Best Glass Algae Eater: Snail Or Fish?

Jenoli42
  • #1
HI team!

first, don't worry. we know the main life form who's responsible for cleaning algae from the inside of a tank is us humans.

but! one tank gets way more algae than the other so we're hoping to get suggestions of how to have both maintain less algae while not shirking our own maintenance.

I posted the beginning of this week about algae on just one type of decoration in our 72g Bowfront. but we now notice some white film also developing on the glass itself. (we didn't have this when the ramshorm snails invaded but our Odessas ate all of those. lol. that's why we suspect it's slowly building up since then.)

I can't take a photo because there's so little of it that it doesn't show up in photos but we can see it from where we touch the inside.

our planned stocking is (* denotes what we already have):

-10 sterbaI Cory (3* in tank atm, 5 in QT atm to be added in 2 wks)
-15 Odessa Barbs (7* females in tank atm, 8 males in QT to be added in 9 days)
-1 x male firemouth
-1 x male EBJD (don't worry we will watch for aggression & rehome a cichlid if necessary... lots of caves & hiding spots)

we are wondering about apple snails or mystery snails or a single algae eater.

(our other tank has 2 Apple snails, 11 kuhlI loaches & 1 pleco and has hardly any algae of course.)

thoughts, team?
 
Culprit
  • #2
Apple or mystery snails won't barely do anything for algae plus they add a large bioload.

Otos, Amano Shrimp, and Nerite snails are all great.
 
The Rover
  • #3
I wouldn’t get anything just for algae cleaning because as you said, you will be the best solution for controlling algae and cleaning the glass in your tank.

That being said, I think nerite snails are the best especially on the glass. They’ll lay eggs but they won’t hatch in freshwater so no snail explosion and they have a smaller bioload than other snails. You most likely will never have to supplement their diet as they’ll subsist on what they can find on every surface in your tank.
 
86 ssinit
  • #4
Yes I clean my tanks. That said I like natural things. So I have 7 nerites and 3 ottos and one sae in my 30 gal. Upon adding each one they do a great job on algae. Ottos eat algae on glass and spot algae. Sae eats bba and nerites eat whatever. Works out great and my cleaning is much less.
On my 90 I have 4 ottos and a pair of sae. Added ottos to eat algae on plants and there doing fine (I may need more) and I added the sae to take care of a developing bba problem and they eat it all. I do feed them all algae wafers every other day. So yes there are algae eaters that actually eat algae.
 
The Rover
  • #5
Yes I clean my tanks. That said I like natural things. So I have 7 nerites and 3 ottos and one sae in my 30 gal. Upon adding each one they do a great job on algae. Ottos eat algae on glass and spot algae. Sae eats bba and nerites eat whatever. Works out great and my cleaning is much less.
On my 90 I have 4 ottos and a pair of sae. Added ottos to eat algae on plants and there doing fine (I may need more) and I added the sae to take care of a developing bba problem and they eat it all. I do feed them all algae wafers every other day. So yes there are algae eaters that actually eat algae.

Oto’s should be kept in groups of at least 6, if possible. I only had 1 and added 5 in January and it definitely makes them less shy. They really work the entire tank having more buddies to hang out with. I have 7 nerites in my 36bf, which I didn’t intend to have that many but had to remove 3 of them from another tank because I was dosing meds.

I was worried having so many algae and biofilm eaters but they are all doing well so far.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
so we can't get nerite snails in NZ @TheRover .

@88 _ssinit we can get sae's but for them to be happy I think we'd need "too many" for our stocking plans & we plan on having aggressive fish.

we can get Malaysian trumpet snails here but I'm concerned about them over breeding.

bn's could be a plan.

I've never seen oto s for sale but they sound a bit delicate?

we might just get a better magnet scrubber & rely on our UV filter to suck it up.

never had algae concerns before. sigh
 
The Rover
  • #7
You could also look into amano shrimp. They are good algae eaters as well.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
You could also look into amano shrimp. They are good algae eaters as well.

I will check if we can get them but we've never had shrimp and everything I read tells me they are super sensitive? I'm keeping quiet about this option to my partner who desperately wants shrimp lol
 
The Rover
  • #9
I think they just have to acclimated like any other shrimp but I’ve never had them so I can’t say for sure. It’s worth a look since they won’t add anywhere near the bioload that a bn Pleco would add.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
update. otto's are available here. still can't see shrimp online tho...
 
The Rover
  • #11
I think they just have to acclimated like any other shrimp but I’ve never had them so I can’t say for sure. It’s worth a look since they won’t add anywhere near the bioload that a bn Pleco would add.

Oto’s need to be in a group of at least 6. They would not do well in a tank with aggressive fish which is what you said you have/wanted.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
You could also look into amano shrimp. They are good algae eaters as well.

Will our Odessas or cichlids eat the shrimp? still can't see any online for sale in NZ but maybe...
 
The Rover
  • #13
I’m not sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if they would eat the shrimp.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
I’m not sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if they would eat the shrimp.

we figured... we don't mind bio load so a bn is looking like a possibility combined with new magnet glass algae cleaner. thank you
 
goldface
  • #15
My vote is for the otocinclus. Mine does a great job. I actually think they can sustain themselves on biofilm almost as well, if not equal to, as algae.

Second goes to the ramshorn, but you said they were all eaten. Lol.

Nerites do a good job too, but I rehomed mine after she kept laying eggs everywhere. Problem is there is no sexual dimorphism between males and females.

Also, my Clown Pleco, the Panaqolus maccus, does a great job keeping the tank algae free. She’s the best. I’m just not sure if they’ll clean the glass of just biofilm alone.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
My vote is for the otocinclus. Mine does a great job. I actually think they can sustain themselves on biofilm almost as well, if not equal to, as algae.

Second goes to the ramshorn, but you said they were all eaten. Lol.

Nerites do a good job too, but I rehomed mine after she kept laying eggs everywhere. Problem is there is no sexual dimorphism between males and females.

Also, my Clown Pleco, the Panaqolus maccus, does a great job keeping the tank algae free. She’s the best. I’m just not sure if they’ll clean the glass of just biofilm alone.
ooooo... new term to look up! biofilm! how can you tell if you have that? *googled straight away* lolz
 
goldface
  • #17
ooooo... new term to look up! biofilm! how can you tell if you have that? *googled straight away* lolz
I prefer the German term aufwuchs. Every established aquarium has it (some more than others).

It has taken a while, but I found my otocinclus sustains itself fine with rarely any supplemental feeding. My tank has barely any algae growth nowadays, but plenty of aufwuchs to graze on.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
I prefer the German term aufwuchs. Every established aquarium has it (some more than others).

It has taken a while, but I found my otocinclus sustains itself fine with rarely any supplemental feeding. My tank has barely any algae growth nowadays, but plenty of aufwuchs to graze on.

I don't think that's what's decided to start coating our glass but yes I'm sure both our tanks have some... I too think the German word is more onomatopoeia-ic lolz

so there are Borneo Suckers available. several websites said their max temp is 24ºC but a couple said 26ºC. our tank will be 24º as steady as we can make it anyway.

our tank has that bio film & algae they need. high oxygen. high flow rate.

but I don't wanna keep them at their max temp if it can stress them. we were thinking 2-3 if the temp is ok....

I prefer the German term aufwuchs. Every established aquarium has it (some more than others).

It has taken a while, but I found my otocinclus sustains itself fine with rarely any supplemental feeding. My tank has barely any algae growth nowadays, but plenty of aufwuchs to graze on.
nm. it's totally bio film. got a few photos that matched. nothing on water surface because our flow rate is high . lol
 
Dave125g
  • #19
There are many types of algae. There are many types of algae eaters, that will eat different types of algae. I have ramshorn snails , 5 SAEs , a BN pleco, a clown, 12 ottos, and I remove most of the algae myself.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
There are many types of algae. There are many types of algae eaters, that will eat different types of algae. I have ramshorn snails , 5 SAEs , a BN pleco, a clown, 12 ottos, and I remove most of the algae myself.
any experience with Borneo Suckers?
 
Dave125g
  • #21
any experience with Borneo Suckers?
No I'm afraid I don't.
Just looked it up. Another name for them is the hill stream loach. They need a large tank with lots of moving water. A very good algae eater.
 
The Rover
  • #22
I’m not sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if they would eat the shrimp.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
No I'm afraid I don't.
Just looked it up. Another name for them is the hill stream loach. They need a large tank with lots of moving water. A very good algae eater.

yep. saw all that, too. perfect match! we have a large tank with high filtration & current & aeration.

the only concern we have is temperature. our tank will be as steady at 24ºC as we can manage... and several websites say that's the max for these loaches whereas others say up to 26ºC if good oxygen. we are super tempted by these fish if our temp won't stress them .

edit... was half awake when I replied having not had coffee yet.. sorry for my initial bad effort
 
Dave125g
  • #24
yep. saw all that, too. perfect match! we have a large tank with high filtration & current & aeration.

the only concern we have is temperature. our tank will be as steady at 24ºC as we can manage... and several websites say that's the max for these loaches whereas others say up to 26ºC if good oxygen. we are super tempted by these fish if our temp won't stress them .

edit... was half awake when I replied having not had coffee yet.. sorry for my initial bad effort
Lol have you checked planet catfish? They seem to have the most accurate information on requirements.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
Lol have you checked planet catfish? They seem to have the most accurate information on requirements.

I have but they don't have any info probably because it's technically a loach? I looked up the scientific name Pseudogastromyzon Myers to search too...
 
Dave125g
  • #26
Do you have room to drop the tank 1 or 2 degrees ?
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
Do you have room to drop the tank 1 or 2 degrees ?

I don't think so with our plan for an EBJD & firemouth. bottom temp 23, and I want at least a degree above the bottom range
 
Dave125g
  • #28
Agree. You don't want to keep a fish at the extreme high or low of there temperature range.
 
Jenoli42
  • Thread Starter
  • #29
Ok team! I did a spreadsheet! lolz. each kind of algae eater has pro's and con's. I just want the opinion of experienced keepers about which you'd pick out of all of them, or if i've missed any?


algae eater pro con 270318 scrnshot.JPG
 
Dave125g
  • #30
Ramshorn are great in my opinion, but they can quickly breed and take over a tank unless you have a species that will eat the eggs and or the babies. I breed ramshorns in my 10 gallon and add the adults to the 125. These are the best algae eaters I have ever found.
 

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