Who's the lucky algae eater for my planted tank?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by sophi, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. sophi

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

    I'm hoping to get some votes or opinions as to who to choose for my 20 Gallon planted tank. I had all of these guys in my previous set up but unfortunately lost them all due to chemical mishaps (future note- don't let inexperienced people take care of a high tech aquarium). I've redone the tank and would like just some basic helpers since thankfully, I don't have too much algae yet. I am struggling with Green Spot Algae and the normal Green Dust algae, but otherwise the tank is doing well. It's preferable to have something that would help manage these 2 algaes since I'm struggling a bit to get them under control.

    Here are the candidates I've chosen, but need help deciding on. If there's any others you have in mind, please let me know!
    Following are;
    Otoclinus (only one I haven't tried)
    Siamese Algae Eaters
    Amano Shrimp
    Cherry Shrimp

    I've got a couple of Nerites in there currently but... they aren't doing much work. I was thinking trying Ramhorns or MTS again but I have an Assassin snail, and he would most likely wipe them out. I could rehome though I suppose...

    My only worry is, it's a high tech tank and I'm pumping in a ton of CO2. My drop checker is constantly yellow, and I'd prefer to have more CO2 than too little. From what I've read, Oto's don't do well in high Co2 environments? If that's the case, then SAE's might not work either. In my old set up, I nearly killed them the second they entered the tank because they reacted poorly to the CO2. I had to throw in a bubbler and stir up the water to oxygenate the water to save the little guys. However, they adapted once I slowly raised the CO2, and actually did amazingly well in that tank. I know they require a larger tank, but I had 2 of them who swam as a pair and they were healthy and happy. I had also planned on re-homing them if needed once they got too large. So those two fish are my top 2 picks for just basic algae maintenance, but I'd like to hear what you guys think about the CO2 issue. That's my only fear, is I will end up gassing them by mistake. :/ I don't want to lower the CO2 any time soon either since my plants are currently dying off from the acclimation process, so I'm trying to provide plenty of CO2 just in case.

    Okay, now the RCS and Amano's. I absolutely love my RCS in my other tanks so I feel like they are a definite. I've had problems in the past though with them crawling out of the tank, especially because this tank is uncovered and a part of the driftwood actually hangs outside the tank. I feel like the Amano's might do the same thing since I've seen them crawl above the water before. I did have one straight up jump out of the tank onto my floor, which was utterly terrifying. Somehow he survived and did fine after that haha. But yeah, with the set up, there's no way to cover it really or change the driftwood, so escapees are bound to happen. Amanos creep me out but were excellent cleaners, but so are RCS. I think I might get both, but I've had some problems with the Amanos killing my RCS and eating them, so that's a bit of a worry for me.

    I'm not new to algae cleaners/bottom feeders and have tried others like bristlenoses and corys, but this tank really just needs a semi-basic cleaner that can help with regular maintenance. I don't have a major outbreak, so I want to see which one of these would best fit my tank and it's current condition. Just to point out, I do have very delicate plants (Cambomba, Dwarf Baby Tears) so a gentle cleaner is a must. One who can tolerate high CO2 levels best and would be happy in a 20G long with 5 Cherry Barbs, 2 Platys, and 5 Glowlight Tetras. Looking forward to hear your output! :) Can't wait to get a cleaning crew. The bottom is beginning to look a little nasty from just normal buildup.
  2. Merri68

    Merri68Valued MemberMember

    The shrimp crawl OUT of the tank? Yikes!

    Siamese algae eaters sound good. Perhaps reconsider a couple of corys? They're so dogone industrious.. regular underwater roombas.
  3. Coradee

    CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    If the bottom of the tank is 'looking nasty' then use a syphon to clean it, no fish will eat poop & if it's a build up of uneaten food then just feed less, as for algae eaters none will eat every kind of algae, they each have their specialties.
    I don't use Co2 so can't help there but Dolfan wrote a good article with some useful links on algae & how to deal with it that may help, you can find it here https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/algae-problems-and-how-to-deal-with-them.188662/
  4. Dom90

    Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Siamese algae eaters get too big for a 20 gallon, growing up to 6", and they are shoaling so need bare minimum 3 or more.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. OP

    sophiWell Known MemberMember

    Oops, by gunk I meant old leaf die off and such. My plants are going through their acclimation process so everythings a bit messy. Plus there's some dirt that keeps sticking on all of the leaves (I guess from the new substrate) so I need some helpers! Unfortunately siphoning isn't possible atm because the roots are still establishing, so I would uproot everything by mistake lol.

    Thanks, I'll check that article out. There's so many algae eaters to decide on. Don't know if I want to try something new or stick with maybe with what I've had before. :eek: All have their pros and cons.

    And Merri68, yeah, I've had quite a few RCS crawl out of their tanks and I end up finding them dried up on the floor. I'm assuming they crawl out using the cords from the filter/heater. It's pretty disgusting to find them all dried and pale. But they're super helpful in the tank so gahhh, I don't know! SAE's did very well in my tank, but man this CO2 issue is scaring me. So many options...