New Fish Dad

lexometer77

I’ve had a betta since January (his name is Albert) and I recently started expanding!

I have Albert, four tetra (Sam, Frodo, Pip, and Merri), two snails (Gimli and Glóin), and two common algae eaters (Gandalf and Sauron) in a 10 gallon tank. Gonna be upsizing them soon.

I also have two male goldfish (Fred and Rose) and a bristlenose pleco (Ted) in another ten gallon. They’re moving to a 40 gallon soon!

I call Rose by she/her pronouns even though she is male.. so I hope that doesn’t give any sort of confusion. I’ll probably explain that in every post about her.

I want to learn how to properly care for everyone and can’t wait to watch my fish grow!
 

Wouldratherwatchaquarium

Hi there

Fish keeping is addictive isn't it? Haha

The goldfish and BN plec in a 40g I think will work long term.

I would be cautious with a betta in a community with tetras and snails. It can work but I've heard bettas can eat snails and bully small fish. Vice versa, tetras and fast schooling fish can also nip betta fins. Keep an eye out.

Im not sure what common algae eater is, if it's common plecos? Then those get really large and do lots of poop. I would not recommend those long term unless you want to upgrade into the 100g range.
 

Ouse

Welcome to Fishlore. Hope you enjoy your journey.

What are “common algae eaters?” Are you referring to common plecos? Also, what species of tetra are you referring to?

There’s a lot of fish in that first 10 gallon. What exact size are you thinking of upgrading it to?

The bristlenose pleco really prefers higher temperatures to what goldfish can handle. This is why they’re not very compatible. Both could handle 18°C, but this temperature is the higher bound for goldfish and the lower bound for bristlenoses, so a temperature fluctuation would harm one of the species somewhat whilst benefiting the other.

A 40 gallon would hold a pair of fancy goldfish, perhaps a bristlenose too, but this is spoiled by the fact that temperature-wise the two species aren’t compatible.
Im not sure what common algae eater is, if it's common plecos? Then those get really large and do lots of poop. I would not recommend those long term unless you want to upgrade into the 100g range.
Elaborating on this, a single common pleco would require a six foot long tank with places to hide as a minimum. They’re also territorial towards their own kind. Understandably, it’s a popular opinion among hobbyists to not want to keep commons.
 

GuppyOverlord11

Welcome!
 

lexometer77

According to the seller the algae eaters only going to get maybe a little bigger. The two of them seem to get along well and hang around each other a lot. It seems like they sleep under a bridge at night. I’m thinking of moving them into maybe a 20 or 30 gallon. I do have a second ten gallon I can split everyone up into if that would be better.

The snails are about the size of my betta’s body. Should I still be worried about an eating problem?

I’ve been monitoring the betta and the tetras. So far nothing concerning is happening. They’ve been together for about two and a half weeks now. The tetras previously were with another betta and I was told that they would work well with a betta.
 

Ouse

Believing what the pet shop says can be a bad idea at most times. At the end of the day they want your money, that’s all. Lots of us (including myself) have been tripped up by their advice, which has coaxed us into buying their products even if they won’t work well with our setups.

Tetras can make the tank a little too turbulent for bettas to handle as bettas are poor swimmers, also aggressive.

What species of tetra and algae eater do you have? If you’re not sure, posting pictures will allow us to ID them for you. I can’t say what might happen if I don’t know what fish I’m talking about.

BTW, fish branded as “algae eaters” aren’t easy fixes for algae. In short, all fish produce compounds containing nitrogen, which essentially fertilises algae. I like to leave most algae in my tanks and treat them as any other plant anyway. Algae is a problem if there is none at all or so much it steals all nutrients in the water.

I wouldn’t worry about the betta eating the snails if the snails are larger than the betta’s mouth. Many have had success in keeping snails alongside bettas and you might too.
 

lexometer77

Welcome to Fishlore. Hope you enjoy your journey.

What are “common algae eaters?” Are you referring to common plecos? Also, what species of tetra are you referring to?

There’s a lot of fish in that first 10 gallon. What exact size are you thinking of upgrading it to?

The bristlenose pleco really prefers higher temperatures to what goldfish can handle. This is why they’re not very compatible. Both could handle 18°C, but this temperature is the higher bound for goldfish and the lower bound for bristlenoses, so a temperature fluctuation would harm one of the species somewhat whilst benefiting the other.

A 40 gallon would hold a pair of fancy goldfish, perhaps a bristlenose too, but this is spoiled by the fact that temperature-wise the two species aren’t compatible.

Elaborating on this, a single common pleco would require a six foot long tank with places to hide as a minimum. They’re also territorial towards their own kind. Understandably, it’s a popular opinion among hobbyists to not want to keep commons.

The common algae eater is what I was told they were. I’m pretty sure they’re a kind of dwarf sucker. They look like otocinclus catfish.

Would switching the tank my bristlenose is in help? I.e putting him on his own or with the betta? I don’t want to be hurting him with the goldfish. When I went into the local store (it’s not petco or anything it’s just a family run pet supplies shop) they seemed a lot more knowledgeable about fish. I specifically said I was looking for something to pair with the goldfish and that I was looking for a bottom feeder.

I have two X-Ray tetras. I’m not entirely sure what the other two are (I’ll attach photos) they’re much much smaller than my X-Rays and bright orange.
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Also, off topic of this quote, my snails are called mystery snails. That is a kind of snail with a determined sex correct? I didn’t just get two random snails that could change sex and create a problem?
 

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Ouse

For a while I was worried you meant common plecos! :D

Have you any pictures of the fish?

Otos can live in smaller setups but will thrive best in setups that are several months running. They feed mostly on microfauna that settles on surfaces of decor, substrate and the glass. In newer setups not enough microfauna has settled, leaving otos with less food. Otos can find it difficult to accept commercial wafers and pellets. They target algae not to eat it, but for the abundant microfauna that settles in it.

I would move the bristlenose to a 20 gallon minimum. They don’t bother middle/top swimming fish such as tetras and perhaps bettas. I have a bristlenose pleco in a 33 gallon. I’ve provided him with a hollow piece of driftwood as a hideout.

I have to disagree that your pet supplies shop has provided you with accurate information.

I‘m afraid I can’t comment on the snails.
 

lexometer77

For a while I was worried you meant common plecos! :D

Have you any pictures of the fish?

Otos can live in smaller setups but will thrive best in setups that are several months running. They feed mostly on microfauna that settles on surfaces of decor, substrate and the glass. In newer setups not enough microfauna has settled, leaving otos with less food. Otos can find it difficult to accept commercial wafers and pellets. They target algae not to eat it, but for the abundant microfauna that settles in it.

I would move the bristlenose to a 20 gallon minimum. They don’t bother middle/top swimming fish such as tetras and perhaps bettas. I have a bristlenose pleco in a 33 gallon. I’ve provided him with a hollow piece of driftwood as a hideout.

My Ottos were added to a seven month old tank. Is there any way I can find a supplement for the microfauna just in case? I don’t want to be starving them on accident.

The plan for the bristlenose was to move him to the 40 gallon with the goldfish, but that plan seems to not be wise..

These are some photos of my betta and friends
 

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HupGuppHup

Welcome! Enjoy your tanks!
 

Ouse

The orange tetra is an ember tetra.

After seven months running I should think there’s enough microfauna developed to keep otos fed. Usually it’s safe after half a year has passed. Try supplementing them with wafers and sinking pellets. They should learn to eat them eventually.

Do the otos look plump? Plumpness is a good sign in otos. A plump oto is a successful oto. A sunken, often red belly indicates starvation.

BTW, there’s a commonly used term for such microfauna, and it’s “aufwuchs.” ;)
 

lexometer77

Do the otos look plump? Plumpness is a good sign in otos. A plump oto is a successful oto. A sunken, often red belly indicates starvation.

They tend to hang out underneath the bridge so I don’t see them often. I don’t think they like the light of the tank… but they don’t seems to have a sunken or red belly from the glimpses I’ve caught. They’re very active when they are out and about.
 

Ouse

They’re mostly nocturnal. Can say the same about virtually all catfish.

When they’re being active I assume they’re eating the aufwuchs. They remind me of handheld vacuums when they do that. :)

I predict you’re off to a good start with otos. Most people who buy otos witness all of them starve in no time. Most otos are wild caught and are shipped from South America to the fish shop. As mentioned already, they also have trouble recognising commercial food as edible. This is why they starve so quickly, even within the first few hours of being in a fish tank in some cases.

You’ve avoided this, so I have high hopes.
 

lexometer77

You’ve avoided this, so I have high hopes.

thank you!! I have high hopes as well T^T I offer them a wafer in the morning and if I can’t see any remnants of it I offer a wafer at night. Should that change? Is it too much?
They’re mostly nocturnal. Can say the same about virtually all catfish.

here is a picture of my Otto. They’ve been in the tank a week now
 

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Ouse

I can’t tell wether that’s an otocinclus or a dwarf chain loach, the latter being strictly carnivorous. Either way, it looks nice and plump. The wafers were probably eaten in the night.
 

lexometer77

I can’t tell wether that’s an otocinclus or a dwarf chain loach

I can’t either. Googling didn’t really help much
 

Ouse

Clearer pictures could help. As an Android user, I know the hardships of getting good quality images...

Otos can have different patterns but most incorporate a black line going down either side of the body from head to tail. Same with dwarf chain loaches.
 

Coradee

Hi, it’s not an Oto it looks like a Chinese algae eater to me, (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) they can get 6” & more & can get aggressive towards their tankmates as they mature.
 

lexometer77

Hi, it’s not an Oto it looks like a Chinese algae eater to me, they can get 6” & more & can get aggressive towards their tankmates as they mature.

Does this mean they need a bigger tank? Should I be worried for my other fish?
 

Ouse

Hi, it’s not an Oto it looks like a Chinese algae eater to me, they can get 6” & more & can get aggressive towards their tankmates as they mature.
Thanks Coradee. That explains the fish shop’s ID as “common algae eater.” I should’ve been suspicious of this earlier really.

Sizes of up to 28cm aren’t uncommon in CAEs. They will do an awful job at removing algae, despite their marketed name. They’re almost always sold as easy fixes for algae. Sorry this has took a turn for the worst so suddenly.

But yep, don’t listen to that fish shop. This is a dead giveaway that they’re unreliable for info.
Does this mean they need a bigger tank? Should I be worried for my other fish?
55 gallons minimum per CAE. They’re territorial behemoths when fully grown but are always sold as mere tiddlers. A decent sized CAE can make other fish prone to infections by sucking at their slime coats and boring holes through their scales.

Consider rehoming if you can’t afford such a huge aquarium. Trust me, it’s better getting rid of them than trying to keep them long term.
 

Coradee

Hi, if you moved them to the 40 gallon you’re getting with the goldfish, the goldies being slow moving could be a target for any aggression down the line.
In my opinion CAE’s really aren’t community fish & my suggestion would be to rehome them.
 

lexometer77

Oh darn.. I was hopeful they weren’t that. Do any of you know where I can go to rehome them? Would eBay/Craigslist be somewhere to go? Or is there some website specific to finding fish a new home? I know the shop I got them from takes fish in and rehomes fish but I don’t quite want to return there anymore..
Hi, if you moved them to the 40 gallon you’re getting with the goldfish, the goldies being slow moving could be a target for any aggression down the line.
In my opinion CAE’s really aren’t community fish & my suggestion would be to rehome them.
I know my goldfish are common goldfish. Does that change anything or is rehoming still the best option.
 

Coradee

I would still recommend rehoming, Craigslist, ebay, local fish clubs if you have them in your area they often have F/book pages you could look for.
 

Ouse

Best is to rehome them at the fish shop or find someone online who has an adequate setup. There are many rehoming Facebook groups and you can always advertise your CAEs on Craigslist, but unfortunately most people who will want these fish off of you don’t have adequate setups and many people would want to get rid of CAEs rather than buy them.

I’d rather rehome them to your fish shop. Sell them online and people will most likely be playing pass-the-parcel with these fish, so to speak.

There’s a subforum for buying and selling fish here, but I doubt people here will want CAEs. For future reference, though. :)
 

lexometer77

Will do! I’ll see what I can do about rehoming them. I’m thinking of going to the fish shop considering I don’t want them to just be passed around or discarded.
 

Delcos

I’ve seen lots of pet shops label SAE and CAE as common allergy eaters
 

Ouse

It's unfortunate, as people feel to use them purely as easy fixes for algae blooms when all they do is contribute to it. They stop eating algae as they grow up.
 

lexometer77

It's unfortunate, as people feel to use them purely as easy fixes for algae blooms when all they do is contribute to it. They stop eating algae as they grow up.

what do they eat when they get older if they stop with the algae?
 

Ouse

They steer away from algae and algae wafers but will accept meatier pellets and sometimes their tankmates. Google search images of fully grown Chinese algae eaters. You’ll be shocked for sure.
 

lexometer77

Oh man no I don’t want those guys in my tank! I’ll look closer at the fish I’m buying next time.
 

Ouse

Sometimes it helps to research fish online and/or run any fish you want down with us first :) Most people who have had CAEs got them by mistake or had them recommended as the solution to all algae in an aquarium.
 

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