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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for the best options for aquarium cleaning tank mates. My tank is small (2.5 gallon), but I enjoy hearing about other size options too.


Who keeps the cleanest shop and the clearest Glass?


Currently I have a ton of limpets, bladder snails, and mini ramshorns, a single zebra nerite, and a hand full of Malaysian trumpet snails. Other tank mates are some cobalt colored neocaridina, but they don't clean the glass at all.


For the most part my glass is pretty darn clean, but I've just upgraded my lighting and the algae have noticed. :(
 

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Nothing beats a good wipe down or scrubbing with magnetic cleaner for keeping the glass clear.
I only clear the front pane of glass and leave the bacteria coat on all the others undisturbed.
Some fish eat algae, same with snails, but none of them is the complete answer. Sometimes they will just eat bio film and leave the green stuff alone.
 

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Clean paper towel folded into fourth's once each week keep's the front and sides of my tank's clean.
Approx 50 to 75 baby long finned albino bristlenose do a spectacular job in another tank.
hardly ever need to wipe it down.
 

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My long finned albinos are quickly becoming my favourite fish, they don't seem to like GSA all that much. It is the only algae I can get to grow in that tank, and then only on the white rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because my tank is so small, I typically use a toothbrush to clean the glass when it becomes particularly filmy. After that I typically do a water change. I don't mind doing this, and it doesn't take long because my tank is tiny. I was hoping to hear about other types of aquatic life that might get the job done, even if they don't do it perfectly.
 

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Looking for the best options for aquarium cleaning tank mates. My tank is small (2.5 gallon), but I enjoy hearing about other size options too.


Who keeps the cleanest shop and the clearest Glass?


Currently I have a ton of limpets, bladder snails, and mini ramshorns, a single zebra nerite, and a hand full of Malaysian trumpet snails. Other tank mates are some cobalt colored neocaridina, but they don't clean the glass at all.


For the most part my glass is pretty darn clean, but I've just upgraded my lighting and the algae have noticed. :(
Malaysian Trumpet Snails were my first thought. Nerite was my second. You seem to have your bases pretty covered as far as what I'm familiar with. MTS are perfect for a tank that size. But personally, I haven't kept any algae eater as effective as zebra nerites, but the down side is every so often they go nuts laying eggs on everything. That's pretty annoying.
 

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Because my tank is so small, I typically use a toothbrush to clean the glass when it becomes particularly filmy. After that I typically do a water change. I don't mind doing this, and it doesn't take long because my tank is tiny. I was hoping to hear about other types of aquatic life that might get the job done, even if they don't do it perfectly.
There really is none to be honest...and I am generally opposed to using animals for clean-up. They do not live up to my expectation: crystal clear glass. IMHE, the most effective method is not animal control but nutrient and light control. Very lean dosing works wonders for me. I have tanks that I don't clean the glass except maybe once or twice a year. If I am pressed to choose an animal then snails (ANY non-carnivorous, plant-safe snail), hands down. But, again, they don't give crystal clear panels of glass. At best, they give fuzzy glass with circular patterns where their radulas rasp. And, as you have already discovered on your own, no snail is going to be effective against a full-blown algae bloom. That's the province of frequent water changes and lean dosing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Malaysian Trumpet Snails were my first thought. Nerite was my second. You seem to have your bases pretty covered as far as what I'm familiar with. MTS are perfect for a tank that size. But personally, I haven't kept any algae eater as effective as zebra nerites, but the down side is every so often they go nuts laying eggs on everything. That's pretty annoying.
Thanks, I've been trying to build a diverse population in my tank. Will zebra nerite really breed in freshwater? I thought they only did that in brackish, I could be mistaken. My tank is too small to house a breeding population of nerites. :/
 

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Thanks, I've been trying to build a diverse population in my tank. Will zebra nerite really breed in freshwater? I thought they only did that in brackish, I could be mistaken. My tank is too small to house a breeding population of nerites. :/
They lay eggs like crazy, but need salt water to hatch out so the eggs just sit there until you scrape em off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There really is none to be honest...and I am generally opposed to using animals for clean-up. They do not live up to my expectation: crystal clear glass. IMHE, the most effective method is not animal control but nutrient and light control. Very lean dosing works wonders for me. I have tanks that I don't clean the glass except maybe once or twice a year. If I am pressed to choose an animal then snails (ANY non-carnivorous, plant-safe snail), hands down. But, again, they don't give crystal clear panels of glass. At best, they give fuzzy glass with circular patterns where their radulas rasp. And, as you have already discovered on your own, no snail is going to be effective against a full-blown algae bloom. That's the province of frequent water changes and lean dosing.
I kind of figured that would be the case, and that's okay. I just thought this would be a fun discussion topic where people could share their experiences.

Bump: Anyone have any experience with Daphnia, Copepods, or Ostracoda? Do they do any effective cleaning, glass or otherwise? If so does anyone know where reliable source where they can be purchased?

I had them in my tank previously, but I let my utricularia grow out of control and they slowly disappeared.
 

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the snails in my tank are cleaning the glass all the time, but they dont make it hella clean. i see their bite marks looking like tire tracks on my glass.

i use a folded up paper towel, pinch it with my long tweezers and wipe around the glass to get the dust algae

i then use a razer blade on a stick to scrape off any green spot algae

after these two methods, my glass is perfect clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What about Otto's? I know that my current tank is too small, but I'm curious for the future. Do they clean well? Are they aggressive to shrimp?
 

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What about Otto's? I know that my current tank is too small, but I'm curious for the future. Do they clean well? Are they aggressive to shrimp?
They are good. I have 3 in a 29g with a growing shrimp population. They seem to leave the baby shrimp alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They are good. I have 3 in a 29g with a growing shrimp population. They seem to leave the baby shrimp alone.
Are they active or mostly sessile? I'm planning out my next few tanks, and I'd like to maybe add Otto's, they are really cute. :)
 

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Are they active or mostly sessile? I'm planning out my next few tanks, and I'd like to maybe add Otto's, they are really cute. :)
They aren't active as far as swimming around, but they're usually inching forward chomping algae off plant leaves/ wood/ glass. That or just staying put. They won't wow you with their antics, but I'd say they're a cool addition to most tanks.
 
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