Is there a coldwater algae eater that anyone could recommend?

LostBear

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Something like a non-tropical equivalent of apleco or something - but preferably not too big!

I've just got three small goldfish - they're presently in a 16g aquarium and will be going into a pond in the spring (don't want to put them out now as they are very small and we could be getting flash frosts soon - we've had some very cold nights).

They've only been in a fortnight and already the glass is going slightly green (no lights - just natural daylight, and that's not direct). I don't want snails if I can help it - I would if I could get rmshorns but no-one seems to have them any more.

I'm hoping that out there somewhere is a peaceful corydoras x pleco equivalent which will hoover up uneaten food and clean the glass. It's not a massive tank and they are small fish so I don't want anything that grows enormous. If it is something shady I'll put it in the pond with them when the time comes - if not hardy it can stay in the tank, as it's no hardship.

If there are any invertebrates that could safety go in with them, I'd like that, too. I can get some water lice (water slaters) out of the pond to add to the tank as I think the fish eat the small ones and they help to clear detritus, but would they breed too quickly - I've had a quick google but am little the wiser. Has anyone had any experience with this sort of set up. For the goldfish it's temporary, but I would quite fancy getting a few sticklebacks to put in when the goldies are in the pond later and keeping the tank going, or as an invertebrate tank, possibly.

Thanks in advance..
 

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Panda garra tend to appreciate cooler water. I wouldn't exactly call them cold water fish, but if your aquarium stays around normal room temperature they should do fine. They might be a bit too active for a 16g though.
 

Caesar

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Japanese trapdoor snails are a staple for ponds.
 
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LostBear

LostBear

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Panda garra tend to appreciate cooler water. I wouldn't exactly call them cold water fish, but if your aquarium stays around normal room temperature they should do fine. They might be a bit too active for a 16g though.
Thank you, Badger - I'll have a little search.
 
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LostBear

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I'm already doing them - twice a week!

Goldies have an impressive (cough) "bioload".

I've been here before - this is why I like them in a pond . . . well-filtered . . . then you can sit and watch them groooooow. :fish::fish::fish:
 

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You are better not fussing over the algae. As already mentioned, a 16g is not going to provide sufficient space to begin with, and if the goldfish are going into a pond, the problem will solve itself.

Never buy a fish to eat "uneaten" food. Feed less to begin with. Goldfish are ravenous eaters, so you are clearly overfeeding them a lot if uneaten food gets to the substrate. The algae is actually helping you, because like higher plants it uses nutrients (organics) and produces oxygen. Not much but better thannothing.

And goldfish can withstand cold temperatures, even if the pond freezes over. Provided it does not freeze solid to the bottom, the goldfish will be fine. Mine overwintered in the pond and even spawned, and it froze over during the winters.
 
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LostBear

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You are better not fussing over the algae. As already mentioned, a 16g is not going to provide sufficient space to begin with, and if the goldfish are going into a pond, the problem will solve itself.

Never buy a fish to eat "uneaten" food. Feed less to begin with. Goldfish are ravenous eaters, so you are clearly overfeeding them a lot if uneaten food gets to the substrate. The algae is actually helping you, because like higher plants it uses nutrients (organics) and produces oxygen. Not much but better thannothing.

And goldfish can withstand cold temperatures, even if the pond freezes over. Provided it does not freeze solid to the bottom, the goldfish will be fine. Mine overwintered in the pond and even spawned, and it froze over during the winters.
Thank you.

They are fed once a day - a pinch of food. They also nibble the elodea, but that's it. I don't want to be constantly cleaning algae off the glass until they go outside.

I'm aware that they will not be long in the aquarium, but I'm enjoying being able to watch them for the present. If I put them into the pond now they will disappear and I won't see them for months until they are big enough and bold enough to swim about freely. I've overwintered (larger) fish in a pond, but have never had any spawn (as far as I am aware).

But thank you for responding.
 

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Alga on the glass is likely due to light. The tank light, and any daylight entering the room. Reduce the tank lighting duration, this may help. But cleaning the glass is a normal part of the weekly water change. I used a sponge scraper on the inside of the front glass and side glass at every weekly water change. Sometimes (most times) I did not see anything on the glass, but if I failed to do this for a couple weeks, sure enough I would begin to see it. This is normal regular maintenance.
 

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Thank you.

They are fed once a day - a pinch of food. They also nibble the elodea, but that's it. I don't want to be constantly cleaning algae off the glass until they go outside.

I'm aware that they will not be long in the aquarium, but I'm enjoying being able to watch them for the present. If I put them into the pond now they will disappear and I won't see them for months until they are big enough and bold enough to swim about freely. I've overwintered (larger) fish in a pond, but have never had any spawn (as far as I am aware).

But thank you for responding.
If they're anything like my goldfish, they will grow very fast and you'll be seeing quite a bit of them.
 
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LostBear

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If they're anything like my goldfish, they will grow very fast and you'll be seeing quite a bit of them.
Yes - I'm expecting this. The ones we had before practically grew before our very eyes, like on one of those nature programmes where they use fast forward photography to show the seasons changing over a year in the Lake District in the space of 10 minutes or summat.
 

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In the UK aren't there native fish with rubbery lips that suck on rocks? Loach like fish? I've seen video's but can't recall the name. Google photos and a few came right up.
 
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LostBear

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In the UK aren't there native fish with rubbery lips that suck on rocks? Loach like fish? I've seen video's but can't recall the name. Google photos and a few came right up.
Thank you Stan - I've just looked and could only find a stone loach. They certainly aren't in any aquarium suppliers I've seen so it would mean trying to catch a wild one.

There are several clean rivers round here, but I'm reluctant to take any creature from the wild (I think it's cruel) and particularly to remove something from a fast flowing clean river (which is their habitat) to put in into a small tank which is probably minging (from a loaches POV) within minutes of a water change (with goldfish being so incontinent). Apparently they are also nocturnal and might find sunlight through the sides of the tank, even indirect, disturbing. There are a few places it could hide, but I'd feel guilty. (I also worry about introducing parasites.)

Thanks for the suggestion though - I'll keep searching. I think I'm probably going to have to give in and introduce a couple of snails. I'm going to see if I can hunt down a couple of the trapdoor snails Caesar suggested. I have bladder snails in the pond, but they can be invasive.
 

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