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Need a driftwood algae eater...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by DaveSurfer, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    I'm setting up a 33 gallon with a huge piece of driftwood and will be stocking it with SAEs, otos, and cherry shrimp for the algae crew. What can I get that will effectively clean off the harder, flat green algae that grows on driftwood? I know that plecos do this but they also eat plants and uproot stuff.

    THanks!
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Rubber nose plecos do a decent job.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom! And they won't be nibbling on the glosso or HC right? In a 33 gallon how big do you think they'd grow? Hopefully only a couple inches max. And they won't eat my cherry shrimp? ...and oops this thread was suppost to go into "Fish for planted tanks".
     
  4. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    Make sure you do not want to grow Rotala 'Vietnam' or wallichi if you plan to have SAEs.
     
  5. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    :( Wallichi? Really? I was actually planning on that one as my bright red plant! Weird I never thought SAEs ate any plants...
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    My shovelnose pleco does fine in my 30g, he has not grown much past the 3" he was when I bought him, and he has never touched my plants, only eaten algae off of them.
     
  7. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah the rubbernose can get to 5". But I googled "shovelnose" and am getting it as a catfish not a pleco (although I guess plecos are a catfish) In the pic below it looks much like a loach as has the markings of a yoyo loach! I love the looks!!
    [​IMG]

    I have read that the shovel nose can grow to 2 feet!! Maybe it just grows into the size of the aquarium though. Or is the wrong type? I see "Tiger" shovelnose. Are there smaller types?

    So it does eat the flat green algae off driftwood. And do you have HC or glosso?
     
  8. Signus

    Signus Prolific Poster

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    The myth that fish grow to the size of the tank has been the death of countless goldfish. More often, it arises from uncontrolled amounts of nitrates and physical trauma which stunt further growth.

    Fish have indeterminate growth over their lives. They may reach the maximum length quickly, then slowly add on girth and depth to their bodies (kinda like humans as we reach middle age :D ).

    -----------------

    Sorry for going off topic.

    Bristle nose plecos are a good choice too.
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    That shovelnose is definitely not the one you're looking for. The red tailed cat behind it would be even worse. These are big fish for big tanks.

    You might have more luck here but I didn't find anything on the shovelnose pleco. The best I could find seems to indicate that if might be the same as a rubbernose.

    PlanetCatfish • the online home of aquarium catfishes
     
  10. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah they looked like they grow huge. I've found out there's a few species of rubbernose. The one I think I need to get is the L187b not the L187 or L187a or "rubberlipped" as they grow very large. The Rubbernose L187b only gets a few inches. I have to make sure they won't eat my HC, glosso or shrimp though! I've spent a lot of time getting those carpets going and I don't want anyone eating it!
     
  11. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    My pleco may not be a 'shovelnose' that's just what I was told when I bought him. He's sort of speckled as opposed to striped, and has a square mouth on him. He's a pleco, not a catfish. I have had regular plecos too and they have never eaten my plants.
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Here's a good site for Loricaridae ID, check the L-number catalog:
    Planet Catfish

    Rubbernose plecos are good. In addition, Ancistrus spp. in general will rasp on wood for digestive aid while eating algae. I've kept a couple kinds with tougher plants; no damage resulted. The driftwood was always clean.

    -Philosophos
     
  13. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Yeah the L187b is the guy I need to get. I do have soft plants like HC and glosso so...
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Either L-187 would do. There are probably other Chaetostoma that would function similarly as well. You could also check out any of the beaufortia spp. Despite the typical recommendations, I've found flow doesn't matter much with them; they like it but don't need it. They're good algae eaters, though not the same reputation as the rubbernose. I've never had problems with them damaging things, and they look neat.

    -Philosophos
     
  15. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Hmmm...they do look cool. How big do they grow? I'd like something nocturnal though. I don't want him sucking on everything during the day.
     
  16. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    For Beaufortia, I've had various experiences with their size. The 4 year old ones in my 33g aren't more than a couple of inches. A lot of the time they're about 3 inches, give or take a bit. I saw one monster that must've had some sort of condition; it looked about ''6.

    IME they're skittish; tend to move rather than cling. I've seen them active on both day and night cycles.

    You won't want to push your aquarium temp too high with these guys. I've kept them at 26c without any problems; some sources recommend 23c.

    -Philosophos
     
  17. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Thats the thing too, I'm putting cardinals in there which like tempertures closer to 30.
     
  18. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've kept cardinals in 25c without any trouble. True, they have a higher upper tolerance, but it's not necessary in my own experience. In all honesty, I've found that outside of breeding, fish keepers can get a bit too paranoid about the temperatures they expose their fish to. Think of the average water temperature swing between dry and rainy seasons in some of the places that these fish come from.

    -Philosophos
     
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