Algae eating shrimp and fish cannot ever eliminate all algae in a tank. If they ever came close to doing so they would then starve. Otocinclus are interesting fish, and they do eat algae, but I have never been able to see a difference in the tank's appearance due to them. Amano shrimp, on the other hand, can virtually eliminate the clumps of brown algae that litter the substrate in some tanks, so I voted for them. It doesn't take many of those shrimps to make a visible difference, in my experience.
i agree with church. either way, i've never been able to have them eat any of my clado algae or GSA, but i don't have any other algae. can you add in another option to the poll?
so its like this:
1. lots of otocinclus
2. lots of amano shrimp
3. only a few of each
I had both and I found that in my low-light tank, the two Otos were just beasts if it was Brown Diatom algae (three of them cleaned up the whole 30g tank in two days after I got them). BUT if it was any other type of algae, they really couldn't be bothered. The Amano I had was more interested in detritus than algae but when he did, he ate green algae types and did a pretty decent job.
I have both in my 40G, Both are interesting to have. Otos in my tank huddle in a pack of 4, same with the Amanos. Whenever I feed frozen foods the Amanos come out and I stick the rest of the frozen cube on the substrate near them... Ahh Shimp eating other shrimp(Frozen Brine Shrimp)....Oh and I have a few Zebra Nerites aswell which are cool, I should get a pic with everyone eating zucchini
My box filter on my 65 tall, which is 9 x 9 x 27 inch, was covered with a 3 inch thick matt of staghorn algae. I bought a bristlenose pleco and it cleared it all in a few days. Didn't get a picture... There is a stub of staghorn algae every so often, so it probably would come back soon if I moved him out. It also cleared the front of GDA and the back of diatoms.
Never had any otto or amano shrimp... But I do have a lot of brown algae on the ground of my new tank.
My otos were never diggers. They were shy and retiring - to the point that I had thought that 1 of them had died because I only could ever find two and then a few months later, voila all three (I definitely did a double take). But anyway, I never had them dig anything up, they usually hung out on long leaf-ed plants and ate away the algae (but only after the tank glass was completely scoured of brown diatom.
I like the Otos. because of the size that Amanos get and I'm partial to S. American stuff. Be sure to keep your otos in larger groups of at least 10, they are like corys and prefer company.
I have mine in a 55 gallon "jungle" biotope and they actually swim around with the Endlers guppies for several minutes, then perch on the glass or a leaf for a while to eat. Mine seem to want to swim considerable distances, which I thought was very interesting.
They really do want larger groups; 6+ They don't create nearly as much bio-load though as some fish so 6 in the 10g wouldn't be a big deal as long as you stay on top of the water params and do regular water changes.