Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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magic_marty 03-10-2007 10:00 PM

need advice for algae control..
hi all..

just wondering what is the best recommendation for algae control in a 55 gallon.I don't want a pleco cause they will out grow the tank.I was considering cherry shrimp but i have bolivian rams and they would prolly eat them.I have some algae fix that is made by aquarium pharmacudicals but i am not sure about using it or just seek some other form of algae control.Its not to bad at the moment just growing some on the gravel but i feel i should try to control it before it get out of hand.

Trishfish 03-10-2007 10:05 PM

Bristlenose plecos only get 4-5 inches long. The albino ones are actually peachy in color and fun to watch.

Corydoras are another option.

magic_marty 03-10-2007 11:04 PM

i did some searching online and the largest algae eating shrimp i could find is the Caridina japonica (amano shrimp). Does anybody have any experience with these shrimp ? I think i remember seeing some at a petsmart one time when i was there and from what i remember they were quite large enough not to be eating by the fish, at least not easily.They looked to be about 2.5 to 3 inches long from what i remember.I don't remember seeing any of the albino bristlenose plecos but i will look the next time i go to a pet store, if i could find one that could very well be the solution im looking for..

Andrew 03-11-2007 06:06 PM

amano shrimp typically one inch long, though adults do grow large in good conditions.
dont confuse with the glass shrimp! this will kill your fish easily!

you know prevention is better than cure, keep shrimp to tend your plants, but regular water changes- good light management and careful feeding will ensure you keep algae under control!

musho3210 03-11-2007 06:10 PM


Originally Posted by Trishfish
Bristlenose plecos only get 4-5 inches long. The albino ones are actually peachy in color and fun to watch.

Corydoras are another option.

:? corydoras? Ive never heard of them eating algae, i think your getting them mixed up with the oto catfish

Good algae eaters:
Brittlenose Pleco
Oto catfish
Japanese Amano Shrimp
True siamese algae eaters
False Siamese algae eater (less effective than the true)

Bad algae eaters:
Chinese algae eaters, otherwise known as Algae eater
Snails fall somewhere in the middle, they might get rid of the algae problem, but then you will probably have the problem of getting rid of the snails....

and by glass shrimp do you mean ghost shrimp (Paleomonetes sp)? I dont see how these shrimp pose any threat to fish, they only post a threat to fry.

Andrew 03-11-2007 06:43 PM

no glass shrimp are huge not to be confused with anything else- they look like mini crayfish, they will catch and eat cardinals its not a ptretty thing!

musho3210 03-11-2007 06:51 PM

can you give a scientific name, normally when i hear glass shrimp i think of ghost shrimp, they dont get that big and are favorites for a clean-up crew. Common names are complicated :roll:

magic_marty 03-11-2007 07:47 PM

I have 4 corys in the tank and they only eat the sinking shrimp pellets as far as i can tell they wont eat the algae..

the algae is not that bad its just starting it seems and its the bright green algae, the reason i can see it easily is we have white gravel in the tank witch makes the algae show up more easy..I did a gravel vac this morning and it helped remove some of it cause our gravel is very thin (makes for easy cleaning)... :wink:

musho3210 03-11-2007 08:02 PM

well i dont think small amounts of algae pose any threat, they work just like plants to reduce nitrates and phosphates and provide a diet for some fish, if you dont like the look of it or if it is out of control or if it is causing problems (taking nutrients away from your plants) introducing fish is the best way to get rid of the algae while finding out why the algae came in the first place and fixing that problem. After that you wont have much of an algae problem

tophat665 03-11-2007 08:50 PM

Lots of different fish eat lots of different algae. For the stuff on the glass, Bristlenosed plecos (regular or albino) stay under 5", Bulldog Plecos mostly stay under 5" (the ones from PetSmart are one of the smaller species), and Pitbull Plecos stay around 2". Ottos are also great glass cleaners, but can be a little delicate, ans sometimes will ONLY eat algae - one per 10 gallons of tak will make it sparkle.

For hair and brush algae, shrimp are great. Amanos do get an inch and a half or maybe a little more (I have 6 in two tanks, from just under 1" to just over 1.5") They seem to do an OK job, but I really don't have enough for full algae control (5 per 20 gallons or even 10 would probably do better).

Mollies, Sword tails, and American Flag fish (sometimes incorrectly called Florida Flag fish) all do a good job on green thread algae. Unfortunatley, they are all hard water fish.

Siamese Algae Eaters (SAEs) get up to 6" log, but are the only fish know to eat Black Brush Algae, and they eat the other kinds of algae too. False SAEs look very much like SAEs (there are differences) also eat some algae, but not quite as well. Chinese Algae Eaters only eat algae when young. As they age, they get aggressive and carnivourous. Don't buy them unless you are planning on setting up a species tank. Here's a rundown of the various look-like Southeast Asian algae eaters.

Butterfly Plecos, aka Hong Kong Plecos, accurately called Hillstream Loaches also eat algae, but they prefer cool, well oxygenated water and a strong current. They're really only suited to a subtropical river tank.

In a 55, I'd go with (In fact, I have gone with) a pair or trio of bristlenosed plecos and/or three SAEs. If it were a long established tank, I might get 5 to 7 Ottos.

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