Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ? - Aquarium Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

I've got my 29 up and running, live plants are anacharis, anubia, wisteria and one other I can't remember the name to. It's fully cycled and stocked currently with what I had in my 10 gal, a single glow light tetra, a single zebra danio, 3 female guppies and one male guppy.

Tomorrow I think I'll add about 2 more glowlights and 2 more zebra's so they'll have buddies but wondering if I need any kind of bottom feeder(s). I guess you call them the common plecostomus, they are just nasty looking and grow large so unless one of those is just necessary, I don't like them. I've seen some kind of little albino, short and stumpy little catfish looking guys that stay on the bottoms of the store tanks, just don't know if I need something like this for the bottom.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

I wouldn't recommend getting a common pleco. If you want a bottom feeder, for your tank I'd look at shrimp...ghost shrimp might be an interesting addition. Common plecos grow to 18" (just as Susankat), shrimp grow to about 1.5"

Bottom feeders are interesting additions to tanks-they draw your eyes to the bottom of the tank rather than just the top and middle. They should be given as much respect as any other fish- meaning they aren't garbage disposals. They will probably clean up extra food, but make sure whatever you get gets food of its own. Do your research before buying anything.

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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

they are not totally necessary but a good addition...you can do what kehy said which is a good option...may i suggest also going to your lfs and looking at fancy plecos, they do not get as big and some of them might look cool to you, just something to look at

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Well, that's where my problem lies, in a town of 100k+, I've got a PetsMart and PetCo to choose from for fish stores. They each only keep just a handful variety of the most common types fish, nothing extraordinary. There's one tank in each store that has ghost shrimp on the tag, but neither store has gotten any in 2-3 months.
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

you can order fish online or ask the people at the store to get fish for ya...ive heard that petsmart/co will do that for customers. ive never ordered fish online but ive heard good things from it might be something cool to look into cause i dont think you should settle for a type of fish that you want

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 09:10 PM
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rico334 View Post
I've got my 29 up and running, live plants are anacharis, anubia, wisteria and one other I can't remember the name to. It's fully cycled and stocked currently with what I had in my 10 gal, a single glow light tetra, a single zebra danio, 3 female guppies and one male guppy.

Tomorrow I think I'll add about 2 more glowlights and 2 more zebra's so they'll have buddies but wondering if I need any kind of bottom feeder(s). I guess you call them the common plecostomus, they are just nasty looking and grow large so unless one of those is just necessary, I don't like them. I've seen some kind of little albino, short and stumpy little catfish looking guys that stay on the bottoms of the store tanks, just don't know if I need something like this for the bottom.
Hello rico...

You don't need bottom feeders. People have them because they're a peaceful fish, most don't get too large and in general are a nice addition to a "community" tank. The bonus with bottom feeders, is they clean up the bits of food that fall to the bottom of the tank.

I keep several kinds of Corydoras (little cats) in my large, planted tanks. They're one of the few fish I can keep with my Fancy Guppies that don't bother them.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-06-2012, 11:57 PM
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Yep, shrimp make great little bottom dwellers. You do feed them little shrimp pellets as supplements though, and you have to have the right pH and hardness for their shells.

Bristle/Bushy Nose plecos (usually top out at 5-6 inches) are also good but do need real drift wood in the tank as well to rasp on. You also feed them algae wafers, bottom feeder pellets and pieces of veggies like zucchini.

Cory cats are also bottom feeders, but again, they do need to be fed bottom feeder pellets. They do best in groups of 6+ as well.

Again, bottom feeders aren't a necessity, but there are lots of options out there. If you're getting one because you're noticing left over food, try feeding less. If you're wanting one because you want action at the bottom of the tank, take your time and research a few options.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 12:58 AM
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

I recommend you get some Corys. I like the Peppered Corys. They investigate most of your tank looking for food and only get 1/2 the size of the Green Corys. Also get two Otos. They eat Algae but don't get huge like Plecos.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-07-2012, 11:10 AM
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Yah definitely get 3 Emerald Corys. They look really nice and can help keep the bottom clear of old food and such.

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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

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Originally Posted by congar15 View Post
Yah definitely get 3 Emerald Corys. They look really nice and can help keep the bottom clear of old food and such.
Like I said before, Cory's prefer to be in larger numbers, 6+ usually.

And as for Oto cats, 3 is the least number that you should keep them in.

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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

I'd take these stocking suggestions with a little common sense. In a 29g, which is 30" long may not require 6+ Cories and whoever thought that was right should just stop writing articles on fish. At least if a book or article has a suggestion like this it should be based on size of tank. I can tell you that in a large tank all 6 would not hang together - ever. I have never seen it. I have 5 in a 125g and it very rarely has happened in it.

I have never seen Otos hang or stay together and I have 15 of them in a 125g. They will bunch up a little during a water change when the tank is getting down to 4-5".

I don't think they are bad suggestions. I don't pay any attention to them and have never had a problem. I think they generally work, but are just as outdated as WPG guidelines....JMO.
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Really Ben? Cause when I had cories they were always in little groups of 2-3 and my Otos are always together.... I have 3 of them. Where you find 1, the other 2 are not far behind...... and yes of course, the size of the tank has an effect on how many you get... I'm just saying that they would probably do better with more than just 3.

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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

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Originally Posted by holly12 View Post
Really Ben? Cause when I had cories they were always in little groups of 2-3 and my Otos are always together.... I have 3 of them. Where you find 1, the other 2 are not far behind...... and yes of course, the size of the tank has an effect on how many you get... I'm just saying that they would probably do better with more than just 3.
You said it....groups of 2-3. See where a 6+ idea might not be necessary in a tank of your sizes? I'm not going aganst what you said because I know it is just the general belief. Did yours do well with 3? If they did, that is my point. With 6 in a 6ft long tank, more than 2-3 will never see each other, so it would make better sense then, IMO.

Smaller tanks are just easier to stand down from the status quo.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

OK, last night I bought 3 albino Cory's and 2 Chinese algae eaters. Talk about some busy bodies in a tank !!!! Anyways, I asked about food for the Cory's and the guy there sent a bag of algae wafers home with me, little green disc's about the size of a dime. I broke one in half and sunk them and the cory's immediately found them, but they seemed too hard for them to take a bite out of.

This morning I get up and there's a fragment left of one of the discs which was gone later on this morning. I guess this is a stupid question but I know uneaten food is bad for a tank ...... Is this stuff Ok to just let sit around for 6-8 hours until it's finally eaten, dissolved, vanished or whatever happens to it ?
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

just as a warning, chinese algae eaters get big and aggressive. Also, they don't eat algae anymore once they get big. Cories aren't algae eaters, so make sure they get regular food.

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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Kehy, that's what I was asking about, with the algae wafers he gave me, they seem to want to try to eat them, but I think they're too hard for them to take a bite out of ..... is there something different I should get to feed them and is it bad leaving these wafers in there as long as they stay before disappearing ?
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

With the Corys, try soaking the wafer in a cup with some tank water for 10mins or so before you drop it in the tank - they also need bottom feeder pellets that have some protein in them.

The Chinese algae eaters tend to harass other tank members, and as adults, even suck the slime coating off of other fish, creating big holes..... I'd try and take them back.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-08-2012, 08:41 PM
 
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Re: Do I or Don't I need a bottom feeder ?

Interesting - I'm watching a school of a dozen corys swim by. They've been together for more than a year. They spread out during the day, but in the evening and after the tank lights are off (but the room lights are on), they re-form their school. They like a directional current (lengthwise) in the 6 foot tank. I have a powerhead on the narrow end, which may approximate a stream. Watching them school is enjoyable.

I doubt they would move together as well if the only current in the tank came from the back and swept into the glass at the front. They are stream fish. Give them a bit of a (fake) stream, and you get more natural behavior. I have to respectfully disagree with jrman - it may just be a matter of set-ups.
They do break into small groups if species are mixed. My three sterbai stick to themselves when the school bustles by. They school like crazy after water changes, again, if there's a current.

No one needs a Corydoras in their tank. You have to like them. I have a friend with 30 in a four foot tank, and that's all he has. He loves them. They aren't really scavengers. They scuttle along the bottom and find food. They have the same relationship to other fish that we have to birds, although they do get to rise up off the bottom more easily and naturally than we do.
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