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Old 01-03-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
maxfrenkel19
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Oto cats distracted, need a new helper!


Hello everyone,

I have a 45 gallon planted tank. My 3 oto cats used to do a great job and I had never spotted any algae. Recently, i purchased some species of hygro and planted it at the back of my tank. The otos LOVE it to the point of ignoring all of my other plants.

Now, for the first time, my plants are covered with a brownish looking, somewhat slimy feeling material. I can manually remove it but it comes back quickly. I've also noticed some long, green, stringy algae that has developed in my flame moss.

So I'm considering some options. I know the most obvious is to remove the hygro, but it does look really great (probably because its the only clean plant in there) and I'd rather not. Second option I'm considering is adding some snails. I've heard nerite will help me remove algae and dead plant matter but will leave live plants alone. However, I don't know much about snails and their benefits/drawbacks. I know shrimp can be useful as well, but am not sure if my fish would consider small ones food or not.

I'm not sure what else to do, I'm only just beginning my algae research. However, I was hoping to get the opinions of some more experienced hobbyists if possible.

For the record I'm running 1 t5ho light for 9 hours a day. I have begun to add 1 capful of excel about once a week, just because I saw it at the store and wanted to try it.

Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:10 AM   #2
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What kind of fish do you have in there? I hear great things about Nerites, but I've never tried them. I do have zero algae in the two tanks that have RCS though..
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:25 AM   #3
maxfrenkel19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
What kind of fish do you have in there? I hear great things about Nerites, but I've never tried them. I do have zero algae in the two tanks that have RCS though..
Thanks for the reply.

The tank is currently stocked with
1 angelfish
3 bolivian rams
2 cacatuoides
4 forktail rainbows
3 oto cats
1 bnp
(also adding 3 little platties fairly soon)

I do like the idea of shrimp, they seem like they would be more fun to watch than snails... My angelfish is my largest fish, about 3.5 inches, and I'm not sure if she would consider shrimp to be food or not.

Also just to be clear, my biggest concern is whatever types of algae is growing on my plants. I haven't really experienced algae on the glass/gravel. Not sure if this specification makes a difference in the snail vs shrimp vs other decision.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:42 AM   #4
danakin
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Try adding a few new otos. They could spark some new playing and schooling, breaking them away from the single plant obsession. Plus, otos are cool and you can always do with a few more! That's a scientific fact.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:15 AM   #5
maxfrenkel19
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Quote:
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Try adding a few new otos. They could spark some new playing and schooling, breaking them away from the single plant obsession. Plus, otos are cool and you can always do with a few more! That's a scientific fact.
Hahaha I did used to love my otos... until this recent dilemna. If you think that adding more would help spark some activity, maybe that's a good plan. The current otos don't even move, much less school together. After a bit more research, the general consensus seems to be that an angel will eventually terrorize a shrimp population, so I better not use that option.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like snails/otos both add negligible bio-loads to the tank, so would I be ok adding a few of both to see how it goes? I can't imagine they would add much waste, and I perform a wc at least once a week anyway.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:45 AM   #6
Knotyoureality
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As a comparison on numbers: the last time I kept just 3 otos was in a 10g. My 37g typically has 5-7 otos, along with an SAE, nerites, two types of shrimp and a sprinkling of pond snails, rams horns and MTS.

I love my nerites, but you do have to consider whether you'll be able to tolerate the eggs they lay. Bright white spots that you either have to scrub off (difficult if they lay 'em on hardscape that isn't easily moved or reached, or worse--on your plant stems!) or have show up bright and clear under the lights for the months it takes them to naturally break down. Shrimp can help clean, but aren't magic. Amano are your best bet for a good algae eater-and they're large enough to not be an instant snack. Neither amano nor nerites breed in freshwater.

In your position, I'd add 2-3 more otos and the same of amanos.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:49 AM   #7
zico_aqua
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rams too might trouble em' quite a bit. Nerite an' oto's are your best bet and yes..they would hardly make a difference.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
maxfrenkel19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotyoureality View Post
I love my nerites, but you do have to consider whether you'll be able to tolerate the eggs they lay. Bright white spots that you either have to scrub off (difficult if they lay 'em on hardscape that isn't easily moved or reached, or worse--on your plant stems!) or have show up bright and clear under the lights for the months it takes them to naturally break down.
I hadn't considered that...I will have to look up some pictures to see if I'd be able to tolerate it or not.

I think I'll take your advice and get some more otos next time I see them, and I'll do some more research on the nerites.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I appreciate it.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:01 AM   #9
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I can tell you that my Angels killed and ate even my largest Amano shrimp. Since rescaping my 75g I'm having algae issues as well. I moved the Oto's from this tank to my 46g which now has Cherry Shrimp, 6 Amano Shrimp, and 3 Oto's. Its also algae free after only 2 days!
I'm going to do maybe 5-7 Nerites in my 75g and start with 10 Oto's.
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