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Fish for algae?

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by dantra, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    I have a 18 gallon planted aquarium with driftwood. I would like an algae eater for the tank. It must remain small enough for the aquarium. I thought about Pygmy Cory (Corydoras pygmaeus) but not sure if they eat algae. I also thought about getting a Flying Fox but I would have to get rid of it once it grew too big. I also considered a pleco but I don't know any that stay small and eats algae.

    Any guidance is appreciated.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Any Ancistrus spp. will do well for the hardscape, Otocinclus do quite well on a number of plants. For the very fine work, I'd turn to shrimp.

    -Philosophos
     
  3. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Philosophos, I'll look into the species. Any specific recommendations?
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    What about Otocinclus spp.? No bigger than 2 inch, but they just eat "soft" algae. No reds, hair or thread.
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    If you see any bristlenose/bushynose or rubber lip, that will do in terms of ancistrus. These common names actually cover several species if you look it up under the L-number catalog on planetcatfish.com

    Otocinclus of any sort will do.

    If you've got a cold water tank, beufortia spp. of any kind will do hardscape/large plant work with a little more detail than the ancistrus, though they seem to focus on the glass a great deal.

    -Philosophos
     
  6. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks guys, I went with a long fin pleco. It should arrive next week sometime.

    I ordered 7 Scarlet Dario's from the Invertz Factory. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping at the very least one will be a female. Its going to be a species only tank (along with the pleco) so it should be interesting.

    Here are my water parameters:

    pH = 5.5
    GH = 60ppm or 3.36°
    KH = 70ppm or 3.92°
    Ammonia = 0
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = 10
    Temp = 77° - 78°

    I know I have very soft water so it makes no sense to me anyway to fight it. The best I can do is keep it clean and planted well. The plants don't mind the water being so soft because they are growing well. I just hope the darios acclimate to the water without any problems.

    The Dario's won't be arriving for another two weeks so I trimmed some plants, replanted and reorganized a bit. Here is a sneak-peek :D


    [​IMG]
     
  7. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    To me nothing beats SAE's in effectivenss, Plecos are nice but they tend to dig around in your tank which gives a lot of substrate disturbance and sometimes they uproot small plants.
    SAE's get 6 inches eventually, but you can always change them for juveniles before they get that size.
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Sae

    Hi,

    All the recommendations are good, but I am with Dutchy, I do not think you can find a better all round algae eater than the SAE, Crossocheilus siamensis.

    Living in the US you have to be very careful you are getting a true SAE. Unlike other algae eaters the SAE is rather social, so get three or five if possible.

    Biollante
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Fish are fairly good, particularly for edges and for driftwood(Rubber nose, various other medium and smaller species will do well in the pleco/Loricariidae family).

    I think shrimps are very effective also and might serve better in many tank situations over various fish.

    Rosy barbs, cherry barbs, American Flag fish are also pretty good for furry algae, but they also like to go after Riccia/moss etc.

    SAE's have always nailed my Rotala wallichii.
    They do not eat the plant, but rather, maul the leaves cleaning it, causing stunting.

    SAE's get fat lazy and do little other than bully and eat the other fish fish's food later as they get good sized. They also very difficult to catch and remove from a fully planted tank.

    Some of the rosy barbs make really nice additions and school very nice, high intensity fish, but they will maul anything furry looking.

    I think you should really look at algae eaters as icing on the cake rather than primary algae removal.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Agreed, one should right the root issue behind the algae however I believe my tank is coming along nicely. I just would like an algae eating fish just to help keep the rocks clean every once in a while. I know that I don't have no where near enough algae in my tank to sustain the fish but I thought it would be nice to have one around. My lights are over two feet from the substrate to the lights, to be exact its 30 inches but the rocks still happen to get a bit of algae on them so I thought a little helper would be nice. I thought a small pleco would be nice. Here is a photo of my tank:

    [​IMG]

    I got a partial shipment in for the fish I ordered. I would like to buy some live Daphnia and some live Grandial Worms. Does anyone know where to get them from? I need some like yesterday! Here are a couple of crappy photo's of my fish:

    Male and female
    [​IMG]

    Female
    [​IMG]
     
  11. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just a quick question, will HC grow/can I grow HC in the sand?
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes

    Yes.

    Biollante
     
  13. dantra

    dantra Lifetime Charter Member
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    Cool, thanks.
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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  15. rickwrench

    rickwrench Junior Poster

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    I've had the best algae removal results with american/florida flagfish (jordanella floridae). Far and above any other "algae eater" fish.
    SAEs, as mentioned, just get fat and mean, Loricariidae (at least the species that actually do eat algae) get too big. LFS mollies do ok, wild sailfins do better.
    I had a 5g hex that I was using to see just how big a wad of brown hair algae I could actually grow. Pretty big, it turned out, about the size of a rugby ball, a glob at least 14" long and 10" across. It had consumed the entire root system of a big string of floating Brazillian pennywort, grown completely around a piece of driftwood that was wrapped in java moss, and was smothering several small swords. The sacrificial cycle guppies were nearly crowded out of all the remaining swimming space. As an experiment (and to further put off working on the tank), I dropped one (and only one) adult female flagfish into the tank. It immediately started slurping down strings of algae like a five year old eating spaghetti. It was a -lot- of hair algae, and it was amazingly all gone in three days. I wish I had taken before/after pics.
    As luck would have it, I drained, moved, and severely trimmed my 33g altum tank a few weeks ago. The change upset the tank's balance a bit, and it experienced an outbreak of green hair algae around the oak leaves on the bottom. I added three female flagfish and shot pics and a time lapse movie. All traces of algae gone in two days:

    Before...
    After...
    Time lapse movie-1min = 2hours (5mb quicktime)

    In the past, I've watched them work over clumps of black/green slimy cyano, also black brush algae and duck weed. They are nice looking, tough as nails, indifferent to a variety of water conditions and temps, and, entertaining. Especially during their mating and territorial dominance "dances". Tail standing, backflips, barrel rolls, etc. They are generally peaceful in a community tank, although males will guard eggs with enthusiasm. My favorite algae eaters.

    Rick
     
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