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The dreaded algae growing inside youfreshwater aquariumis unsightly and difficult to remove. The good news is that there are a wide variety of algae eaters, fish, shrimp and snails that will help you get rid of and control your algae problem and are happy to help. Which one you get is a matter of what's available and the tank owner's preference. It is imperative to make sure your tank is well established before adding algae eaters to your tank so that there is plenty of food available for them at all times. Here's a list of 10 different algae eaters in no particular order to help you decide what you'd like to get.
This particular species, also known as the busy nose pleco, is usually just as common in fish stores as the common pleco. The Bristlenose Pleco is highly sought after and for good reasons. Unlike the common pleco which can grow up to a foot long, the bushy pleco grows to about 6 inches and is best suited for10 liter aquariumand bigger. They have a huge appetite and will consume copious amounts of algae growing in your tank, and are super fun to watch if you're lucky enough to spot it from their hiding place. Thisfresh water fishis one of the most popular algae eaters.
Siamese Algeneter Show (SAE)
The Siamese Algae Eater Fish is often mistaken for an Otocinclus Catfish, Chinese Algae Eater Fish and Siamese Algae Eater Fish. A true Siamese Algae Eater fish has a long body with an irregular looking black horizontal stripe on the sides of the fish. If it has a gold stripe on top of the black stripe, it is not a Siamese algae eater.
The Siamese algae eater fish grows to about 4 or 5 inches in length and is best suited for tanks20 gallon fish tanksand bigger. This is a fish that eats the dreaded black algae that some tank owners happen to have. The Siamese Algae Eater also eats most other algae,spirulina, and fresh vegetables.
Yes, you read that right, a catfish as an algae eater and a very attractive catfish. The Otocinclus catfish is commonly referred to as an Otto cat and can be found in most fish stores. The Otto Cat is confused with Chinese Algae Eater, Siamese Algae Eater and Siamese Flying Fox. While they look quite similar at first glance, the Otto Cat will have a shorter body than the others which are up to 2 inches in length in most cases. This catfish is not aggressive and cannot protect itself and should be kept with peaceful cohabitants. You can supplement their diet withalgae wafersto make sure they have enough to eat.
Sprig of catfish
Yes, two different Catfish species in this list and this particular one is a pretty awesome addition to your tank. The Twig Catfish gets its name from the fact that it looks and acts like a twig in your aquarium, even as it rids it of unsightly algae. The Twig Catfish is a long, brownish fish and grows up to 6 inches in length. Even when attached to surfaces in your tank, you will see little movement from this fish as its survival mechanism is a twig in the water to avoid being eaten by other fish. The Twig Catfish will eat most of the algae in your tank and will need foodSpirulina Algae Wafflesa few times a week to supplement their diet and ensure the best health possible for these beautiful fish.
These fascinating shrimp are a great addition to any aquarium. They will eat algae off your hard surfaces in your tank and as a bonus they will help clean up any uneaten food that may be on the bottom of the tank. They serve a dual purpose with an attractive appearance. These shrimp are called ghost shrimp because of their transparent body. These particular shrimp stand out best with a black substrate and a black back of the tank. The maximum size for these jewels of the shrimp world is 4.5 cm long.
Picture your heavily planted green tank. Now imagine how awesome it would be to see red running around in your tank from here to there. Quite a great image in your head right? The Cherry Shrimp and its brilliant red color will brighten up any tank and help add color to the bottom of the tank. The Cherry Shrimp eats algae growing in your tank along with uneaten food from other fish,algae wafers, and plant matter that has fallen from living plants into your tank and will bring life and color to the bottom of your tank as an added bonus.
OfAmano Shrimpis a transparent light gray shrimp. While not as attractive or eye-catching as the Ghost Shrimp or Cherry Shrimp, they are still neat to look at and have in your tank. These are smaller shrimp that grow to about 5 cm and better in groups of 3 or more. They will eat most of the algae growing on the hard surfaces of your tank, as well as dead parts of itaquarium plantsand leftover food. Multi-purpose cleaner.
While snails don't consume as much algae as the others mentioned earlier, they are a nice addition to any aquarium. TheNerite slakcomes in so many different colors it's hard to decide which one to add to the tank. Unlike other snails, the Nerite snail does not breed in fresh water, so your aquarium will not be overrun by snails. As a precaution with the snail and most other snails, a tight fitting lid with very few openings is advised as they may be able to crawl out of the aquarium. Before adding this snail or any snail to your tank, make sure that the fish you currently have in your tank are not feeding on snails such as cichlids and loaches.
These snail shells resemble the horn on a ram, hence their name. TheRamshorn snailswill be fascinating to watch you move around your tank eating algae from a hard surface and possibly some leftover food lying on the bottom of the tank. If you have fish that lay eggs, be careful, these snails may eat the eggs. The good news is that they will not normally eat live plants in the tank unless they are covered in algae.
While most other snails stay on hard surfaces to feed and you will see them throughout the day, theMalaysian Trumpet Snailtends to burrow under the gravel or sand in your tank and hide during the day. After the lights go out, these snails come out of hiding and eat the algae growing on the hard surfaces of the aquarium and just about any other organic matter they encounter while foraging for food. If you see these snails on your live plants, rest assured that they don't normally harm the plants, they just clean them.
Now that you've been presented with 10 pretty impressive choices for algae control in your tank, it's hard to choose what's best for you and your tank. Be sure to do more extensive research on the ones you want to add to your tank to make sure they are compatible with the size of tank you have and the species of fish you keep in the tanks.
The most popular of all algae-eating snails, Nerite Snails are a favourite of many freshwater fishkeepers thanks to the impressive patterns on their shells.
Snails from the Neritidae family are well-known for being one of the best algae eaters in the freshwater aquarium hobby and are even capable of eating green spot algae.
Green coloured algae are the most common type. These indicate good water quality. Green algae are considered as “good” algae but their growth should be kept under control so they won't deprive the fish of nutrients. Some aquarists let green algae thrive to serve as a dietary source for their fish.
Bleach is great for killing algae (and other organisms that may lurk in your tanks) and for keeping it from coming back. Scientific research shows that using bleach that is made from a solution with 5.25% hypochlorite. Never mix bleach and chlorine together.What kills algae immediately? ›
Chlorine is still one of the most effective killers of algae so doing a super-chlorination of 10-20 ppm of chlorine can go a long way towards wiping out the algae. Liquid chlorine is an ideal shock for algae because it is fast acting and does not add cyanuric acid (CYA) or calcium to the water.What is the most popular algae? ›
- Kelp. Welsh Laverbread. WALES. shutterstock. ...
- Seaweed. Nama. FIJI. shutterstock. ...
- Seaweed. Dulse. NORTHERN IRELAND. shutterstock. ...
- Kelp. Karengo. NEW ZEALAND. shutterstock. ...
- Seaweed. Hijiki. JAPAN. shutterstock. ...
- Kelp. Wakame. JAPAN. shutterstock. ...
- Kelp. Kombu. JAPAN. shutterstock. ...
- Seaweed. Nori. JAPAN. shutterstock.
Microalgae or commonly called seaweed is the fastest-growing algae, they double their size in a single day. Picochlorum renovo has a doubling time of about 2 hours 20 minutes which is five to 10 times faster than other algae.What fish cleans the tank? ›
Suckermouthed catfish like Common and Sailfin Plecos, Bristlenose and Otocinclus all graze algae and will “clean” the tank of it, but they do also need food in their own right if they are to grow, stay healthy and thrive.What are the best algae eating snails that don't reproduce? ›
Zebra Nerite Snails (Neritina natalensis)
I really do think they are the best snails for a freshwater tank. They are excellent algae eaters and never bother live plants. They just delicately scrape algae off plant leaves. Best of all, they do not reproduce in freshwater.
Best Algae Eating Snails. While snails are not the greatest algae eaters available in the fish keeping hobby, they are still a great choice. Back in the day, snails were the only wildlife a hobbyist could use to control their algae, so they became popular out of necessity.
Almost all freshwater snails are beneficial scavengers that eat algae, dead plants, dead fish, extra fish food and other waste. This cleaning ability makes them an outstanding addition to your freshwater tank. Freshwater snails also come in many colors, shapes and sizes.What color light stops algae growth? ›
On the contrary, blue and red will let the light through to be photosynthesised; green will inhibit growth the best as the algae will reflect that light back instead of absorbing it.What kills algae without harming fish? ›
One of the best algaecides out there that is safe for fish is a peroxyhydrate granular algaecide (which comes under many brand names). This comes in a solid granule form, and when added to pond water, it oxidizes, which destroys algae growth!What kills algae naturally? ›
Not only is barley straw a natural pond algae killer, but it won't harm your fish or plants – and it's cheap to buy too. In fact, I've read that barley straw is a more effective pond algae remover, and it works better to clear pond water than expensive chemicals.What does vinegar do to algae? ›
You'll find many websites claiming that vinegar is a safe and cheap way to keep algae from taking over your pond. Unfortunately, this isn't true. Vinegar isn't good for controlling algae or preventing it from growing, nor is it a safe way to change the pH of the pond's water.What naturally eats algae? ›
Zooplankton, tadpoles, and crustaceans eat algae. Many aquatic consumers such as zooplankton, tadpoles, algae eater (algivore), small fish, crustaceans, and water-dwelling insects eat algae as their primary food source.Will Dawn dish soap remove algae? ›
Hardware stores and home centers sell products designed to kill moss and algae, but you can save money by using inexpensive chlorine bleach or a non-creamy hand dishwashing detergent, such as Dawn.Will vinegar keep algae away? ›
If you have an algae problem, your best friend is white vinegar. White vinegar can quickly kill algae but is not harmful to birds, insects and the majority of plants. Use a mixture of one part water to one part white vinegar to spray down the area and kill the algae.Which algae is most advanced? ›
- Green algae of Chlorophyceae is considered as the most advanced forms of algae because of the following reasons:
- a)Chlorophyceae have chlorophylls a and b and store starch as a reserve food material inside their plastids.
- b)It is a diverse group of algae and most of them are freshwater forms.
World Production of seaweed
The most valuable crop is the red alga Nori (Porphyra species, mainly P.
Red tides, blue-green algae, and cyanobacteria are examples of harmful algal blooms that can have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and the economy. Algal blooms can be toxic. Keep people and pets away from water that is green, scummy or smells bad.Does sugar make algae grow faster? ›
Sugar promotes microbial activity (i.e. overgrowth of bacteria and protozoa that use it as its food). However, sugar appears to have no direct effect on the growth and bloom of algae.Does algae grow faster in light or dark? ›
Light: Algae needs light energy to grow. The more sunlight that penetrates the area, the higher the chance for algae to sustain life. Nutrients: Nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, fuel algae growth.What does algae grow best in? ›
Algae are typically photosynthetic, meaning they need carbon dioxide and sunlight to grow – just like plants.What gets rid of fish poop in tank? ›
Vacuum the Gravel Fish feces, shed scales, uneaten food, dead bits of plants, and other debris will settle to the bottom of your tank. Vacuuming the gravel every week will remove much of this debris and refresh the tank, brightening the gravel and keeping the tank healthier.What kills aquarium fish fast? ›
Clove oil is a sedative which at high doses, can be used to euthanase small fish. Unlike veterinary anaesthetics, clove oil is readily available from most chemists. Around 0.4ml of clove oil per litre of aquarium water is sufficient to cause death in exposed fish.What is the black fish that sticks to glass? ›
Plecostomus, or plecos, are well known algae eaters that originated in the rivers of the Amazon jungle in South America. Plecos attach themselves to hard surfaces with specially adapted mouthparts. They are scavengers and will eat almost anything! Great for beginner hobbyists in a community tank.What snails don't multiply? ›
Nerite Snails are also popular because they do not reproduce in freshwater aquariums and overrun a tank like some other freshwater snails do. Nerite Snails do create a bit of a mess at times however, as they lay little hard white eggs on hard surfaces.What snails are bad for your tank? ›
Bladder, ramshorn, and Malaysian trumpet snails are often called pest snails in the aquarium hobby because they reproduce very quickly and are difficult to remove once introduced to a fish tank. They can enter your fish tank by hitchhiking on live aquatic plants or even at the bottom of a fish bag from the pet store.What snails don't eat aquarium plants? ›
Thankfully, most small snails found in freshwater aquariums do not eat healthy aquatic plants. This includes pest, bladder, nerite, mystery, ramshorn, assassin, and Malaysian trumpet snails.
One of the smallest algae eaters on this list, the Malaysian trumpet snail grows under 1 inch in length and prefers to get soft algae. These snails have long shells that come to a point and they can be found in a variety of different colors.How many snails can be in a 10 gallon tank? ›
You can keep up to 6-8 land and garden snails in a 10-gallon tank. Some people even keep them individually as pets. They are relatively easy to care for and don't require a lot of space. Besides, they add a touch of cuteness to any home aquarium.Do mystery snails clean algae? ›
Mystery snails are extremely popular for their stunning colors as well as their practical benefits. They work hard to clean algae off of glass, plants, and decorations, they eat hair algae, and they keep your substrate clean and the correct color.How many snails do I need to keep my tank clean? ›
A good rule of thumb is to aim for one snail per gallon for tiny snails and two snails per five gallons for bigger snails. The ultimate aim is to allow your snails enough space to move around and thrive while preventing overcrowding and maintaining a healthy ecosystem in the tank.Are too many snails bad for a fish tank? ›
There really are no "bad" snails, but a few species can multiply unchecked and overrun an aquarium. Seeing hundreds, if not thousands of these little beasts taking over your tank can be unnerving, and they can place a burden on biological filtration as well as clog filter intake tubes.What kills pet snails in aquarium? ›
However, bleach is the most effective way to kill snails and eggs. Potassium Permanganate: Prepare a soaking solution using one gallon of water and a half tablespoon of potassium permanganate. Soak for fifteen minutes, then rinse well before planting in the tank.What are the best plants for controlling algae? ›
The best are floating plants like water hyacinth, water lettuce, duckweed or azolla because they multiply very quickly. Water lilies or lotus are also very good because they provide shade. also submerged plants such as hornwort work great as well.Are shrimp or snails better for algae? ›
It depends on what you want them to do. Shrimp are decent at eating algae. In particular, Amano shrimp are said to be good at eating green hair algae, that can accumulate on objects such as driftwood in the tank and can be hard to get rid of otherwise. Snails can also be useful for cleaning some types of algae up.What is the best fish tank filter to remove algae? ›
Chem-Pure Elite is suitable for all aquarium types, including freshwater, brackish, and reef tanks. If you're looking to finally get rid of stubborn algae (or simply want to reduce the number of water changes that you have to do), Chemi-Pure Elite is a great choice.Do algae eaters really help? ›
In a large tank, you may need several algae eaters to adequately reduce the algae. Be sure the algae eater will thrive in your tank's conditions, including the water quality, temperature, tank size and pH level.
Floating plants are some of the fastest growing water plants, which allows them to compete with algae for nutrients and reduce algae growth. These are super easy to add to your water garden as no planting is required since floating plants draw their nutrients directly from the water.What stops algae growth in water? ›
Chemical treatments: You can fight algae growth in your water tanks by using bleach or chlorine. Bleach kills algae and prevents it from growing. The appropriate amount is ¼ teaspoon for every gallon of stored water. Chlorine will also kill algae and keep your water safe for drinking or irrigation purposes.What do snails eat if there is no algae? ›
Most freshwater snails will feed on algae, dead plants, dead fish and leftover fish food. Snails need a constant supply of calcium for proper growth and a healthy shell.Should I vacuum algae to waste or filter? ›
Vacuum green algae through the Waste Method (Easiest and Safest for Equipment) The easiest way to eliminate the algae that has settled on the bottom of your pool is to bypass the filter and vacuum from the pool to waste.What kills algae without killing fish? ›
Step 3: Use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to help clear pond water: Another thing that works great for algae control in fish ponds is hydrogen peroxide (and no, it won't kill your fish!).What filter removes algae? ›
A lasting solution for the floating algae problem (green water) is a UV-C Filter. The ultraviolet radiation will kill floating algae, germs and moulds. clear by filtrating the water, On the other water circulation will provide sufficient oxygen.How often do you feed algae eaters? ›
Feed twice a day. To accommodate the slower feeding habits of most algae eaters, feed the amount of food your fish will consume within two hours.How long do algae eaters live? ›
You can starve the algae by completely blacking out your planted tank. Before doing so, make sure you have manually removed as much algae as possible, have done a large water change, and obviously turned off your aquarium lights.