Thursday, 2 June 2016

Algae eaters in your tropical aquarium

Algae eaters in your tropical aquarium

Algae is a constant problem that any fish keeper is more than aware of. There are many different types of algae and all of them can be a pain to get rid of.

There are lots of different treatments and methods for ridding algae on the market. We always say the best way is to find a natural solution in your tank to get rid of your algae if possible.

The best natural solution is to introduce algae eaters into your tank. These come in all different shapes and sizes and there is one fit for every aquarium. The best tropical algae eaters include:-

  • Plecos (Plecostomus) - Plecos are one of the most renowned algae eaters. They are such a diverse breed of fish and they will feed on algae all over the tank. Plecos come in such a huge variety of patterns and colours although you must be careful when selecting them as most of them prefer soft water (but there are plenty of hard water plecos out there too). One of the best types are the Bristlenose. Bristlenose can go in both hard and soft water aquariums and they do not grow very big (5" max). Plecos are community fish and will be compatible with almost any other tropical fish given the right environment. It is essential they have somewhere to hide in the aquarium as they are mostly a nocturnal, although you will still see them in the daytime. Driftwood is also advised if you want to keep a happy pleco as some will eat it and will make them healthier in the long run.
Zebra Plec
  • Shrimp - Shrimp are another fantastic algae eater in your tank. Shrimp are more effective in smaller aquariums unless you have a lot of them in a large aquarium. Shrimp are very busy little creatures constantly grazing and cleaning up throughout the day. They are great additions to community fish tanks but you have to be cautious of any larger fish, such as catfish or any semi-aggressive or aggressive fish, as the shrimp may get eaten! Shrimp split into two categories; neocaridina and caridina. Neocaridina shrimp live in hard water and Caridina shrimp live in soft water. It is very important not to get these mixed up as they cannot live in the opposite species' water.
Tiger Caridina Shrimp
  • Otocinclus and Borneo loach - Otocinclus and Borneo loach are a brilliant little fish to add to both hard and soft water aquariums. They both stay very small (1.5-2.5" max) and are always grazing on algae. Something unique and special about them both is that they will eat the algae off of your plants without eating the plants themselves. This makes them ideal for those with planted tanks too. They like to be kept in pairs or small groups and are a general community fish.
Otocinclus Catfish
  • Snails - Snails come in all shapes and sizes and can really help to clean up your tank. Snails are just as effective as shrimp. You must be careful with which ones you choose because some snails can breed in your tank and end up becoming more of a pest than a help. Be sure to do your research before buying. Snails can bring a splash of colour in you tank as well. The orange turmdeckelschnecke has a long black spiral shell and a bright orange head really making it stand out in your tank.
Orange Turmdeckelschneckle
  • Live bearers - Live bearers include; guppies, platy's and molly's and they do actually eat algae in your tank. They are not as effective as some of the others species above but they are known to graze on algae around your tank. These fish are all very colourful and there is always such a variety of colours to chose from with each species. Live bearers are known to breed a lot in aquariums (hence the name live bearers) so be prepared to possible have babies in your tank if you keep these fish.
Assorted Platy

So keeping algae at bay in your tank needn't be a chore. Picking the right fish for your tropical aquarium will help keep your tank looking clean and healthy at all times and mean less work for you too!!!! 

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