algae for otocinclus, bristlenoses, snails

dhjaksu

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ok so I have a 210 litre (55 gallon) planted tank. In it I have 5 large bristlenose, a breeding trap with over 100 babies that hatched yesterday, mystery snails and lots of babies, and an otocinclus. I also have a range of other fish but those are the ones that may eat algae.
I know otocinclus should be in groups, I'm currently saving up for 5 more, and then once they settle in and I know they are doing well I might bring that up to 10-15 total.
I got 2 initially a month ago to test if the large angelfish would eat them (were really small in store). 1 died a week later but the other is still doing really well and has doubled in size.

I don't know what it's eating though. there is no visible algae and I have never seen it on the zucchini, spinach, peas or lettuce that I put in for the bristlenoses. I put it in multiple places throughout the tank, the bristlenoses stick to what I put at the bottom so what I put at the mid section of the tank on the driftwood remains mostly untouched so its not that its getting bullied away from the food.

It has doubled in size and looks healthy so it must be eating something. I guess maybe its eating biofilm on the wood? not that I ever see biofilm as the bristlenose love it but I don't know what else it could be eating.

anyway, my question... I have a few medium sized stones which sit in the back of the tank for no reason. I'm wondering if I could put these stones in a bucket of water in full sun to get algae to grow. maybe tie some java moss to it so there's an easier surface for algae to grow on and stick to? that way I can then always have an algae covered stone in the tank so I know there's something for the otocinclus and its future friends to eat?

also the tank has only been set up since November last year but its very well established and I only do 10-20% water changes once a month and more to add new water and minerals to the water than to actually remove ammonia or nitrite or anything.
It was less than a week ago that I did the last monthly water change and ammonia and nitrite were at 0 and nitrate was at 10ppm. I need to find a way to have more nitrates as well, 10ppm is the highest they ever get. and that's with a month of not touching the tank other than to trim plants and feed fish. and its a very heavily stocked tank so its not like there's not enough fish waste, the plants just use it all up as quick as the fish produce waste and the bacteria changes it to nitrates. but quite a few people have said its good to always have nitrates between 10-20ppm in planted tanks. And the pet shop always questions if the tank is even cycled when they test my water weekly and most of the time everything reads as 0. Also I have my own test kit and test my water every week but also take it to 2 different pet shops weekly so they an also use their test kits just to make sure everything matches up and is all good.
 

SomethingsFishy24

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Otos should really be in there own space, they are pretty calm and quite small. Would not recommend them with any large, boisterous fish. Even if they don't fit in an Angel's mouth, they might still do damage with a nip. Otos are strictly algae eaters, so they eat a good bit for their diminutive size. I would be worried they would be outcompeted by the snails and bn.

As far as nitrates in a heavily planted tank, no need to try to raise them, most plants use the ammonia generated by the fish before they might utilize nitrate. My heavily planted 55gallon grow out with roughly 200 bn fry, at least 50 shrimp and a handful of pest snails only ever tests at 5ppm Nitrates. The plants are healthy/growing like weeds, the bn fry grow well and the shrimp keep on making babies. If it works, no reason to try to up your nitrates.
 
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dhjaksu

dhjaksu

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Otos should really be in there own space, they are pretty calm and quite small. Would not recommend them with any large, boisterous fish. Even if they don't fit in an Angel's mouth, they might still do damage with a nip. Otos are strictly algae eaters, so they eat a good bit for their diminutive size. I would be worried they would be outcompeted by the snails and bn.

As far as nitrates in a heavily planted tank, no need to try to raise them, most plants use the ammonia generated by the fish before they might utilize nitrate. My heavily planted 55gallon grow out with roughly 200 bn fry, at least 50 shrimp and a handful of pest snails only ever tests at 5ppm Nitrates. The plants are healthy/growing like weeds, the bn fry grow well and the shrimp keep on making babies. If it works, no reason to try to up your nitrates.
ok thanks. and my angels are honestly all pretty peaceful, only ever any aggression when spawning and they always spawn in the most open area of the tank where the oto stays in the most heavily planted section so they never really interact.

the bristlenose out competing them for food is my main concern but clearly this one hasn't been having any issues finding food, I just have no idea what its eating. so I am wondering if putting rocks in bucket outside with water to grow algae would be a good way to ensure that there is always something in the tank for it to eat. I just don't know if that actually grows algae or if it grows the right kind of algae.
And I plan on getting rid of most of the snails soon and just keeping a couple to go in my smaller tanks. I'll get rid of the snails before I get more otos. the baby snails just aren't big enough to rehome yet.
 

SomethingsFishy24

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ok thanks. and my angels are honestly all pretty peaceful, only ever any aggression when spawning and they always spawn in the most open area of the tank where the oto stays in the most heavily planted section so they never really interact.

the bristlenose out competing them for food is my main concern but clearly this one hasn't been having any issues finding food, I just have no idea what its eating. so I am wondering if putting rocks in bucket outside with water to grow algae would be a good way to ensure that there is always something in the tank for it to eat. I just don't know if that actually grows algae or if it grows the right kind of algae.
And I plan on getting rid of most of the snails soon and just keeping a couple to go in my smaller tanks. I'll get rid of the snails before I get more otos. the baby snails just aren't big enough to rehome yet.
Oh yes, sorry, you can grow algae on rocks outside. They really do love green algae. The 6 otos I have live in a 50 gallon planted with no one else as far as algae crew. They are with cories, emperor tetra and a pair of dwarf acara. I still supplement their diet with Rapashy Super Green each week to make sure they get enough as the only algae in that tank it brown algae that growing on the outlet plumbing and they don't touch it. They keep it pretty well cleaned out.

Even if the Angels are not aggressive, many fish are curious, the otos might get nipped just out of curiosities sake. For a little fish, that can be a big deal. I would use caution, one oto might go unnoticed, but a school could be more conspicuous to the Angels. I can't stick my arm in any tank without being nibbled on, I don't believe that fish think they can eat me, but they certainly think it is worth a try. :rofl:
 
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dhjaksu

dhjaksu

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My angels don’t try to nibble me. They recongnise the food container so they only expect food when they see that. They go really crazy and hen they see the food container.

They also seem to go in a feeding crazy when the corys spawn, they love Cory eggs.

But anyway, the Otos shouldn’t get too much attention. The 18 neon tetras and 25 guppies are probably a lot more attention grabbing. And they pay no attention to the 12 Pygmy Cory’s which are similarly coloured to otos and less than half the size
 

DoubleDutch

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I never had problems with Oto's vs other bigger fish. They aren't entirely herbivorious btw and will feed on bloodworms, daphnia, etc. as well.

Being often wildcaught algae is one of the "recognised" foods they feed on from the start. An algaefree tank isn't a good idea.

Please don't buy fish for testingpurposes like these.
 
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dhjaksu

dhjaksu

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I never had problems with Oto's vs other bigger fish. They aren't entirely herbivorious btw and will feed on bloodworms, daphnia, etc. as well.

Being often wildcaught algae is one of the "recognised" foods they feed on from the start. An algaefree tank isn't a good idea.

Please don't buy fish for testingpurposes like these.
I didn’t think the angels would eat them or attack them but I didn’t want to spend $100 on a school of them straight up and have them all get eaten so I got 2 to start just to verify that the angels wouldn’t care about them.

Now I’m actually thinking about selling the angels anyway.
 

Lynnzer

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Oh yes, sorry, you can grow algae on rocks outside. They really do love green algae. The 6 otos I have live in a 50 gallon planted with no one else as far as algae crew. They are with cories, emperor tetra and a pair of dwarf acara. I still supplement their diet with Rapashy Super Green each week to make sure they get enough as the only algae in that tank it brown algae that growing on the outlet plumbing and they don't touch it. They keep it pretty well cleaned out.

Even if the Angels are not aggressive, many fish are curious, the otos might get nipped just out of curiosities sake. For a little fish, that can be a big deal. I would use caution, one oto might go unnoticed, but a school could be more conspicuous to the Angels. I can't stick my arm in any tank without being nibbled on, I don't believe that fish think they can eat me, but they certainly think it is worth a try. :rofl:
If you like a nibble, you should buy Garra Rufa.
 

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