Do Otos Eat Hair Algae?

Discussion in 'Otocinclus' started by Violetskies, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. VioletskiesValued MemberMember

    I've been thinking about getting a little school of oto cats for my 40 gallon, but the main algae in my tank is hair algae, and I've heard that not a lot of fish eat it for some reason. will Otos?
  2. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember


    SAEs will.
  3. VioletskiesValued MemberMember

    but don't SAEs also eat fish scales?
  4. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    A single Siamese Algae Eater (SAE) can make quick work of your hair algae issue, depending on how bad you have it. Generally they’re voracious eaters of it, especially if you feed fish food sparingly.

    Scientic name is Crossocheilus siamensis, not to be confused with the Flying Fox or Chinese Algae Eater, which can be quite agressive. The latter is especially notorious for sucking on fish when grown to adulthood.

    They are also very attractive fish, in my opinion.
  5. Five 97Well Known MemberMember

    Agreed. Otos won't eat that nasty stuff. And I believe in order to make SAEs eat it, you'll have to starve them a bit.

    Chinese algae eaters get aggressive as they mature and are known for eating the slime coat off of their tank mates, but true SAEs (they need to be kept in a group of 6+) are peaceful. You may have mixed up the two.

    Edit: Ninja'd
  6. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    SAEs do fine by themselves, but if getting more than one, then let it be 3 or more. Although very peaceful, they can be a little agressive towards each other; thus, it’s best to get more than 2.
  7. SusiefooWell Known MemberMember

    I have 6 otos and they don't touch hair algae (brilliant with diatoms though).

    I have managed to reduce my hair algae by 90% or so by the following:

    - big water changes
    - cutting back on feeding (in retrospect I was overfeeding)
    - reducing the time my tank lights are on
    - removing the worst affected leaves
    - adding more fast-growing stem plants

    Just another option.
  8. Five 97Well Known MemberMember

    I wouldn't keep them singly or in too small a group, besides the fact that they're schooling fish, they'll often chase and intimidate smaller fish when they're not kept in an adequately sized group.

    Not necessarily harmful behavior, but can it instill stress? Absolutely.
  9. VioletskiesValued MemberMember

    Oh you're right I did confuse them, oops. Okay well actually I'm rethinking another school of fish. How about a pleco, like a BN or clown pleco?
  10. scarfaceFishlore VIPMember

    For hair algae? Definitely not. They are also not schoolers.
  11. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    Here is my go to guys for hair algae. SAEs and ramshorn snails. Ramshorns can quickly overpopulate your tank unless you have fish that will eat the eggs and or baby snails. 0801171554a.jpg0104181009-1.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  12. VioletskiesValued MemberMember

    Sorry I meant rethinking as in not sure I actually want another school of fish. I would only get one pleco of course. However since they don't eat hair algae...

    I'm thinking a non-fish option might be better, like:
    I guess I'll see how that goes.
  13. 86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    I have both in my tanks. Both eat certain types of algae and get along with everything in the tanks. In my 30 I have 3 ottos and 1 sae all are fine. Sae swims with all fish in the tank and spends most of the time with the Cory’s. In my 90 I have 4 ottos and 2 sae. Again no problems. When I added the sae I put all 3 in the 30 and didn’t feed them a lot. On day 3 they started eating bba and were done with it by the end of the week. Added the 2 to the 90 and they went right after the bba. Very happy with both types, both do a great job on algae and are good tank mates.
  14. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    I went a little overboard with SAEs because I found them in stock and bought 3 sets of 3. I put 2 of the smallest in my 20g and they're doing great but the runt (1") hasn't really grown much despite always have a full belly. The other is now 1.5". The bigger one does chase the little one at times but they mostly get along just fine. I have 3 in a 40g breeder and they school/shoal together most of the time and seldom chase each other. The 4 in my 75g are usually all over the place. I have a bunch of baby EBAs (.5" to 2") and when they come up to the top for food, the SAEs now join the group and beg for food too. They are all well fed but still take care of any algae issues I have/had.
  15. SusiefooWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, I researched SAE when I got the hair algae outbreak but read many comments that they stop eating so much hair algae as they grow and basically become fat and lazy as they age (don't we all??). I got advice from a specialist aquarium plant shop that we have in the UK and they suggested the regime to reduce it. I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. It's barely noticeable now unless I look closely at the tank.
  16. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    Can you go into detail about your regiment?
  17. smee82Fishlore VIPMember

    Mine continued to eat hair after they matured
  18. DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    Are you sure you're not confusing the CAE with SAE? The CAE eats less algae as it gets older. The SAE continues to eat algae but is more omnivorous as it gets older.
  19. Dave125gFishlore LegendMember

    Mine eat algae, algae wafers zucchini (there favorite) they nibble shrimp pellets,most recently I have noticed them eating ramshorn snail egg clutches.