I need some recomendations for a good fish that dosent get too large and will keep my 50 gallon tank free of algae and won't destroy my plants. I've looked at keeping a school of otos but im not sure if they will destroy my plants.
i have otos and gold bristle nose plecos , both are good and both clean well ( no algae eater will keep a tank COMPLETELY CLEAN) i still get algae in my 90 and i have 2 or 3 plecos all GBN and 20+ otos 26 amano shrimp.
It depends on what kind of algae you have got, it will be better one algae eater or another. But, above all, to solve any algae problem, it's very important to know why algae are growing (unbalanced nutrients, for example).
According to "algae eaters", I've got my preferences. None of these animals hurt our plants: shrimps (genus Caridina), Crossocheilus siamensis, Pomacea bridgesi or Otocinclus. Also, let's not forget, snails of genus Planorbis which comes to our aquariums with plants. They are not dangerous in contrast with other species (genus Lymnaea, for example).
I don't recommend large loricaridae such as Hypostomus plecostomus, Liposarcus pardalis, etc... for a planted tank.
A company in Australia has been trialling a native snail that seems to eat BGA. Well, actually it eats "periphyton" which is made of, among other things, cyanobacteria. It's called the Waterhouse Snail. I've got a few in my tank at present and they seem to be not touching the plants. Of course, that's probably cold comfort as they're not able to be exported yet, but interesting nonetheless.