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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I will be setting up a planted 40 breeder soon, my first planted tank. I have finished the stand.

To add Otos w/ a quarantine of 4 weeks, I would need to set up my QT and run the lights for a week to get some good algae growth and then add them, wait 4 weeks, and add to main tank.

My plan had been to do this simultaneously as I set up my 40 breeder, which will have 2 x 2 T5NO Coralife fixtures on it.

Now I am starting to re-consider and think maybe I should not even think about Otos until I actually discover a problem with the tank. I know that Otos don't eat all kinds of algae or even may not be as effective as I've read and I do like them for their behavior etc beyond just algae-eating...but I probably wouldn't add them to a 100% problem free tank.

So my question is - if you were setting up a planted tank, would you add algae eaters right from the start, or go ahead and worry about plants and "centerpiece" fish and go thru QT etc at a later time if necessary?

Thank you! Sorry if this is a little jumbled - I'm up on Red Bulls during the hurricane in order to keep my 20 gallon tank fish safe if/when power goes out!
 

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hi doc
new jersey here too
east brunswick
so far not bad for this hurricane
but the eye is 4-6 away
 

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First off I worry about the tank being fully cycled before adding otos. After that, the initial brown diatom phase is a good time to add them if parameters are stabilized. They like the diatoms but they are temporary even without otos, they are not really going to do anything for real problem algae and you will need to supplement their diet, they will get some nutrition from biofilm, some from soft algae, and the rest from you. Best case is probably to add them when the tank is established and plant mass is full, and buy them from someone who QTs for like a month and gets them eating.
 

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get them after your set up and running so they have a food source! and there really isnt a problem free tank ever from my experiance, they do eat biofilm an algea so just let your tank run for a little to get set up an throw some food with them as a supplement if they dont have enough like any other fish.. add your plants and cycle your tank then add fish no need to worry but depending on what type of fish your getting can factor in when you should add a species vs another not common but can play a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I should rephrase my question a little bit :

Is there an immediate concern if I do not get started building an algae-eating crew in the first few weeks of my aquarium being set up?

I have the feeling I am being a little nervous nelly with the plan to QT and have Otos ready to put in the planted tank as soon as it is set up and ready to go. People out there have set up a planted tank and added tetras etc first before worrying about adding Otos and not had disastrous results, correct?
 

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No, cleanup crew is not a required or common step like in SW. If it were otos would probably be the last thing on the list. No problem adding schoolers first. If you have a problem you can sort it out elsewhere, the otos wouldn't be any help.
 

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Elsewhere as in, all the problem algae have a cause that can be addressed, like black brush when your light is too high, and co2 too low. Green spot when your PO4 is low. Green dust when you have (I believe) way too much light (or something, hard to figure that one out, but otos won't fix it). Hair algae can be a nutrient imbalance. Etc etc.
 

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I do not have any algae eaters either and it is a mistake to think they are a necessary component - my algae is minimized through balance and then easily maintained by myself. I'm not in the habit of keeping or recommending fish to be an aquarium tool - especially finicky ones like ottos. If I do add fish like ottos it's because I will enjoy having them, and I expect to feed them and assume they won't eat the algae - if they do it's just a bonus.
 

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I'd suggest getting some nerite snails as your initial clean up crew. They are small, won't reproduce in fresh water, and do a great job of cleaning up algae but will also eat any other food you supply them with. And they won't eat your plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great thanks for your help folks. I see Otos in nearly every planted tank and thought it would be foolish to not have them ready to go in mine.

Maybe I will start with a school of some of the tetras already in my 20 gallon tank, as I know they are healthy etc and this would allow me to have fish in the tank sooner while my QT has a different school or other kind of fish getting ready : )
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are there a lot of issues if Angelfish are added in the improper order, GBRs, tetras, etc?

I know it is recommended to add the most aggressive fish to a tank last. However my LFS very occasionally will have a gorgeous GBR or Angel and I would be hesitant to let them slip by - - and setting up a 2nd QT is out of the question : )

Is this a recommendation that is high priority, or low priority and sorts out after a day or so? Don't want to be irresponsible if the fish must be added in a certain order.
 

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its really going to depend on the size of them an the temperment if the angel is small it shouldnt be a issue, but relize that he can get 6inch giving you dont stunt his growth so make sure hes got enough swim room cause after some scapes u can loose 1/2 your space to plants just something to think about might look more natural with more smaller fish, but its your tank. i did just notice my petsmart has 1$ fish sale again might help with those ottos or tetras just get a pets perk card, good luck an show us your tank when you can.
 

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I see Otos in nearly every planted tank and thought it would be foolish to not have them ready to go in mine.
That's because we all got them when we were starting out and thought we needed them. It turns out they're really interesting fish, so we keep them. :)


If you like them, then by all means get some. They're about the lowest maintenence fish you can ever have.
 
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