Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   What would be a good fish or invert to clean uo the substrate? (

KSASTER2 03-03-2010 09:17 AM

What would be a good fish or invert to clean uo the substrate?
Any recommendations on a good cleaner for dead plant matter and left over food. My tank is currently stocked with 10 neons and 3 guppies.

Byron 03-03-2010 11:04 AM

Nothing in my experience will eat dead plant matter; you either leave it (if not excessive of course) to naturally decompose and provide food for the plants and bacteria, or you remove it.

As for uneaten food, this is an issue as the food will fungus before it can decompose. There are two ways to solve this problem. One is to feed less; if food is falling to the bottom noticeably, too much is being fed. But some still will with only top feeders, I have had this myself. The solution to that is a group of bottom feeders. I have Corydoras and Whiptail cats in my 115g, Corydoras and Farlowella cats in my 90g, and loaches in my 70g. I never see uneaten food. I used to in tanks without these fish, and sometimes in tanks with them (a sign of my feeding too much).

Before adding more fish, how large is this tank? One has to be careful not to overextend the biological balance with too many fish, or worse problems than some fungused food will occur.

KSASTER2 03-03-2010 11:36 AM

30g planted... 10 neons, 3 guppies

redchigh 03-03-2010 12:03 PM

Actually, I thought snails ate dead plant matter.

They'll eat whatever they can get, but will usually leave plants alone.

If you're worried about them reproducing, buy some nerites. (Nerite eggs only hatch in salt water but the snails do fine in fresh)

Nerites aren't cheap though... (maybe 1.50 ea at sweet aquatics... they can also give you some ramshorns or MTS for free if you want to try them..)

I'm almost positive snails will eat dead plant matter...
Also, angel says that CPO's (dwarf crayfish) will not bother your plants in a planted tank, but they would probably eat dead plant matter...

Byron 03-03-2010 12:04 PM

A small group of Corydoras (5) would be fine [they must be in groups], or a single fish of one of the small catfish that interests you. And I mentioned the snails in that other thread, they will help with this. If fish are chosen, research and find ones you like; your tank is not unlimited when it comes to putting fish in it, so you don't want something that is not interesting to you just to serve this purpose.

Oldfishlady 03-03-2010 12:55 PM

Common snails are one of the best to clean up/eat dead plant matter IMO, the shrimp are great to shred dead plants so they break down faster, however, us hobbyist are the best to clean dead plants out of the depending on what type of planted set up you keep too IMO. And if or how long you want dead plant matter to lay around in the tank and how it will affect the water quality.

kamrail 03-03-2010 02:39 PM

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