated to give a steady supply of green-stuff to your Hillstreams who will relish the treat."

I've also read numerous places that they can reach 3". If it was me I'd want to house him in a larger tank.

Kaddock 02-09-2009 10:53 PM

thanks for the info! well that's too bad... can you recommend a small versatile algae eater that would thrive in this environment?

aunt kymmie 02-09-2009 11:13 PM

The smallest algae eaters I know are Otos but they require an established tank (with algae) and spot on water parameters. Off hand I can't think of any appropriate algae eaters for a 2gl. Maybe someone else does? :-?

onefish2fish 02-09-2009 11:16 PM

algae scraper and water changes.

Kaddock 02-09-2009 11:30 PM

well shoot! i thought this was going to be more fun! ok, i will probably relocate the loach then, and hope for the best... thanks! :-?

onefish2fish 02-09-2009 11:33 PM

no problem, thanks for finding a better home for the fish.

if you think about it, even in a larger tank it comes down to algae scraping and water changes. yes, some algae grazers will help - but thats to a certain extent. all fish and snails have a bioload and create waste. algae feeds from waste, mostly nitrates and phosphates. so adding a fish just raises these levels and water changes lowers them.

aunt kymmie 02-09-2009 11:38 PM

OF2F is right. I have a larger tank and I'm using the magnetic algae scraper every single day and once a week I've got to manually get in there and scrub on water change day. I've got a bristlenose plec and seven otos in this tank and without my help those guys can't keep up.

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