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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ready..... FIGHT! lol

As the title may lead you to believe, I'm looking for an algae eater.

I have a pretty nicely planted tank (I don't think I would consider it heavily planted, but it may be), 55gal with a Rena XP3.

Only problem are the other inhabitants: Four assorted angelfish (2.5" to 3"), a 3" clown pleco (he doesn't touch algae), and the problem children: a 2.5" leopard ctenopoma and a full-grown 4" South American leaf fish. The mouths on these two fish are remarkable, the leaf fish can supposedly swallow a 2" feeder like nothing, and when he gets fully grown, the ctenopoma will be ~6" and can swallow a 2" fish, as well.

From what I've read, otos will only get 1.5" or so. If they get round, they won't be a big problem, but if they don't, then the fish may have a tasty oto snack, and I would be sad. :( But they're so damn cute!

Farlowellas just look awesome, I love how they are long and thin and have a long nose, but they may not be able to reach nooks and crannies that the other algae eaters might be able to.

Siamese Algae Eater. My LFS stocks from Segrest Farms and they have true SAE, but they also stock CAEs, but they are easy to reach and work with, so if they sent the wrong one, they will make it right. Plus if I get this one, the LFS' angel tank has black beard algae, so she can use it in there until that algae is gone, then I can take it.



OR:

I can get all of them and put them between three tanks, the planted angel community tank, the goldfish/feeder 29g, and a new 55g possibly cichlid tank (still tentative on the occupants). :)


Let me know which you think would be best!
 

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SAEs may eat some algae but the are opportunistic (more so than the rest you mentioned) and will often eat blood worms, flakes, etc. Unless you manage to deprive them of whatever food you feed your other fish, they're not likely to do much to the algae (in my experience and plenty of other people have said the same).

I would most definitely vote for ottos. Not only do they constantly eat algae but they also school which is an awesome effect in a large tank. I'd get 5+ - even up to 10 in a 55g (mine are small - golden ottos - I believe they all stay pretty small). I can't attest to their compatibility with the other occupants but as far as algae goes, they're probably the best option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SAEs may eat some algae but the are opportunistic (more so than the rest you mentioned) and will often eat blood worms, flakes, etc. Unless you manage to deprive them of whatever food you feed your other fish, they're not likely to do much to the algae (in my experience and plenty of other people have said the same).

I would most definitely vote for ottos. Not only do they constantly eat algae but they also school which is an awesome effect in a large tank. I'd get 5+ - even up to 10 in a 55g (mine are small - golden ottos - I believe they all stay pretty small). I can't attest to their compatibility with the other occupants but as far as algae goes, they're probably the best option.
Will the otos eat the fuzzy algae that grows on driftwood? Mine is getting out of control, I know my pleco would eat it (the common one in another tank, not the clown), but I don't want him to decide to eat the plants in there, too. Besides, he is having a grand time nomming on an apple snail's algae-covered shell that I picked up in the creek behind my parents' house. :D

Bristlenose Pleco.
Though some of the BN's look cool, I'm going more for something you don't see every day. :)
 

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I love Farlowellas, I have a group of 6 in my tank that go to town on everything.

Craig
 

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Mine do. I'll repeat what I just posted about ottos on a different thread.

When I first got my 5 ottos, my tank had a GSA (Green Spotted Algae) problem ...had to scrape that stuff off every day or so. My back wall was almost completely covered in it but it was more difficult to see due to the black bckground..so I didn't touch it often. And yes I know, this was probably due to my fert regime - which is very weak (but so is my lighting in this low light tank).

With in a few days of introducing the ottos almost all of the GSA from my tank was gone. So much so, that I begin to stress about having enough food for the ottos (many people are unable to keep these guys alive for a long time - a lot of it, imo, has to do with having enough food).

So I decided to increase my fert dose to promote more GSA (the irony). It worked and the ottos are back to eating it again. I supplement that with wafers and flakes. Right now there's a good balance...some GSA but not enough to make the tank an eye sore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mine do. I'll repeat what I just posted about ottos on a different thread.

When I first got my 5 ottos, my tank had a GSA (Green Spotted Algae) problem ...had to scrape that stuff off every day or so. My back wall was almost completely covered in it but it was more difficult to see due to the black bckground..so I didn't touch it often. And yes I know, this was probably due to my fert regime - which is very weak (but so is my lighting in this low light tank).

With in a few days of introducing the ottos almost all of the GSA from my tank was gone. So much so, that I begin to stress about having enough food for the ottos (many people are unable to keep these guys alive for a long time - a lot of it, imo, has to do with having enough food).

So I decided to increase my fert dose to promote more GSA (the irony). It worked and the ottos are back to eating it again. I supplement that with wafers and flakes. Right now there's a good balance...some GSA but not enough to make the tank an eye sore.
Thanks very much for the info!

I had my LFS order me four otos (she got two or three more for the shop to deal with algae), one farlowella, and a SAE for her BBA problem. They will be here on Friday!

She also could get Zebra otos, but they were ~$20 apiece vs. $3 apiece, so I just went with the normal ones lol.
 

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Alot of people say sae's don't do a great job, esepecially if you feed em, but I have four in my 40 planted, and I is 100% algae free. I got them to deal with a hair algae problem, and they did quite effectively, then I got a 12 inch tall anubias from my grandfather, literally covered in bba, and they just picked a leaf, and stayed on it until the algae was gone. Otto's are great as well, a little too great. I have 5 of them in another 40, not planted, and after they wiped out all traces of algae in that one I had to start regularly supplementing their diet with blanched zucchini. Mine don't particularly care for algae wafers. My sae's have become a bit bold here of late, and started harassing some of the other in habitants. You will definitely see them all the time. Chinese algae eaters are so insanely worthless! They aren't from china, and don't eat algae. They should be renamed the liar fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alot of people say sae's don't do a great job, esepecially if you feed em, but I have four in my 40 planted, and I is 100% algae free. I got them to deal with a hair algae problem, and they did quite effectively, then I got a 12 inch tall anubias from my grandfather, literally covered in bba, and they just picked a leaf, and stayed on it until the algae was gone. Otto's are great as well, a little too great. I have 5 of them in another 40, not planted, and after they wiped out all traces of algae in that one I had to start regularly supplementing their diet with blanched zucchini. Mine don't particularly care for algae wafers. My sae's have become a bit bold here of late, and started harassing some of the other in habitants. You will definitely see them all the time. Chinese algae eaters are so insanely worthless! They aren't from china, and don't eat algae. They should be renamed the liar fish.
lol, we should start a petition!

Really the only reason she got the SAE was because I told her it would get rid of the BBA problem, and once it was done, I'd buy it from her, so it's a win-win for her. It won't go in my main tank, it will go in my secondary one. The farlowella and the otos will be in my main tank, and after they take care of my current algae problem, blanched zucchini and algae wafers it is! I also have two NICE Florida apple snails I picked up from the creek at my parents' house that will eat zucchini as well, so it should work out nicely!
 

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I would avoid the SAE's due to the fact that they become aggressive and stop eating algae as they get older and go with the Otos and Farlowellas. You can figure out what is causing the BBA, rectify the problem, and then you won't need a BBA eating fish.
 

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I should also mention that when I had the algae problems in my tank, I also upped co2, and studied more about fert regimes, instead of just guessing. And the sae's that I have are still pretty young, maybe 8 mos old?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would avoid the SAE's due to the fact that they become aggressive and stop eating algae as they get older and go with the Otos and Farlowellas. You can figure out what is causing the BBA, rectify the problem, and then you won't need a BBA eating fish.
I'm not the one that needs it. My LFS isn't about to throw money into an expensive CO2 system to help plants she may or may not sell, or to clear up an algae problem, so it's better for her to get a $1 SAE to take care of it. And if it gets aggressive, she can put it with her large cichlids, then we'll see who's aggressive lol.
 

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SAEs for hair algae
Otos for brown and green algae on tank decor
Bristlenoses for brown algae and left over food preventing a lot of the algae to grow in the first place.
Rubberlips for brown algae and hard spot algae on the tank wall.
Nerite snails for all of the above except I do not know if they eat hair algae. Everything else they will. In a tank 46 gal and up if you use SAEs and nerites you will not have algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, got the otos, they are awesome, though very tiny. They school with the feeder fish for my SA Leaf fish, which has me worried, I could only find two tonight, though the lights were off and I just had the room lights. Hopefully the SALF didn't have a $4 snack. :(

The SAE she got in wasn't doing so well, it wasn't really swimming around, and at one point was just floating wildly in her tank, so we grabbed it out of the angel tank and put it back in a tank with some feeders to see if it would recover. Safe to say I didn't buy that one!
 

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otos will be a quick snack. I have a 3 inch oscar that ate 2 of my otos before I realized it, and i never thought a 3 inch fish could down one of those fat little otos, but it didn't take much. Your ctenopoma and leaf fish would have no problem chowing down either I'm guessing.

Now, I have blue eyed yellow ancistrus, and as long as the BBA is dead, they'll eat it up, all other problem algaes I've had they have eaten within a day. I have 7 of them though.
 
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