Clean Up Crew

hdrestr

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Apr 25, 2009
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Milwaukee, WI
One of my favorite things in the saltwater aquarium I once had was the clean-up crew. Some were added by me (snails, shrimp, crabs) and some came along for the ride when I ordered macroalgea and live rock (worms, copepods, amphipods).

Is there anything comparable to these critters for the freshwater planted tank? I know about the snails and shrimp, but what about the really small guys? Also, should I add the shrimp and snails before adding any fish, or after?

Thanks!

-herm
 

shoggoth43

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Jan 15, 2009
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If you plant heavily enough it won't matter. If you're still adding plants, then the shrimp, snails ( if you bother ), ottos/cories whatnot can be added in shifts before you add the main inhabitants.

-
S
 

Tom Barr

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Herbivores are a bit like icing on a cake.
Certainly useful, but not required by any means, the really small ones do not have much impact, mostly in large pleagic FW systems like lakes with phytoplankton, not really for epiphytic algae.

Amano shrimp, Otto cats and rubber nose plecos are some of the better critters IME.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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hdrestr;36937 said:
Thanks for the recommendations, I should have known that the plants will take care of a lot in the tank.

Well, so can Xenia and other marine critters.
FW systems are more bacterial and plant dominated, and more variable/less stbale, they have much stronger dynamics season to season, often missing water most of a season and then a huge flood the remainder. We add damns and water stabilizing construction, then wonder why we have aquatic weed issues.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Philosophos

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For algae, Beaufortia are great for large leaves and glass, pretty much any Ancistrus (rubbernose/lip, bristle/bushynose etc) species is a good bet. Cardia/Neocardinia of many species do great detail work (yamato, cherry shrimp, bumble bee, crystal red and so on). Siamese algae eaters always pop up for eating more repulsive algae. Some people swear by snails for everything and seem to work, I prefer mine with a little garlic and butter.

-Philosophos