Aquarium Algae Eaters – Algae is one of the most persistent problems in the aquarium industry. While very large “algae outbreaks” always require a different kind of water treatment, natural algae eaters are used to prevent or control less algae.
The easiest, most effective and environmentally friendly way to prevent algae from growing in your aquarium is to plant lush plants with balanced water performance and adequate lighting. But is it always enough to rely on it? Not in all cases. Most aquarium owners prefer to play it safe and choose the right inventory when setting up a new aquarium: algae is on the menu for many species.
For a small nano aquarium, snails and shrimps are best. For medium and large aquariums, fish is often the more efficient choice.
We’ve rounded up some of the most effective algae eaters and here are some of the most popular algae eaters.
- 1 Choose The Best Aquarium Algae Eaters
- 2 Algae Eating Snails
- 3 Algae Eating Fish
- 4 Algae Eating Shrimp
Choose The Best Aquarium Algae Eaters
If the water value in the tank is out of balance or if the lighting conditions change, algae can rapidly develop in the tank. Therefore, it is recommended to plan stocking for the aquarium, which feeds – at least in part – on unwanted algae. If one day there is an imbalance, algae eaters can help reduce algae growth so as not to disturb the species in the aquarium
As a short term solution, the use of algae eaters is more suitable for owners who have several tanks. Beginners in the aquarium hobby should be aware that algae-eating fish are so often advertised in the trade that they can prove difficult to keep permanently. The reasons could be:
- Young fish is a good algae eaters, but they grow quickly
- Only young fish consume more algae, older fish consume less.
- young fish have a special treatment to be kept
- It is difficult to feed animals after the algae have been eaten
So make sure you keep only the right algae eating fish, shrimp and snails in the Aquarium to maintain their survival according to the environment provided to them.
Algae Eating Snails
If you want to use algae-eating slugs in your aquarium, you need to pay attention to the following points. first, the snail in question must have an excellent appetite for algae, and the second must be harmless to the shrimp. The following are the types of snails that have these requirements:
These algae-eating snails have a very varied appearance in color, pattern, and similar spines on their shells. Horny snails cannot breed in fresh water, which will please some hobbyists. Therefore, an outbreak is unlikely.
Nor do zebra racing snails and brown racing snails cause snail outbreaks in freshwater aquariums because of their need for larvae. But they sure love algae.
Bladder snails are also one of the most common algae-eating snails, but they often breed quickly and are abundant in freshwater aquariums. In addition, because of its small size, it is often accidentally brought into the aquarium – for example, when new plants are starting to be planted.
Clithon Corona Snail
The clithon corona snails (also called antler snails) or Neritina or Vittina (often referred to as racing snails) stand out in combating green or brown algae deposits (diatoms, spot algae, dust algae). These carefully rasp off the coverings from all surfaces in the aquarium, such as the equipment, facility and decoration.
These snails commonly lay small white egg capsules. The tiny, free-swimming snail larvae that hatch from it cannot develop in a typical freshwater aquarium (brackish water is required for this). The egg clutches are unfortunately a little difficult to remove because they are quite firmly attached to the ground. Usually, however, it takes care of itself over time.
Malaysian Pipe Snail
The Malaysian pipe snail (Melanoides tuberculata) is an excellent cleaner for algae. Growing less than 2 two centimeters, they spend a lot of time digging the ground, where they feed on food scraps and deuterite.
Some aquarists are ambivalent about ramshorn snails. These snails are considered to be good algae eaters and eleminate dead plant parts and other organic matter.
Ramshorn snails are part of the genus Planorbarius which are found mainly in aquariums. The living parts of the plant are rejected as long as other food is available. Although they make a useful contribution in fighting algae and in the utilization of leftover food in the aquarium, their willingness to reproduce can also be a nuisance if enough food is available. therefore it is important to find a healthy average.
There are now many different color variants bred by a large community of snail lovers. On the relevant forums, you can often find different colored forms for reimbursement of shipping costs.
Algae Eating Fish
Siamese Algae (Crossocheilus Siamensis)
The Siamese barb is a popular fish in aquariums as an algae eater. However, some hobbyists have had a bad experience. Some owners also report that hungry Siamese algae, apart from eating algae, can also eat aquarium plants. So, make sure the Siamese barb is eating a balanced diet. Siamese algae are not picky: they can eat both frozen and dried food, as well as plant-based complementary foods.
Since algae fish are such a popular fish, they are often called as “algae eaters” – but unfortunately placed by their owners in too small a tank. Note that these fish grow up to six inches in size. In an aquarium, it is best to keep them in groups. These fish often form territories, therefore they must be kept in a spacious tank.
Ear Lattice Catfish (Otocinclus Affinis)
Ear lattice catfish are good helpers against algae. This fish is very sensitive to changes in water chemistry. Sensitive fish should only be kept with quiet aquarium inhabitants. This fish consumes algae with its mouth sucking, either green algae or diatoms. He is a popular resident of the aquarium because he does not breed easily. Feed Otocinclus adequate supplementary foods such as catfish tablets, zucchini slices and other vegetables if there is not enough algae left in the aquarium. He should always have a rounded tummy, then the algae-eating fish is well nourished.
Garra rufa is an extraordinary algae eater. Aquascapers like to use them after a new setting to keep algae growth under control from the start. With max. 14 cm (in aquariums it is often only about 10 cm) garra rufa requires an aquarium that is at least 100 cm long at the adult stage. In addition, it must be kept in small groups of 4-6 fish. Those who can offer this condition will enjoy frugal and agile fish.
Smaller aquarium owners should think about what to do with these fish as they get older and fulfill their duties as algae eaters. Talk to your pet salesman. Many also take back the healthy and well-nourished Garra rufa because they like to use them as a cleaner in their own aquarium or in factory complexes. But you shouldn’t expect equal value. But you can do without it for the benefit of the fish.
Algae Eating Shrimp
The Amano Shrimp is one of the most tireless algae-eating dwarf shrimp. It is able to eat several types of algae in large quantities in a short time, such as hair algae, brush algae, most types of rope algae. These shrimp feel very comfortable in larger groups. Raising a few Amano shrimp can clean algae in a tank in no time. However, the Amano shrimp activity can cause even substrate slope, so use a Sand Flattener to keep the sandy zone in shape.
In ideal water values, Amano Shrimp are excellent aquarium inhabitants against algae. Easy to care for, keeps the tank clean by consuming leftovers and has no special feeding requirements. Smaller shrimp species also help to continually eradicate algal populations, but are far less effective. However, with its bright colors, the scenery is simply gorgeous. These includes mainly Caridina and Neocaridina species such as:
- Red Fire Shrimp
- Crystal Red / Bee Shrimp
- Bumblebee Shrimp
- Sakura Shrimp
- and much more
Which algae eaters in the Aquarium do you decide: Pick one type that you are really interested in. After all, these animals live in your tank, even if the algae have been eliminated. We hope you enjoy it and we keep looking forward to an algae-free aquarium.
Read Also: How To Set Up An Aquarium
What are the absolute TOP favorites among algae eaters for you? What is your experience? We look forward to suggestions and comments!