Which algae eater? Pleco or otos?

Bill
  • #1
Hi,

I want to add something that will eat algae to my tank, but I can't choose! Please help :-[

I have about 6" worth of fish space that I can fill with algae eater(s).

The basic choices are:

Clown plec
Bristlenose plec
3 otos

...Plus a couple of amano shrimps. ;D

From what I've been able to find out, both clowns and bristlenoses do't get any larger than 6 inches. Otos are 1.7" each, but I have to keep more than one of them for them to be happy and clean the tank well.

My 160L tank is still new (the first fish were only added yesterday), and I've heard that otos are very delicate fish, not hardy at all, so I shouldn't add them till a good while later on. I'd like to add my algae eater fairly soon, as the next fish into the tank in maybe a week or so. Also, ideally otos should apparently be in an even bigger group to keep them happy (like 6 to 8) which I can't fit in my tank. They're also not very interesting to look at (well, all fish are really, but I'd rather have one brown fish than several in terms of tank space).

So, I'm leaning towards a plec.... the bristlenoses seem the most interesting, but the lfs told me that they get larger than the clowns. Any owners out there who could tell me a bit more about the advantages/disadvantages of each type?

It basically comes down to this:

Which, out of 3 otos, 1 clown plec or on BN plec, would do the best job at cleaning my tank, be hardiest, be happiest in my tank and live for a long time?

Thanks! ^^

~Bill

*edit* There are also loads of different loaches in my LFSs, kuhlis, zebra botias, borneo suckerfish, clowns... one of those might be nice, but do they eat algae, or only root around in the substrate?
 
Butterfly
  • #2
I have bristlenose and have bred bristlenose and the biggest I have had is about 5 inches. They really do a great job on algae where as a reg plec will sometimes quit eating algae as it gets older.
Carol
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Yeah, definitely top of the list so far... Also, little ones are only ?2.95 at my lfs (just under $6), so they're cheap too ;D

And slightly off topic, but ..how long do you think I should wait with my guppies and platies only in the tank before adding a BN/neons/a gourami? The guy at the lfs said just to keep monitoring the levels for maybe a week, which I am (everything's constant, ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm, nitrate 7.5ppm) I did a 40%-ish water change yesterday, then added guppies, then added platies and a swordtail today. As no water parameters seem to be fluctuating, would it still be ok to add the less hardy species now? I'm worried that the bacteria's supply of ammonia might run a little low because I'm not feeding the fish nearly as much flakes as I was "feeding" the tank during cycling. I really would like to add the rest of my fish before I go on holiday again

Thanks!
 
Butterfly
  • #4
I would wait until ammonia and nitrites are both at 0 for at least 24 hrs before adding anything else. If you are going to add otos I would wait even a little longer as they need a mature tank.
Loaches are really cool and need to be in groups of three or more. They will eat snails but not algae.
Carol
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Only 24 hours? Awesome! ;D I think I'll make it 48 to give the platies and swordtail a little more time to settle in before introducing another fish, they're very shy at the moment, especially the swordtail. I think it'll be the pleco next because neons and rams are delicate, and gouramis are territorial. thanks for the advice!
 
Butterfly
  • #6
Watch the ammonia and Nitrites closely even after you add new fish.
Carol
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
28.07.07 - 40% water change, 7 guppies added

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 7.5ppm

29.07.07 - 3 platies and a swordtail added

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 7.5ppm

30.07.07

Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 7.5ppm

Looking good so far? ???

Next in, I've decided, will be 6 Red Eye or other similarly hardy tetras. Not enough algae for the plec yet I'll test tomorrow, and if everything's fine, I'll got and get some more fish! ;D
 
armadillo
  • #8
HI Bill. Have you ever seen ammonia and nitrites in your tank? I am sorry I didn't go that far back in the thread but the last couple of results showed none. Just to warn you that that is what it will look like at the start of cycling a tank: ammonia and nitrites = 0; nitrates = some. Ignore me if you actually did have nite/ammonia
 
Bill
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Yes, the tank has cycled ^^

When I first tested, it was ammonia 0.25ppm, nitrite 0.25ppm, nitrate 7.5ppm.... stayed pretty much the same for a few days, feeding it with flakes, then I left a piece of cloth in the goldfish tank and added that to my filter, left a feeder block int here and went on holiday for a week ;D I think all the spikes must have happened while I was away, because when I got back it was 0ppm, 0ppm, 7.5ppm. It's stayed like that for 3 days, even with the introduction of 11 fish!

Got a bristlenose! So cool... I can hear its teeth against the glass while it's sucking algae off!
 
armadillo
  • #10
Great stuff, Bill! I'd love a BN. I'd like to get an albino.
 
plecolover
  • #11
how bout a rubberlip they only grow 6 in too. though ive only had one rubberlip and it died in 2 hrs so I don't know much about them?
 
Cody
  • #12
I would go for the ottos or a bristle nose
 
eira
  • #13
HI guys,

I thought that id ask a quick question re algae eaters

Iv been meaning to get an algae eater for my tank for a while now, but keep being put off due to it housing my turtle. Basically, I have a 30 gallon tank (currently half filled) and due to having a combined basking/UV MVB bulb for my turt, I have a lot of algae growth on my glass and bog wood. I began with snails (simple I thought) but they got eaten! So I ventured onto livebearers (mollies) which has worked well so for. The problem iv got now is that the mollies don't have much luck with the glass, and just after 7days of cleaning the tank, the glass is back green again!

So basically my question is, what algae eater would you recommend to go into a turtle tank?

Thanks in advance,

Eira x
 
jillofalltrades37
  • #14
IME Chinese Algae eaters are workaholics, I put one in my 10 gallon with some fry and in a day he had the algae cleaned off the glass. That was almost a month ago. and you should see him today almost twice the size of the other one that I had in a different tank. I need to get some pictures.
 
eira
  • #15
Thanks for the quick responce

Are Chinese Algae eaters not aggressive and territorial as they get older?
 
Kathy Potts
  • #16
Eira and to FishLore!!!!

I have no experience with keeping a turtle with fish, so I probably won't be of much help. In fact you can help me understand this concept if you would? Won't your turtle eat the fish?
 
piloswine
  • #17
I really wouldn't recommend a Chinese algae eater (especially with other fish). They start off eating algae, but as they grow they get large (6"+) and aggressive and stop eating algae. They even try to suck the slime coat off other fish and they become aggressive to loaches or other fish that resemble themselves. Siamese algae eaters are a safer option overall. However, if you do get a chinese algae eater, having it temporarily or with quicker fish only is safest. They seem to be safe with turtles.
 
Kathy Potts
  • #18
Your bristlenose pleco is a workaholic!!! They don't get big. The males have bristles on the nose while the female generally do not.

The Siamese algae eater is also a great fish to have.

Actually I have all three of the above. The Chinese, the Siamese, and the Bristlenose. The Chinese have a bad reputation. But I have had no problems with mine. But as I said, their reputation does proceed them. I will see if I can find you some pics of all three.
 
eira
  • #19
Eira and to FishLore!!!!

I have no experience with keeping a turtle with fish, so I probably won't be of much help. In fact you can help me understand this concept if you would? Won't your turtle eat the fish?

HI Cathy

Yes, turtles do eat fish. Squirt is a razor back musk turtle so hes a slow bottom dweller and iv never had any problems with him really, even with molly fry. Hes more interested in his Reptomin as he loves the stuff!!
 
Kathy Potts
  • #20
This link will take you to the Bristlenose Pleco:



This link has actually all three in it:



This link shows two colors of the Chinese Algae eater:
 
Kathy Potts
  • #21
HI Cathy

Yes, turtles do eat fish. Squirt is a razor back musk turtle so hes a slow bottom dweller and iv never had any problems with him really, even with molly fry. Hes more interested in his Reptomin as he loves the stuff!!

Do you run a filter on the tank?

This is just a new one for me.
 
eira
  • #22
Do you run a filter on the tank?

This is just a new one for me.

Yes, this is a must when housing a turtle and the bigger the better. I have an external filter and an internal filter (mainly for bubbles etc) both of which include a bag of purigen along side the bio media etc. Turtles are messy eaters and the purigen works wonders with my tank levels
 
yallyall1
  • #23
Since your tank is 30 gallon and half filled, we are really stocking a 15 gallon tank. Otos are pretty good, I'd look into them. BNs would be my pick as long as you have 20 Gs plus.
 
psalm18.2
  • #24
Nerite snails love algae and they can climb all over and get all the glass.
 
jillofalltrades37
  • #25
Here are my two CAE's I call them Laural and Hardy, you can see how much bigger the first one is. I have had mine for a few months and they have never went after my fish.
 

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eira
  • #26
Since your tank is 30 gallon and half filled, we are really stocking a 15 gallon tank. Otos are pretty good, I'd look into them. BNs would be my pick as long as you have 20 Gs plus.

I was thinking Ottos but I'm sure iv read somewhere that they must have 'clean' water? Unfortunately, due to the turt my water isn't ideal. Plus, don't they also only grow to 5cm? They would be quite small compared to my mollies and turtle which would make me worry.
 
yallyall1
  • #27
I'm not sure how big a razor black musk is as we only ever get native turtles in aus. But you did say he's fine with molly fry, so a 5cm oto won't be any problem.

I haven't kept otos myself, but they are small, peaceful and they eat algae. But considering that turtles are 'dirty', a BN would be a good idea.
 
Plumkin
  • #28
Ottos<3
 
eira
  • #29
Well, at the weekend I went and got myse;f a bristlenose thanks for the advice guys, fingers crossed that he does the job, he cost me enough
 
yallyall1
  • #30
I'm glad you got a BN

BTW, how much was it? They are pretty cheap here...
 
eira
  • #31
I wanted a larger bristlenose due to the amount of algae my tank produces and the current size of my turtle, so a 3 and a half inch Bristlenose cost me £15! I was expecting to pay around £10 but was a little shocked at £15. Good news is, the turtle is leaving him alone and theyre sharing the bogwood well
 
yallyall1
  • #32
Lol that isn't a bad price considering his size, although a breeder would have been way cheaper.
 

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