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"Clean Up Crew"
I'm currently cycling a 10 gallon tank that I'm going to use to home my betta. The substrate is sand. What type of "cleaning" fish would be best to keep the sand clean and free of waste?
I would say Cory Catfish. They are peaceful bottom dwellers that help clean the substrate. I would suggest Panda or any other Dwarf Cories because some Cories like the Emerald or Albino shouldn't be in a 10 gallon tank.
Just be aware that most corys get too big for a 10 gallon, corydoras pygmaeus, hastatus and habrosus are considered dwarf corys and they'll live happily in a 10 gallon tank with atleast 4 individuals, most other corys need bigger tanks. You can always get some snails and shrimp instead of fish.
Keeping the substrate clean and clear of waste is the fishkeeper's job. Buying a "cleaning" fish just results in more waste. They don't eat poop... they require you to feed them the same as any other fish you might choose to keep.
With sand I would recommend malasian trumpet snails: they burrow through the sand and prevent gas pockets from forming.
Corys are not cleaner fish.... there is no such thing. Every fish needs it's own food. I'm with Shine, get Malaysian trumpet snails.
I want a clean up crew for my 12 gallon long, I don't need these fish to actually clean the tank up, I just like how what most people treat as worker animals interact with the plants and their surroundings.
shrimp, pygmy corydoras, ottos that's all I can think of for a 12 gallon. Hope this helps!
Ghost shrimp are really good, too. They're bigger than amano shrimp, so can fair better with (slightly) larger fish. Also, they're a lot cheaper. Nerite snails might be good, too! Assassin snails are something I plan on getting, because I've been told they clean up well, and if you happen to get a few pest snails, assassins will get rid of them before you knew they were there!
For a 12gal you can't put ots in their because they like to be in groups of 6+. Ghost shrimp, amano shrimp, mystery snails, nerite snails, I would also say bn pleco, but your tank is to small.
Small shrimp like RCS or Gohst shrimp, snails such as Neitrite snails, Ottos and Pygmy cories all come to mind. All of these had a fairly low bioload as well
thanks for the suggestions, I don't want to do ghost shrimp because my LFS's shrimp are quite unhealthy (they don't feed them and the shrimp canabalize on each other)
Nerites are my personal favorite. I haven't had to clean off the aquarium walls in awhile because my nerites love eating. Pretty sure they eat 99% of the day haha. Oto cats need a bigger tank, so I wouldn't recommend those. Assassin snails are great for eating pest snails, but after they're done eating the snails, you then have to figure out how to continue providing food for their diet. They also will reproduce. Nerites will not reproduce in freshwater (only in brackish).
Amano shrimp will eat free-floating algae in a tank and feed off the water column, so they won't do much for eating the algae off your plants and decor, etc. Snails are the way to go since a much larger tank is required for algae eaters.
Good luck and keep us updated!
Perhaps a handful of nerites, if your store shrimp aren't healthy? I know what what you mean about stores not caring about their animals, it happens in every store around here. Maybe you could order shrimp online?