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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Going to begin stocking my tank today after work. My tank has developed a thin sheet of that brown algae on the gravel that new tanks tend to get and also a small amount of that green hair-like algae on some of the plants. Nothing is out of control, but I think this is a good time to get an algae eater in there.

The first thing that popped into my head was a Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus), but I know they can get very large and may tend to "bulldoze" plants. Right now, my 45 can handle one, but I wouldn't be upgrading tank size in any less than 1.5 to 2 years, so I'm not sure if s/he'd outgrow it in that amount of time...and I'd really hate for my plants to turn into an all you can eat buffet.

My other choice was an Oto. It seems more suitable since they only reach about 5 inches, and it seems they also favor that new tank brownish algae. However, they prefer to be in small schools and I'm not sure if having a school of these will also spell trouble for plants if they tire the algae population and are hungry between feedings.

I'm open to suggestions. Whether it's between these two or a different fish all together. My tank is moderately planted as of now, with a few broad leaf plants for which to rest upon, hairgrass, Vallisneria, swords, Telanthera Rosefolia, Cryptocoryne wendtii, and java ferns. Plan to add some more anubias, probably a patch of dwarf baby tears, and some moss. Lighting is about medium, and plenty of places to hide. I have no natural driftwood, but will get some in there if need-be.
 

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IMO the best algae eaters are SAE, the down side being that they gow quite quickly and can be quite boisterous. People also say that they go off algae as they get bigger but i havent had that problem as long as you dont over feed. If you only get 2 in a 45 then they should be fine for at least 2 years then you may need to rehome them. (they are also a bugger to catch)

Otos are great, im not sure how big they get but mine are 1" and havent grown in nearly a year, they also wont eat the plants. Just be sure they are true otos as false otos are basically useless. Got that T Shirt!!

My suggestion for a pleco would be a gold nugget, only because i have one, never damaged any plants, not at all a bulldozer and wont eat anything except algae. Ive tried everything! They also only get to 4". Very nocturnal though and all plecos will require wood as they eat/suck the nutrients from it.

Another good one is snails, nerites or trumpets, as they wont reproduce. Down side is female nerites will leave white eggs everywhere and they are a nightmare to clean off. I would happily have nerites again if i could get some males. I havent had trumpets but supposed to be good...?

So all in all there is no perfect algae eater, if you get 4 true otos and 1 small pleco then this should be ok without any issues. Remember that most algae fighting has to be done by the aquarist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I do plan on getting a Red Tailed Shark, so I'm not sure if that rules out the SAE. And as for the oto, I meant 5cm, not inches lol.

I'd think a combination of otos and SAEs would do nicely, granted the Red Tail doesn't cause any issues.

The golden nugget is a really cool looking fish, but I'm not sure if any of the LPS around me keep this fish. I'm not even sure if they have SAEs. Guess I'll just have to go and see..
 

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Nerite snails are great little algae eaters, and will not reproduce in your fresh water tank. All snails help eat algae but most will reproduce faster than bunnies. SAE's eat some algae when young but lose interest as they get older. And it is hard to find a true SAE. Otos would be a good choice, as would a bristle/bushy nosed pleco. They stay relatively small at about 5 inches.
 

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+1 for Otos.

Do NOT get Chinese Algae Eaters by mistake. They are aggressive, get big and eat body slime of other fish.

So far I love my Nerites !!
Zebra doing it's job.


Ruby Nerite
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1313508736.486484.jpg

Little Horned Nerite
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1313508854.865075.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Considering I have black substrate/gravel, you would probably be able to see those eggs very easily. I'll have to think about that one. Well I'm going to go for the otos. Hopefully they carry SAEs too. Thanks for the input
 

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I would also vote against a SAE. I've heard bad things about them sucking slime coats when they get older. What about Amano shrimp? Even ghost shrimp would help clean some of the algae.

For my 45g cleaning crew, which is pretty large, I have 4 peppered cories, 3 Sydontis Nigriventris(Upside-Down Catfish), 3 Black Kuhli loaches, 2 Apple Snails, 1 Pleco, and +/- 10 Ghost shrimp. All in all, they clean up EVERYTHING left over in the tank. I think having multiple species of bottom feeders/algae controllers would help with some cleaning certain things, and others cleaning different things.

Otos are going to be a great choice as I've heard they eat things that others won't, as do the Amanos.
 

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Otos or BNP. Long fin BNP are very nice to look at too!

Shrimp are also great depending on what fish you want to keep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've read that the chinese algae eaters suck slime coats, but not the siamese. Are you sure you have that correct?
 

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Considering I have black substrate/gravel, you would probably be able to see those eggs very easily.
Not sure if they lay on the substrate but they certainly lay on the driftwood. I have a few in my 60 here at the shop that has 3 L183 Starlight BNP. Just when I think I've seen one of those I find it's just some more Nerite eggs. Those fish are pretty elusive. lol
 

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The problem with having a single BNP is that they usually stay hidden. I never ever see anything of mine other than is tail sticking out of his hollow log.
 

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SAE's losing interest in algae? really? Heard of false SAE not eating algae after a while but a true will always eat algae =p otos and bristlenose plecos are my favorite choice for algae control =] and MTSnails will reproduce =] very useful snail, I want more as I killed the ones I had dosing something they didn't like...
 

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False otos?

.... Just be sure they are true otos as false otos are basically useless. Got that T Shirt!!....
What are false otos? What is their actual name and how do you distinguish them from the real thing?

Julia


PS. I second the bristlenose pleco - they stay small.
Also I wanted to add, there really are many kinds of plecos. You need to do your homework, as some are more carnivorous than anything else, and won't do much for your algae, while others are algae-cleaning fiends.
 

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True SAE's will never, ever, attack other fish or try to remove slime coats.

False SAE's - and especially Chinese Algae Eaters - most certainly will.

I've not known SAEs to go off algae when older. Of course, that's not to say it doesn't happen. In my experience they are the best algae eaters, eating the dreaded BBA (unlike any other fish) and getting into spots the other fish can't reach.

Bristlenose are an excellent choice. However, it's true that you don't see them often - generally only in the evenings, especially as they mature. But they aren't feature fish exactly, so it shouldn't bother you too much.

Snails are good, but I've found they struggle in my soft, acidic tank (except MTS, which would survive in wet cement).

Otos are also excellent, but can be a little difficult to acclimatize. If you're patient and use the drip method, you should be alright.

I have two bristlenose and two SAE in my 90 gallon. Since introducing them a year ago, I've not seen any algae - of any type, anywhere - except a wee bit of green spot on the front glass, which wipes off easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well I bought 4 Otos yesterday and they seem to be doing just fine. I acclimated them by letting the bag sit in the tank, with the lights off, for about 30 minutes. Then gradually introduced tank water to the bag, then let that sit, floating for about 20 minutes. I then scooped them out into the tank and left the lights off for about an hour and a half.

They seemed to almost immediately be comfortable, attaching to the glass and laying out on my Anubias leaves. They seems to be exploring/feeding for a few hours, then before I went to sleep, I saw them schooling back and forth with eachother.

I may go back today and pick up a few more.
 

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I've not been able to keep otos alive, myself. Too fragile, IMO. I had a Bristlenose for a long while and it did a pretty good job, but Farlowellas seemed to do the best for me. They ate the diatoms (brown algae) and green spot exceptionally well.
 

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I have both SAE's and BNplecos in many of my tanks.

Here is my experience / 2 cents:

SAEs are an incredible fish, I have young ones and large 5 inchers! They are not agressive, and pretty much only eat algae or fish food scraps. I couldn't get the BBA out of one of my tanks no matter how hard I tried and after adding 2 of them to the tank it was gone in a week and has stayed gone for 6 months now. I notice they will eat any type of algae, but one scrap it off of anything.

BN plecos generally only eat the green or brown stuff that gets on the glass and tank items, but they scrape it clean! However they are messy and poo a lot! be prepared to do some minor gravel vacuuming. I have a bare bottom tank with 6 breeding BNs and I siphon out a lot of poo each week!

A few other thoughts:

Ottos are great, but as mentioned can be tricky for no apperent reason. I have kept large (30+) collonies of these in some tanks with no issues and in other tanks cant getthem to stay alive! They will keep that algae trimmed, but not clean in my experience. Really cool fish though! I still have 5+ of them and they are great.

PASS ON NERITES! those white eggs will ruin a beautiful show tank with awesome wood and scaping... they are the best algae eaters I have ever owned, but I will never EVER keep them in a show tank ever again!!!!
 

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IMO the best algae eaters are SAE, the down side being that they gow quite quickly and can be quite boisterous. People also say that they go off algae as they get bigger but i havent had that problem as long as you dont over feed. If you only get 2 in a 45 then they should be fine for at least 2 years then you may need to rehome them. (they are also a bugger to catch)

Otos are great, im not sure how big they get but mine are 1" and havent grown in nearly a year, they also wont eat the plants. Just be sure they are true otos as false otos are basically useless. Got that T Shirt!!

My suggestion for a pleco would be a gold nugget, only because i have one, never damaged any plants, not at all a bulldozer and wont eat anything except algae. Ive tried everything! They also only get to 4". Very nocturnal though and all plecos will require wood as they eat/suck the nutrients from it.

Another good one is snails, nerites or trumpets, as they wont reproduce. Down side is female nerites will leave white eggs everywhere and they are a nightmare to clean off. I would happily have nerites again if i could get some males. I havent had trumpets but supposed to be good...?

So all in all there is no perfect algae eater, if you get 4 true otos and 1 small pleco then this should be ok without any issues. Remember that most algae fighting has to be done by the aquarist.
This is a very old post but it caught my attention while I was reading it and I'm looking for clarification. I bought approximately 15 Nerite Snails And someone told me they were great for a tank because they do not reproduce in captivity. Over the past few weeks I have been pulling out very small snails as I see them and I began wondering if perhaps the information I got originally was incorrect; especially after reading the the post above.
 

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Just get some bushy nose plecos. But, get them as babies. Mine are not shy at all. Tue they do poop a lot, but if you feed them a low protein diet, it is just good fertilizer.

Nerites have a larval stage that can not live and prosper in an aquarium, the females will lay lots of white eggs, though.
If you get rid of the females you will have no problem.
 
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