Best cleaning crew for lowtech plant tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Best cleaning crew for lowtech plant tanks

So what r the best critters like snails, crabs, shrimps best for cleaning crew inside lowtech plant tanks that will keep the tank clean from leftover fishfood and fish poops.
In 265gal, how many would i need?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 10:19 PM
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If you don't want cleaning fish pick up 6 nerite snails and a hand full of amano/ghost shrimp. In my opinion, ghost shrimp are underrated cleaners.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 10:37 PM
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never heard of crabs being used in freshwater. Shrimp work well but depending on what fish you have they will likely end up as an expensive snack. Snails work great and could go with any of them really. Most will breed like rabbits in your tank, nerite's cant breed in freshwater but will leave little white eggs everywhere. could go with cories to rustle along the bottom picking up left over food.

with freshwater tank a clean up crew isnt really a must, more of a dont over feed and run enough filters to handle the waste.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Is it better to get corys vs shrimps/snails for cleaner tank?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:04 PM
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Allow any snails you see to stay, free is good. If you want to buy snails get maybe 50-100 nerite snails - the different species vary a great deal in size. Some kinds of nerites lay long lasting and non hatching white eggs everywhere, be warned! Get about 200 Amano shrimps. Ghost shrimp vary depending on what species they are. Some are predators, some eat algae, some don't. Perhaps researching to see if you can spot differences between the species sold as ghost or feeder shrimp might help you figure out if the sort sold around you are good citizens or not.

For fish, get a couple dozen otos and 4-5 your choice small herbivorous plecos like bristlenose and rubber lip. I really like having platies or swordtails in the tank, they are nipping at stuff on the plants all day long and so far haven't been eating fine leaved plants like Siamese Algae eaters can. If you want to get them a double trio is plenty, many babies will survive once the tank is grown in.

Fish poop and dead plant material is decomposed by tiny stuff living in the substrate, snails, shrimp and also goes into the filter. You will be vacuuming whatever is still on top of the substrate once a week or two.

Corydoras need to be fed on purpose too but like to nose around the bottom all day long looking for lost bits of food as do my platies. Get about 2 dozen of them. Choose your favorite, they are all really nice fish. My peppered corydoras also eat enough snails that I rarely see any. Not really happy about that, I like snails.

I really like my 'clean up' crew. They are always busy and fun to watch.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:16 PM
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What size tank? 200 amanos?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreef View Post
So what r the best critters like snails, crabs, shrimps best for cleaning crew inside lowtech plant tanks that will keep the tank clean from leftover fishfood and fish poops.
In 265gal, how many would i need?
A big tank!


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 11:25 PM
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My bad. Dont know how i missed that! Big tank. Amanos are awesome cleaners. And as long as the inhabitants arent a threat, they are brazen!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:13 AM
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You would need to buy a $#&% ton of cleaners... I'd say go otos and amanos.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:20 AM
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Amanos, start with 200, Cherry shrimp start with 100, SAE* (Siamese Algae Eater) 12 small, Ramshorn snails 36 adults, dwarf plecos 12.

I'm not a fan of Nerite snails or Ottos.


*Be sure they are SAEs not Chinesse
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 12:57 AM
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There is no ultimate cleaning crew, there are just preferences. The names you see repeated here are likely to be very good at one or more aspects of the task. Uneaten food? Most are good at this except the dedicated algae eaters (although some get converted).

Shrimp could do the job but it would take quite a few to cover the whole tank. If small size is okay and a self perpetuating population appeals to you, then you have many choices, cherry shrimp being an easier option. Amanos seem omnivirous but they will not breed for you. One thing about shrimp: they are not large enough to notice from a distance.

If you would rather have a school or group or two of larger fish, then loaches, catfish and plecos come to mind. I don't think any of them do anything but stir around the fish poop. But stirring around helps; it accumulates as mulm or the filter captures it.

265g is enough tank that you could have many of several species and/or get some bigger ones. You can find species that reproduce readily or you might lean towards shape, color or behavior that intrigues you. Go to your local fish store and watch a few. Let's face it, this is the best part of having a lfs.

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Last edited by tomfromstlouis; 04-08-2013 at 05:05 PM. Reason: sp.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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My concern also is that will angels or discus hunt for these critters?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2013, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkreef View Post
My concern also is that will angels or discus hunt for these critters?
Might have been better to share that whole Discus/Angelfish idea in the O.P.



Plecos & Ramshorn snail will work.

Shrimp will be food and most shrimp don't care for higher temps. people like to keep Discus at.
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