what's the best algae eating creature? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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what's the best algae eating creature?

I currently have a 29 gallon low tech tank with plants and am running into (surprise, surprise) some algae issues. Thanks for those who helped with the advise on reducing the photoperiod, raising the light.
These measures have really helped (as have the 5 otos and rubber lipped pleco I added!!)
Still with a fair amount of brown hairs growing on the margins of many leaves. If it were not for the ugliness facotr, the plants and fish do not seem to mind. Plants growing new leaves like mad and the fishare thriving.

This is not a tank specific question, just a general one regarding the BEST tank inhabitants to control algae. The LFS guy recommended SAE's but I am not convinced they are all that great at eating algae except when young.
I have otos and a pleco and am considering adding some shrimp if anybody thinks they would help. ( I will be moving the 3 clown loaches out to the 75 gallon, so shrimp would be a legitimate possibility)

latest tank parameters:
pH 6.8, KH 80, GH 60, NO2 0, NO3 10-15


thanks for the help!


29gallon
HOB penquin filter 200 with biowheel (rated for 50 gallon tank)
hagan glo T5HO 24W single light fixture
substrate is fluorite with sand and pebble overlay
lots of driftwood, plants include java fern, anubias, various crypts, hornwort, onion plant, hairgrass
small UV sterilizer (green killing machine)
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 11:53 PM
smp
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Don't confuse "Chinese" with SAE. SAE is MUCH better (but often you get sold a Chinese....like I got)

Here's an excellent place to start

http://www.aquariumalgaeeaters.blogspot.com/

Steve

90 Gal, 4x65 CFL, 2 Eheim 2215, Pressurized C02
First attempt at planted
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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thanks!

wow, VERY nice article. I think a lot of what I have heard and read must apply to the Chinese and not the Siamese algae eater. I really do trust my LFS guy. (Actually not local at all, but I am willing to drive an hour to get healthy fish and dependable advise)
He said "make sure to get a REAL SAE" and now I know what he means. I hope it is easy to tell the difference when looking with what type you get.
I like the snail section and LOVE snails, but think my pH is too low for snails (6.8)

thanks again!
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 01:25 AM
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I find Amano shrimp to eat many of the algae types that otos and plecos don't eat. That's my recommendation.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 01:35 AM
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Ghost shrimp and Macrobraciums eat hair algae... I'm so evil
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 01:51 AM
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The "True" SAE is Crossocheilus siamensis. It's black stripe is saw-toothed and extends into the tail. When it rests on the bottom, it sits on its fins, so it's belly doesn't touch.

The "Chinese" is Gyrinocheilus aymonieri and is often sold as the SAE (by the "unlearned" people) at some stores. (I know from experience, I presently have 2 in my tank. They are presently "small" but they will be removed in a few months.) Their "stripe" is spotted and ends before the tail. These fish rest on their bellies on the bottom.

Your LFS should be able to order them via their scientific name.

From the article and what people are saying here, it takes several types of eaters in a tank to do the job.

Steve

90 Gal, 4x65 CFL, 2 Eheim 2215, Pressurized C02
First attempt at planted
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 02:00 AM
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Will "kissing" gouramis (full size) eat shrimp? Mine are ~5".

Steve

90 Gal, 4x65 CFL, 2 Eheim 2215, Pressurized C02
First attempt at planted
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 02:03 AM
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SAEs never worked out for me (the true SAE). They're fine until they come across fishfood. At that point they forget that algae even exists. They did love my flame moss though.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:16 AM
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pond snails, ottos, and amanos.

What would Honey Badger do?

Last edited by oldpunk78; 12-26-2009 at 02:28 PM.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamar View Post
SAEs never worked out for me (the true SAE). They're fine until they come across fishfood. At that point they forget that algae even exists. They did love my flame moss though.
x2....

even true SAEs are not a reliable algae eating fish, only put them in your tank if you like the way they look, if you get one that stays interested in eating algae look at it as a bonus. They are also very hard to catch if you want to remove them.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_bu View Post
x2....

even true SAEs are not a reliable algae eating fish, only put them in your tank if you like the way they look, if you get one that stays interested in eating algae look at it as a bonus. They are also very hard to catch if you want to remove them.
My experience with SAE's is the same as with plecos; they eat algae while they are young but as they age and grow they have no or only a passing interest in algae. They just sit around waiting for their nightly algae wafer. It is true, SAE's are very hard to catch. I recently purchase a pair for my 40 gallon and the it took the poor girl at the LFS about ten minutes to catch them. Three years ago in that same 40 gallon aquarium I had to drain almost all the water out of the aquarium (I was changing the substrate) before I could net them.

Ottos seem to do a better job and it is always a challenge to find them all hiding in your aquarium.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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great advice

thanks for the advise. My plan at this point is to move the clown loaches to the 75 gallon tank that I have prepped for them (lots of water movement, sand substrate, many safe hiding places) and THEN put in some amanos and a couple true SAE. I have a feeling the loaches might really LIKE to snuggle up to those shrimp.
Then we'll see how the battle against the algae ensues!
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 05:38 PM
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i have found that apple snails do a wonderful job of cleaning up the algae in my tanks. just wish i could get a few more localy.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 07:38 PM
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I swear by SAE's, but I think what is said here about them not being miracle workers is true. They're much better at eating algae when they're young. At least, mine were. Also, as someone already said, they seem to like flake food better. (on a positive note, they enjoy eating/cleaning up the leftovers on the bottom of the tank that my other higher swimming fish won't touch) Nonetheless, I see them still cleaning off the edges of my leaves pretty often. It's good that they have big appetites.
Also, there's the possible issue that some individuals have more of a taste than others do. I bought two at the same time. One nearly burst from eating so much hair algae, while the other stayed small and didn't really care for it. Or for anything for that matter. He just chills out under a log and doesn't like to be very active.

I like supplementing them with amano shrimp and otos, though not really because I believe they're fantastic at eating algae, but because I love them. ^_^

When it comes to cleaning glass, though, I'd have to say that the best algae cleaning creature is me.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 12:37 PM
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When it comes to cleaning glass, though, I'd have to say that the best algae cleaning creature is me.[/QUOTE]



LOL, truer words have never been spoken!
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