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Golden Algae Eater?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Madison1017, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Madison1017Valued MemberMember

    Hi everyone,

    My 37 gallon tank is gross with algae and my snails just aren't tackling it well enough. I was thinking about getting some other kind of algae eater but I really don't like plecos (sorry to those of you that do) due to their messiness and they kind of creep me out. I also don't really want ottos because they die so easily. A friend of mine has a golden algae eater in just about each of her tanks (5, 10, 46, 125 gallons) and recommended them to me as great options. I looked at them at Petsmart today and it said they get up to 11 inches long! I googled them and it said in tanks they get more like 5 inches. Do they really get that big and could I have them in my 37gal?

  2. candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

    They are a good algae eater when they're young, however, will prefer meatier foods as they grow bigger. I'd say it's much like plecos in that algae will no longer support their body size at some point.

    They will grow to their potential size between 8-11", given that a clean environment is a constant, regardless of the size of their tank. I personally never recommend Chinese Algae Eaters (Goldens are a color variant of this species) not only for their size, but for their potential aggression as they get bigger and bolder. They are quite known to try and latch onto the flanks to consume a fish's natural body slime, even taking a scale off. Your rams and angelfish would be at high risk with that regard.

    I encourage you to tackle your algae issue directly rather than just trying to get a fish to eat the algae, as it will prove to be much more effective. However, if you choose the latter anyway, then it heavily depends on the type of algae. Mystery snails, Nerite snails, shrimp, otocinclus, Siamese Algae Eater are more dedicated algae eaters.

    If you wanna tackle your algae issue, I'd like to know the following:
    1. How long your lights are on
    2. What model light
    3. Live plants?
    4. Water change volume and frequency
  3. Madison1017Valued MemberMember

    On average my lights are probably on for about 12-14 hours (10am to midnight), it's a top fin tank so the lights are the ones attached to the lid that came with the kit, I have swords and ferns planted in my tank that I use flourish fertilizer for, and I change 50% water once a week. The algae is both brown diatoms and green hair algae. I have mystery snails who I love but are lazy cleaners, and nerites in my 20g who do an okay job on that tank
  4. candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

    I'm guessing it's a fairly new tank if it has brown diatoms. That should eventually resolve on it's own once the tank completely balances out. In the mean time, you can just scrub it off surfaces quite easily and siphon the loose bits out.

    As for the green hair algae, that's usually an indication of too much light and perhaps too much nutrients in the water. I would recommend, if possible, that you cut that light time at least down to 8-10 hours for starters.

    Next, maybe do two 30% water changes weekly, and work off any algae on hard surfaces before vacuuming it out. It's a bit of work but it you will see results in a few weeks. Dont forget to clean any filter media at every water change with the old tank water as well.

    I've had to battle algae after going on a trip and leaving my tanks to my family's care, but they left the lights on longer than usual, fed heavy-handedly, and only did one water change lol. Also had an exploded pest snail population that took me a couple months to get under control as well.