Plecos or ottos? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Plecos or ottos?

I'm looking to add a couple algae eaters to my tank but I was wondering. Can a pleco survive exclusively off a tanks algae?(assuming you have enough algae) Secondly.. Which fish is a more efficient algae eater? Ottos or plecos? I really wanted to pick up a gold nugget pleco and maybe a peppermint. But if they aren't really going to be very effective in taking care of algae then I might be better off with ottos. Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 02:41 PM
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IMO i think the ottos are the better algae eaters but you will probably have to feed them because they eat all of your algae in less than a week(but it depends on how many you have and how big ur tank is)

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewWoodside View Post
I'm looking to add a couple algae eaters to my tank but I was wondering. Can a pleco survive exclusively off a tanks algae?(assuming you have enough algae) Secondly.. Which fish is a more efficient algae eater? Ottos or plecos? I really wanted to pick up a gold nugget pleco and maybe a peppermint. But if they aren't really going to be very effective in taking care of algae then I might be better off with ottos. Thanks for any help!

I have not had much experience with Pleco's but I have had a lot of Otto's over the years. They are absolutely great algae eaters, always moving around the tank eating algae off your plants, glass, equipment and decorative driftwood. They are sensitive to water conditions though and should only be placed in a well conditioned tank. As far as living off the algae in your tank, you should provide food for your Otto's such as algae wafers because you can't depend on the algae in your tank to sustain them. A combination of algae wafers and you tanks natural algae buildup will be plenty of food for these little hard workers.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 02:55 PM
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Along this thread, I have added ottos just recently to my tank and have found if I put algae wafers in there my other fish will hunt them down and eat them long before the ottos have a chance at them. I put a slice of zucchini in there last night but they didn't find it. I have heard that this is normal and that they will eventually figure out that it is food. But is this enough to sustain them? Zucchini and tank algae.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses, and sorry to ask another quesiton on top letdicefly's question but. Will a pair of plecos also eat all the tanks algae?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetDiceFly View Post
But is this enough to sustain them? Zucchini and tank algae.
In my experience, yes. You might want to try other vegetables tho. All my fish, my snails, and my shrimp end up picking at whatever squash-like vegetable I put in my tank, so get creative (but stay away from fruit).

Also, DrewWoodside, a pair of plecos can certainly keep a tank clean, but different species of pleco have different appetites for algae, and many eat less algae as they get older. Also, I'm not sure about those two species you picked out, but many will damage plants with their rasping mouths and via their large size (uprooting plants by accident for example). I know that bristlenose plecos are very popular for their algae-eating. Not sure about gold-nugget and peppermint though.

Also, you don't mention the size of your tank. If you have a 10 gallon tank, two plecos will quickly grow too large. But a couple otos might do a great job in that size tank. Along the same line, if you have a 55 gallon, a couple of otos are going to make a minor dent compared to a pleco.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LetDiceFly View Post
Along this thread, I have added ottos just recently to my tank and have found if I put algae wafers in there my other fish will hunt them down and eat them long before the ottos have a chance at them. I put a slice of zucchini in there last night but they didn't find it. I have heard that this is normal and that they will eventually figure out that it is food. But is this enough to sustain them? Zucchini and tank algae.

They will be fine. Just keep adding the wafers and veggies and the Otto's will eventually figure everything out. They need a little time to acclimate themselves to your tank and probably won't eat a lot until they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:25 PM
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IME, Bristlenose Plecos are more efficient algae eaters and seem to target a wider variety of algae than Otocats. BN plecos also seem hardier than otocats, at least that is based on my experience and first hand observation, take it FWIW. Otocats are excellent diatom algae consumers, but I found they always go into a deep depression(3 days or longer) and sulk and pout after the diatom algae is gone. Sometimes, they will snap out of it as hunger seems to get the best of them and will grudgingly start feeding off zucchini. Sometimes they just will not feed off zucchini or even algae wafers and will madly and continually(in desperation) check out the tank walls in the hopes of finding diatom algae. I have had tanks where there was no diatom algae, but different types of algae(green dust, black brush/black beard, thread algae, hair algae) and the otos did nothing but sit on a plant with eyes focused on the algae with a dazed and confused stare. They rarely would even move and graze on the algae. With bristlenose plecos and even Siamese Algae eaters, it was different. The bristlenose pleco would not touch Blue Green Algae or even Black Brush algae but would graze on the other types of algae. The Siamese Algae eater would graze on the BBA and other types of algae, but not the BGA.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 03:33 PM
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I have all the above - a gold nugget, peppermint and oto's. Oto's will be better on the plants, but as long as algae tablets are used, both plecos will be fine. I have seen my red iranian rainbows eat an oto once in a while too. Both the plecos will not uproot your plants either, and stay small. Oto's, if you have enough, look really cool schooling together. The plecos are on the shy side and seldom seen.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 04:18 PM
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id go with the ottos...how big is your tank because i have a 55 gallon with one otto and he gets the job done

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 05:13 PM
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Also, if you are going to put them in your 29G, plecos are too big and they are poop machines. Another thing to consider.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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I know plecos get big but I was under the impression that Gold nugget plecos and royal or peppermint plecos don't get so large. It would be the 29 gallon i would use them in. I figure the otos would be more efficient. I don't want to pick up a gold nugget pleco for algae eating if he's going to mostly focus on algae wafers. That would kind of defeat the purpose of buying him.. I also know that they are seldom seen which is another reason i'm not sure.. I might just have to pick up an oto even though it a fancy pleco would have been nice
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I just looked up profiles for the gold nugget and royal plecos and both fish get over 6 inches easily. Unfortunately I'm going to definitely eliminate them. In it's place i'm gonna try an Oto and an albino bushy nose pleco. Possibly doubling up on one of them depending how they work out.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-20-2008, 06:47 PM
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I think Otos are probably the better plan in a 29g, but I'd like to throw in the Otos do best if there's at least 2 or more of them. Not for algae destroying purposes, but for sustainability. When i was trying to decide what to add to my 5g tank, i did a lot of reading on Otos and the consensus is that they do best in groups, or at the least a pair, something about the bacteria in their stomachs used to digest food, they can "get more" from each other...not exaclty sure.... Also, it's is best if they are slowly drip-acclimated as they are quite sensitive. I added 3 orgininally, lost one very runty one in the first couple of days, but the other 2 have been happy, healthy and active for a few months now. and my tank, as well as the leaves of my slower growing plants, are kept QUITE clean! I throw in an algae wafer a couple times a week, for the benefit of the Otos as well as the pygmy cories i recently added That's just my experience and what I found out, so take it FWIW. Good luck!


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