small algae eater.

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Gwenz

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In my 15gallon tank I have 6x Zebra danios, 2x Leopard Danios & 5x Neon tetras (did have 6 one died this morning :'( )

I know I'm already over stocked in this tank (I think) but I have a lot of algae in there and I've tried putting the light on for less hours, doing more water changes and everything every one her suggested but nothing works, so I'm thinking about getting a small algae eater.
If i do more water chnges should this be OK?

Any ideas about a small algae eater? I know about ottos, but when I asked in my lfs he said that they are realy big and aggressive and that they are raely hard to get. Is this ture?

Thanks.

Gwenz
 

friend_o_fish

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If the algy is brown I would recomend Otto's. If it is green I would recomend Pleco's
 

Boxermom

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Holy cow, you really need to find another LFS if possible. Otos are the tiniest algae eaters available, getting no bigger than 2 inches at adults (usually a bit smaller even). If you can find them, pitbull plecos are good, too, maxing out at 3.5" or so. Siamese algae eaters (SAEs) are also very good and eat all sorts of algae. Make sure they are Siamese algae eaters though, not Chinese (which are neither Chinese nor eat algae) or False SAEs, which are usually flying foxes and get very aggressive (and don't do well for algae either).

What kind of plants do you have, how much lighting, how long is the light on, and are you using any kind of fertilizer?
 

friend_o_fish

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Otto's are very eficant just ask fish_r_friend he has some and can tell you how good they are at taking care of that pesky brown aalgy.
 
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Gwenz

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I thought it wasn't true about otos. I might check the other fish stores that are around me (there is another 2)if they have them. I'll also check forpitbull plecos and Siamese algae eaters. I think I remember seeing SAE's at my lfs before, but not sure.

Boxermom said:
What kind of plants do you have, how much lighting, how long is the light on, and are you using any kind of fertilizer?
1) At the moment in my tank I have 2 vellisneria spirals (sp?), but I'm re-decorating it, and after I've done that I will be putting some crypts, and some anubias nana in there too. (don't know if I'll keep the Vellis' yet)
2) I have a fluorecant 15W bulb in there (18") - It's a 15 gallon tank so I have 1WPG.
3) The light is on from 10am until 8pm.
4) I'm not using any kind of fertilizer.

Gwenz
 

Boxermom

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Vallisneria. Beware, though, they can quickly overtake a tank and get out of control. You have a low light tank, which is good for the plants you got/are getting. I would also recommend getting Flourish and Flourish Excel, and dose twice a week with both. Just a few drops is all it takes in a 15 gallon. Excel is a type of CO2 addition and helps inhibit algae growth, especially BBA. I'd bet dollars to donuts that once you get it planted and start dosing, your algae will diminish.
 

Isabella

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I wouldn't recommend adding fertilizers and CO2 to a beginner tank. But of course it is up to Gwenz. Perhaps Boxermom is right as I personally have no experience with adding fertilizers and CO2. Anyway, Gwenz, some plants will grow under low light and without CO2 injections as well as without fertilizers. I recently put a small amount of Fluorite gravel in my tank and planted a small amazon sword in there. Amazon swords are plants that generally need good care, lighting, etc ... yet this little plant took off like crazy once planted in Fluorite. I don't add anything to that tank and the light is very low, yet it is growing very well. I'd say for regular and not demanding plants, a good gravel like Fluorite or Eco-Complete will be enough, plus the standard light that you have.

If the plants get big and overtake a tank, you can always trim them or cut off the excess leaves. It's better when a plant is growing well - that indicates it's healthy. And if a plant is healthy it actually helps eliminate algae because healthy plants compete for nutrients with algae.

And yes, the guy from the fish store gave an awfully wrong information as to the otos. They're tiny and peaceful. As for the false Siamese Loach (the "Gold" or "Chinese" one is false) I wouldn't recommend getting it because as it grows it becomes more aggressive and it can even suck on the fish's slime coating, something you don't want. I personally have a false siamese loach and he does not suck on my fish's body, BUT it must be an exception because I hear all the time that these loaches do that frequently. Lastly, I have to add that the false siamese loaches DO eat algae (except for the brush algae). They do eat brown and green algae. In my 30 gallon tank with a false siamese loach I've never had an algae problem. I see him constantly cleaning my tank glass, driftwood, plants, and gravel. In my 10 gallon tank I have green algae growing because there is no algae eater in there. Every once in a while I put my loach in there - within 1-2 days' time he cleans the entire tank. There is not a speck of algae left in that tank after I let him in there.

But, that's just my experience. Generally, these loaches are aggressive and not recommended for community tanks.

Here is what the false siamese loach (Gold or Chinese one) looks like:
 

Boxermom

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Ya know, I don't think I'm even going to bother anymore. Its just not worth it.
 
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Gwenz

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Thanks Boxermom and Isabella.

Boxermom
I know what you mean about the vellisneria. When I first got the plants (back in april) they were realy small, and at first they looked as if they were dieing but then after a few weeks they started growing realy fast, and now, the leaves cover most of the surface of the water in the tank. I don't think I'll be keeping them once I've got the other plants in there.
I've never heard of Flourish and Flourish Excel, but I'll look into it. Thanks.

Isabella
Thanks for the tips. I already knew about more plants help to eliminate algae, which is one of the reasons why I'm getting more plants.
I don't think I'll be getting a Siamese algae eater, I don't want an aggressive fish in the tank. :-\
I think I'll be getting either an oto (If I can find some), or a pitbull pleco like Boxermom suggested. My mum says she remembers seeing some in my lfs.


Do otos need to be kept in groups? I think I read somewhere that they do, but I'm not sure ???

Thanks

Gwenz
 

Isabella

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Gwenz, I believe they do. However, perhaps someone more experienced with them will be able to help you. I think Chickadee has Otos. And I bet she knows a great deal about them
 

friend_o_fish

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Talk to fish_r_friend. He knows a lot about Otto's and could tell you all you need to know about them. I will send him personal mesage telling him to talk to you about Otto's.
 

chickadee

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Yes, Otos (or otocinclus catifish) are best kept in groups of 2 or 3.  I have 2 in one of my tanks and 3 in another.  They are equally happy in either of these numbers.  I did have a single Oto for a long time in the one tank when Azul and some of his brothers had died (in fact for about a month he was the only fish in the tank) and he did well but I don't think he was happy.  They are such sweet little fish and are so easy to deal with.  They are peaceful and cute and just need to be quarantined for at least 14 days to be sure that they are healthy.  Only one word of caution, when you go to pick them up if you decide you want some; ask them how long they have had them in the store.  You do not want fish that have just arrived or are in any way thin looking.  They should have rounded little tummies and the undersides should not have any dark pink spots or lines on them.  If they can tell you that they have been in the store for a week or more and they look like they are fed well and have little white tummies then you have a very good chance of getting healthy little fish.  They do an excellent job of eating algae as long as they are not overfed with commercial fish wafers.  Let them eat the algae in the tank first and then supplement with veggie or algae wafers (they do not eat flake food no matter what the LFS may tell you).

Let me know what you think.  Here is a site to check:

http://www.otocinclus.com

Rose
 
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Gwenz

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Thanks Rose. That is realy interesting. I just wish I could find them in on of my lfs'. :-\

Gwenz
 
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Gwenz

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I have 3 fish stores near me, and so far I've looked in 2 of them and neither of them has otos, SAE or pitbull plecos. > I just hope that the 1 lfs that I have left to look in has one of the 3. :-\

Gwenz
 

fish_r_friend

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you could try asking them to order them
 
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Gwenz

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I suppose I could try. The lfs that is 5 minutes down the road is realy friendly, they might be able to, but not sure about the other fish store though. They are realy grumpy.
Still I have 1 more lfs to check yet. ;D

Gwenz
 

friend_o_fish

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One store you could try is Aquarium Adventure. I know for a fact that they have ottos.
 

fish_r_friend

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their is no aqaurium adventure in the uk
 

Isabella

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LOL! I thought so right after I've read Friend_o_fish's comment. Though it's a great store. I have one quite near me in Long Island (NY). They have pretty much anything you'd need: fish, aquatic furniture, aquarium supplies ... really great store. And good quality products as well.
 
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Gwenz

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I could try this one lfs that is call Pughes (Don't ask me why it's called that ). They have loads of fish. But it's about 1 hour 30 minutes away, and we don't go there often. Hopfully they'll have otos. :-\

Gwenz
 
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