Algae Eaters

  1. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    There are many types of algae eating fish. What is the best algae eating fish for tank maintenance. Also, does an algae eater eat brown algae, or is it specific to green algae? I want to buy one for each of my tanks I wanted to know what the general opinion is.
  2. e_watson09

    e_watson09 Well Known Member Member

    I've heard otos are the best for eating the most algae :)

    I've never personally owned them tho.
  3. c

    catsma_97504 Fishlore Legend Member

    There are many variables. Nerite snails, otos, bristlenose, sae, shrimp, etc. And not all of them can go into every tank.

  4. bassbonediva

    bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    Depends on your setup as to what algae eater is "best."

    For small tanks (under 15 gallons), nerite snails are usually the best because they have a small bioload and don't breed in freshwater. They also come in many "styles" and colors/patterns.

    For 15-30 gallon tanks, otos are good. The "issue" with otos is finding good stock and giving them a constant supply of algae. They tend to be a little sensitive when it comes to water parameters, so an established tank is best. However, if you can find hardy ones, they'll survive just about anything. (True) Siamese algae eaters are good for the mid-sized tanks as well.

    For 30 gallons and up, the smaller plecos generally work well. Bristlenose, clown, gypsy king tiger, etc. Some of the larger plecos work in the bigger tanks (I'd say 100 gallons and up), but I'm pretty sure common plecos stop eating algae after they reach a certain size.

    All algae eaters will eat "brown" algae (which is actually called diatoms). Some will eat green algae, some won't. None that I know of will eat the hard green spot algae.
  5. OP
    Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    I have three tanks, 20, 20 and thirty that are community tanks. I was thinking of putting Chinese Algae Eaters in each of the tanks to keep the algae to a minimum.
  6. r

    ray_sj Valued Member Member

    I used to have 3 otos in my 29 gal. They completely cleared the tank of brown algae within 3 days. You'll probably need to supplement their diet with veggies if you decide to keep them.
  7. bassbonediva

    bassbonediva Fishlore VIP Member

    Chinese algae eaters are NOT good fish. Especially not for small tanks. I have personally seen a CAE that was almost a foot in length. It was in a 90gal African cichlid show tank and was hanging out on the front wall. As soon as it swam away from the wall, the cichlids ran and hid. CAEs are notorious for latching onto the sides of fish and sucking off their slime coat. I would not recommend CAE for any tank, especially not as "algae control."
  8. allaboutfish

    allaboutfish Well Known Member Member

    nerite snails are my favorite
  9. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    Otos are good. I keep two in my 6g edge *gasp* they also chow on zucchini and algae wafers, but that tank is CLEAN! They get back up on the other types of algae they don't like as much from some shrimp. The shrimp spend alot of time stealing the bottom feeder pellets from my corys which is disturbing because shrimp is a major ingredient :)

    A bushy nose pleco, 2 otos, and a hillstream loach keep my other 23ish gallon planted tank algae free. Otos LOVE brown algae.
    PS, my general rule is that I break stocking "rules" :)
  10. n

    newhobbiest New Member Member

    I was having a problem with brown algae in my tank, so I got 2 Plecostomus. They ate all the brown algae and keep the tank clean. I feed them zuccuni (sp?) slices and algae wafers and enjoy watching them play while they're eating them. I am happy I got them because they are beautiful, efficient, and enjoyable
  11. OP
    Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    I am afraid the plecos would be too big for this tank. I have one in my 60 and he will soon be moving to my 100. I think I will settle on cories for my smaller tanks. But, you are saying I need to put in some zuchini and algae wafers, anything else they like?
  12. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    I think you meant otos?? Otos will chow down on zucchini, but you have to blanch it. I just throw some in a coffee cup with enough water to cover it, then microwave it for like a minute, just enough to make it softer. Then I will tie some cotton thread on it and just drop it in leaving enough thread outside the tank so you can retrieve the left overs after a day. You may need to offer it a couple times before they catch on. Supposedly they will eat leafy greens and cucumber also (blanched).
    There are lots of different theories about the cause, but just know that it isn't unusual for a healthy looking oto to be placed in your healthy, beautiful tank and croak in short order. I suspect that being so small bodied and kept in tanks with no algae in stores, they are pretty terribly malnourished from the get go. I would just say talk to your lfs and try to get some new arrivals, or ensure they've been eating wafers or veggies. I also wait until I've got decent algae in my tank before I stock otos. Mine are hardy and happy. They also appreciate company.
  13. jbdub

    jbdub Valued Member Member

    I got a Golden Siamese Algea Eater about 5 months ago. This was before I knew of their infamous temperment.
    In saying that in the time I've had him his size hasn't increased much, he's about 2 inches now. He actually did do a great job eating algae but I seem to be one of the rare few cases where that's been the case.
    I'll have to rehome him eventually which sucks because he's a cool little fish.
  14. OP
    Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    :;thx Sorry, yes I did mean ottos. I bought 9 of them yesterday, and I am going to split them up between the two tanks and give them a whirl. The place I got them from, I trust, but I will still Quar. them for a week or more to make sure. :;wk
  15. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    Cool! Do your best to keep their little tummies full and that will go along way. Still, don't assume you've done anything wrong if you lose one or two.
  16. amber0107

    amber0107 Well Known Member Member

    Like mentioned above, supplement their diets with zucchini and algae wafers if your tanks don't have enough algae. I also run my lights much longer in the tank with the otos since they keep it completely clean. And watch your nitrates because otos prefer low nitrates.
  17. OP
    Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy Lubianetsky Well Known Member Member

    I watch my water parameters like a hawk. I test them every morning and change water accordingly. But it looks like I might have lost one, he is sucked up to the filter. I grabbed him and he is still alive, maybe he will make it.
  18. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    Fingers crossed....
  19. soltarianknight

    soltarianknight Fishlore VIP Member

    if it doesnt work out, BN pleco do fine in 20gals and better in 30s. Same for clown plecos, both require some drift wood though.
  20. iRun

    iRun Valued Member Member

    +1 on the bushy nose pleco. I'm generally not a fan of albinos, but albino bn actually turn a beautiful golden color. Mines a workhorse and if the corys are too slow, they have to wait till he finishes with their pellets...