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Algae Eating Fish


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I've been having an ongoing battle with several forms of green algae in my 20 gallon tropical tank for about a year now. When I moved I replaced the bulb and cleaned everything really well, which helped, but I'd still like to get it under control a little better. I'm not overstocked and want a few more fish, including something that may eat the algae. Right now I have 4 cories, 3 guppies and 3 varieties of tetras (about 12 fish in all).

I was under the impression that ottos would be a good choice. I know they stay small and I think they'll eat the algae for sure, but will they be ok with the fish I already have? Also, are they schooling, should I get a few if I get them?

The guy at my lfs is extremely helpful usually, but when I asked him he was bent on selling me a 'flying fox'. I really didn't like the look of it, it was too big. Then a search online turned this up:

This fish is often sold as the SAE (Siamese Algae Eater), which is not a very good thing since the two have distinctly different characteristics. The "Flying Fox" will stop eating algae at older age and become hostile towards other fish, even of its own kind, while the SAE lives peacefully and eats algae throughout its life cycle.
....sounds very pleco-like to me.

Anyone else have any suggestions? I'd like to pick something up as soon as possible.

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I've been having an ongoing battle with several forms of green algae in my 20 gallon tropical tank for about a year now. When I moved I replaced the bulb and cleaned everything really well, which helped, but I'd still like to get it under control a little better. I'm not overstocked and want a few more fish, including something that may eat the algae. Right now I have 4 cories, 3 guppies and 3 varieties of tetras (about 12 fish in all).

I was under the impression that ottos would be a good choice. I know they stay small and I think they'll eat the algae for sure, but will they be ok with the fish I already have? Also, are they schooling, should I get a few if I get them?

The guy at my lfs is extremely helpful usually, but when I asked him he was bent on selling me a 'flying fox'. I really didn't like the look of it, it was too big. Then a search online turned this up:

This fish is often sold as the SAE (Siamese Algae Eater), which is not a very good thing since the two have distinctly different characteristics. The "Flying Fox" will stop eating algae at older age and become hostile towards other fish, even of its own kind, while the SAE lives peacefully and eats algae throughout its life cycle.
....sounds very pleco-like to me.

Anyone else have any suggestions? I'd like to pick something up as soon as possible.

Hi ~~~<--waving

Otto's are great. When they get full grown. they may stake out claims of areas in your tank against others of their own kind. Usually 1 otto per 10 gal. They love Sword plants, plastic or real. I can't remember if they tend to eat more of the brown algae or green.

The Siamese Algae eater, not chinese or flying fox, is basically the same as ottos, they just get bigger. up to 6 inches. they too stake out claims when fully grown. Mostly leaving other fish alone. If they start defending a portion of the tank and you can't find any eggs, then it's become aggressively territorial, and remove them. Same with ottos, except ottos generally don't get bigger than 2 inches. Siamese eat green.

Hope that helps.

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Thanks Roni, that does help. I have a live Amazon sword in the tank that is badly slimed by algae, so maybe a couple of ottos are just what I need. I don't want them to harass my cute little cories though...

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Thanks Roni, that does help. I have a live Amazon sword in the tank that is badly slimed by algae, so maybe a couple of ottos are just what I need. I don't want them to harass my cute little cories though...

Even if the ottos get claims staked out, that won't be till they are older. Usually ottos will protect from other ottos. Besides, by the time the ottos are of age to stake claim, the cories will be twice their size, so they might think twice there too. :) I don't think you have anything to worry about where that is concerned. Make sure you check and see if ottos eat green. They may not.

TTFN

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I like ottos myself. i like to have atleast 2, their braver that way (they can be very shy). I have never had trouble with oto's and cories, even in very full tanks... heh! but thats me, i may have had magic fish

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I just got 2 ottos!! :heart

One is super tiny, the other is about half an inch. I have them in a 5 gal QT tank and I put in some algae covered rocks. I'm hoping they'll work their magic on those and then eventually on my main tank.

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Otocinclus are really great UNFORTUNATELY mine didn't last long thanks to my turtle. :( However, if I get another I'm going to keep the Otto in a seperate tank until he gets bigger. My otto wasn't interested in the algae waffers, although, I only had him for a few hours and he latched onto the algae covered rocks. Good luck w/ yours! :)

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If you don't mind me asking, why don't you like plecos? I have never had success with the little otos in the few times I have kept them, but then again I usally only bought 1.

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If you don't mind me asking, why don't you like plecos?

Well I love them, but they aren't meant for small tanks. I used to have one and he never ate algae (they typically don't) and he got HUGE and tore my plants/tank to pieces. I had to give him to an lfs eventually.

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If you don't mind me asking, why don't you like plecos?

Well I love them, but they aren't meant for small tanks. I used to have one and he never ate algae (they typically don't) and he got HUGE and tore my plants/tank to pieces. I had to give him to an lfs eventually.

Ok. I was just wondering. :) I like them as well but they usually don't eat algae even though that is what the petstores say they eat. :rolleyes:

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So I can only find one of my ottos and he is very active. He'll suck onto the glass for a minute, then swim all around the tank...kind of like a cory cruising around. Is that normal?

As for the other one, he's really tiny so I'm hoping I just can't spot him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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So I can only find one of my ottos and he is very active. He'll suck onto the glass for a minute, then swim all around the tank...kind of like a cory cruising around. Is that normal?

As for the other one, he's really tiny so I'm hoping I just can't spot him.

It's perfectly normal. If I remember right, (might not) Otto's are a type of dwarf cat. Mine always looked like he was on the prowl. :)

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