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I don't know where this goes

Discussion in 'Oddballs' started by Rezi413, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Rezi413

    Rezi413 New Member

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    I don't know what kind of fish it is

    What are algae eaters? They're those big black fish in tanks, which I've mainly seen at walmart, petco and other places. My dad had some at one point back when he lived out here where I do (then had to move because of work and I don't remember if he still has any fish left). I figure that they're kept to get rid of algae, which is the whole purpose of the name, but what are these fish and what do they even do?

     
  2. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    Algae eaters can refer to a large number of species. The most common one being a pleco and there's several of different species that are common in the aquarium trade. Bristle nose plecos and the common pleco are probably the top 2.

    The "big black ones" you're pobably thinking of are the common plecos. They reach huge sizes, upwards of two feet long. Which is why I don't feel people should keep them. They are bought because they are cheap and have the "algae eater" name. A large tank, preferably 120+ is needed for the common plecos. A far better alternative to the common pleco is the bristle nose which reaches around 4 inches and is easy to care for.

    Then there's Chinese algae eaters, which are evil and only eat algae when they are young. Turns out they prefer eating more substantial foods, like the slime coats of fish.

    The Siamese algae eater which is not to be confused with the CAE. This one seems to do a pretty good job of eating algae.

    The tiny but every popular oto cat, another "tank cleaning" fish that prefers to swim in schools. These little guys do a great job for planted tanks.

    There's also the algae eating shrimp, snails (nerites) and other critters.

    Basically an algae eater is supposed to do what their name says. The problem is, many people decide to get these critters when they don't even have a good supply of tank scum to feed them. This is why so many of the algae eaters die off shortly after adding them to the tank. All "algae eaters" need to be fed just like any other fish. Fresh veggies are favorites, as are algae wafers. They will clean a tank, but the algae they consume isn't enough to keep them going.
     
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  3. Rezi413

    Rezi413 New Member

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    Wow I actually didn't know there were more than that kind. I haven't even researched them. I think the ones I'm referring to have white spots on them.

    But thanks for the info! :)
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    There are many species of fish that can be seen in stores under the common name of "algae eater." Most will not eat algae, or if they do, it is usually one specific species of algae. Many of them gety fairly large, and some can be downright nasty and kill other fish. The most commonly seen "Chinese Algae Eater" should never be acquired for these reasons.

    Fish like the Siamese Algae Eater will eat brush algae. These get large too, six inches, and being shoaling fish they should have a group. So they are not for tanks under 4-feet in length. Aggressiveness may be an issue sometimes.

    Small algae-eaters like Otocinclus will eat common green algae and diatoms (brown algae). These algae species are rarely "problems," and the fish will not deal with brush algae and similar problem algae species.

    Balancing the biological system in the aquarium and regular maintenance, along with controlling the light, is the best and safest way to deal with algae. If you have live plants, algae control is important as it can coat plant leaves and kill the plant. But if there are no live plants, then algae is beneficial as it uses nutrients to photosynthesize and produce oxygen just like higher plants. Keeping algae off the front glass is easy by using a scraper (sponge type usually works) at each weekly water change. Vacuum the substrate, keep the filter cleaned, don't overload the tank with too many or too large fish, and don't overfeed.

    Acquiring any fish to deal with a problem is almost always not the way to go, as the fish have individual requirements, may have unsuitable behaviours or traits, be too large, etc.

    Byron.
     
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  5. Rezi413

    Rezi413 New Member

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    Are they freshwater fish or saltwater?
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The fish that Demeter32 and I have been discussing are all freshwater.

    [I see Demeter and I posted simultaneously...]
     
  7. Rezi413

    Rezi413 New Member

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    I figured they were because I seem to remember pleco being listed under freshwater. But thank you both for the information :)
     

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