Need proven algae eater.

  • #1
Hello everyone. I have a 10 gallon planted tank with just a betta. I temporarily moved a pleco into the tank and within 1 day he cleaned ALL the algae in this tank that is now spotless. Really just phenomenal work from this pleco. Obviously not gonna keep a pleco in a 10 gallon tank so can anyone offer a suggestion for a PROVEN algae eater.
I’m not looking for someone to just go google “algae eaters for 10 gallon tank”, I want something that people have actually had really great success with. I’ve had cherry and ghost shrimp before and they pretty much did nothing. I’ve also had a mystery snail that didn’t do much either. I was thinking about getting like 4 or 5 nitrite snails. I only need to do water changes like once a month due to the low stock and plants, would adding this many nitrite snails be a large bioload?
  • #2
That many nerite snails will lay their eggs everywhere. They can't hatch, but they're still visually unattractive to some. I would get a group of 4-5 Amano shrimp. They are among the best algae eating shrimp (better than ghost or cherry) and they can live for a relatively long time for shrimp.
  • #3
I used to keep some cories and a BN pleco in a 10-gallon years ago. I rarely had any algae to worry about. The BN would clean house CONSTANTLY The only algae I ever found was in places he couldn't reach easily. You may consider an oto as well, they are tiny but they are hungry little buggers when it comes to algae as well.
  • #4
Algae problems are mainly caused by two things, too much lighting and/or too many nutrients in the water. First try adjusting the light or even getting more plants to help as they will compete with the algae to get the nutrients. Floating plants like duckweed and hornwort work wonders IMO. You should also try doing more water changes to reduce the dissolved nutrition in the tank.

Fish that can help and can live happily in a 10gal would be otos. Make sure you research their requirements, for starters they should be kept in groups.

Shrimp can be good, especially amanos but the betta may want to eat or chase them. I’ve had shrimp escape a betta by jumping ship. Only was able to save one that was crawling along the carpet. Kinda creepy.

Nerite snails are also a good option, I’d only get 2 for a 10gal though. Keep in mind females will lay white eggs on any surface. Mine particularly liked to lay them on driftwood and heaters. They will also climb out of tank so keep all openings covered.
  • #5
Disclaimer: Not an actual answer, just story time.

I had a large castle in my 180 Litre for a few months. I let the algae grow all over it because I really liked the look and it made it look more "mysterious".

Was having a shift about at the weekend just gone, and I decided to move the castle into my 130 Litre to give my Pleco/Zebra Loaches more places to hide.

Two days later. The algae was gone. I have no idea which of those fish went to town on on it, as I had the pleco in the 180 Litre with the castle for a week and it wasn't "cleaned".

My guess is it was either the Loaches, the Tiger Barbs or the Mollies.

That tank is spotless....
  • #6
I have Amano shrimp, Oto catfish and siamese algae eaters. They all do a great job at grazing on algae. The shrimp and Otos started eating algae from day 1. The SAEs spent the first 3 weeks happily swimming around and ignoring all algae. But now they are constantly grazing on it.


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  • #7
I keep a tank of cherry shrimp. Funny thing is there’s algae in the tank. Shrimp don’t touch it. But if I pull a plant from another tank that is covered with algae and drop it in they go to town on it and clean it like new. It’s my plant cleaning tank :).
  • #8
Maybe the pleco can visit the 10g once a month??
  • #9
I agree that Nerite Snails would do well. I have 2 in my 10 gallon, and that works nicely. I used to keep just 1, but I've found them to be very social with other Nerites. They actually have pretty high bioloads, so I wouldn't add more than 3 in your tank. You'll need to feed them, too, because they eat algae much more quickly than it can grow. They should also have a calcium supplement, such as a piece of unflavored cuttlebone about the size of your thumb nail, to keep their shells in good shape. They also need a pH of 7.0 or higher, and will fail thrive long term in acidic/soft water.
  • #10
No algae eater eats all types of algae, so results may very depending on what type of algae you have.

My favorite algae eating combo for a smaller tank, like a 10 gallon, are Ramshorn and/or Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) with Amano shrimps. I've used this combo in several small planted tanks. Nerites work too, but, as others have said, they leave ugly white eggs everywhere. The snails will eat film type algae like Green Dust Algae (GDA) and Brown Algae (diatoms). The Amano shrimp will eat hair, and filamentous diatom algae. Still, with this combo, you'll still be out of luck when it comes to Bluegreen Algae (BGA), Black Beard Algae (BBA), Green Spot Algae (GSA), Staghorn Algae, and cladophora.

Nerites will eat film type algae, like other snails, plus GSA.

SEAs and Plecos get too big, so you'll need a larger tank to move them to when they grow bigger. And, I've found Otos do better in big schools, so will likely do better in a larger tank as well.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Maybe the pleco can visit the 10g once a month??
I actually stopped doing that because him and the betta fight terribly and both of them kept ending up with shredded fins.

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