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I'm looking for a good algae clean up crew once my tank gets filled and cycled. I'd like to know how the species differs in their algae eating preferences and also their sensitivity to water chemistry.
 

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very senstive...

imma just waiting for my nerite snail to come in the mail....

oto can eat a bit of hair or brush algae but hard spot algae..they can't do nothing...mine don't even eat black beard algae..
 

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I don't find otos are as delicate as people make them out to be. Just make sure you get them from a good source that's had them for at least two weeks, that you acclimate them well, and that the tank's conditions are stable.
 

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I have seven otos and they seem quite happy in my 44.7 gallon tank. I've had them for about three months. There's not much algae in my tank and they mostly are happy munching on algae wafers. I have a small amount of hair algae and some other algae that I can't identify and they're not interested in eating either--probably the wafers have spoiled them. I think they're hardy. I've lost six SAEs in the same tank and same conditions... The otos and SAEs were introduced at the same time and the SAEs died off right away.
 

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I got 3 Otocinclus about a month ago. 1 originally, then learned they prefer some friends.

I have a lightly planted tank, but very low lighting. Not a whole bunch of algae growing in there. I do have a driftwood piece from PetCo that came with, and is still covered in black brush algae. I see the 3 otos picking thru the BBA frequently. I don't know if they are actually eating the BBA, or just sifting thru for other things. Haven't seen much of a decrease in the BBA on the log.

I have seen a lot of people recommend to supplement zucchini, or cucumbers. After procrastinating about it, I finally got a cucumber ($0.59) and sliced it up, and then sliced those slices in half. Put in the freezer, and they sink once thawed in the tank.

The otos love it! In just over 24 hrs two half slices are gone. Also, another finicky eater of mine (Honey Gourami, and a red honey gourami) love the cucumber as well. I had yet to see the red honey eat anything until I put the cucumber in.
 
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