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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to get something that will eat some of the algae in my tank. I have a pleco it is about 4 years old now and doesn't really eat as much as he used to. I read once they get older they don't eat as much algae and eat more of what it put in the tank to eat.

Anyways, I have read that siamese algae eaters (not chinese) are pretty good. Also, Amano shrimp, sound like an interesting addition. I just wondered everyones opinion on what I should get. I don't really want another pleco seeing when he gets older I will just have the same problem again. I just dont want my current fish to eat them. I don't think they would. Also, my plants are live plants.

I currently have: balas, a rainbow shark and some tiger barbs. The balas are still pretty little and I will move them out of the tank before they should be big enough to eat the shrimp.

Also, what would be good to feed my pleco now that he is bigger. I put in algae chips along with the flake food I feed my other fish.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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SAE's are worse than pleco's when it comes to eat algea. At. first they will do a great job but soon learn that food will be served and when that happens they will almost stop, the best fish IMO is Oto Cats.... they are small maybe 3/4 to 1 inch as adults, with a very low bio load addition to the tank. Depending on the size of the tank and how heavily planted the tank is will detremine the number you will need. I carry at least 3 in all my tanks and they are all clean and free of algea.
 

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To help you out DMAX its SAE that has been know to eat the slime coat.... the CAE is more commonly know as a Golden Algea Eater but they get to about foot long when they stop growing. I housed these fish before and they are good looking but in the end they always get aggressive.

Your Alamo and Cherry shrimp are good at controlling hair aglea, but I have found that they end up as an expensive snack for fish. I prefer Florida (ameican) Flag Fish. they get about 2" when adults and some males get territortal but in just depends on the fish you get. Also if you have fine leaf plants they will eat them as will.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I got 3 oto's for my tank they went to work right away. I noticed after I got home that one of them is missing an eye!! He seems to be okay though. I just wondered if 3 is enough for a 55 gallon tank. Thanks again from all the help!
 

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There are three problems with Ottos.

1. They are small.
2. They aren't very hardy.
3. They are picked on easily.

In a community tank, ottos would be perfect. Having a semi aggressive tank with barbs and bala sharks, I worry that they might get picked on.

I do recommend CAEs however. They are a bit aggressive as they said above. However, a more aggressive tank with barbs will even it out. My grandpa has two in a 75g and they are now about 5in. About 2 years old. They only chase eachother around. Not the other fish. The tank still remains clean.

I think its a bit of a risk either way. Its just which way you want to go.
 

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There are three problems with Ottos.

1. They are small.
2. They aren't very hardy.
3. They are picked on easily.

1. they get about an adult size 1 to 1 1/2 inchies long, if you need a larger one look for the Zebra Oto they get 2" tp 2 1/4"

2 they are only not hardy if you don't do water changes and if you buy them from a store that doesn't feed them. You need to look at their bellies when buying them if the are skinny, the will die quickly because just like most lizard they have a bac. in there stomach, when they are starved that bac dies and they will starve to death no matter how much they eat because they can't break down the algea. this is also why they have a low bio-load on the tank, the bac in the stomach use 95% of everything they eat.

3. Generally you wouldn't put them in a aggressive tank because they require hiding place in the form of plants.

I beleave we are talking about a planted tank with community fish.
 

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I actually had one of mine killed by a swordtail in my ten gallon tank. But I think that might have been because he was territorial.

I just heard from someone that they weren't hardy fish, when I had first started and asked the same question.

I only got one and he lasted a while before he died. Now, all I get are CAEs.
 

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I have some that are 4 years old... after I learned how to take care of them, and to buy them.... just remember to ad a algea waffer every week at night. They only eat algea and they will clean every bit of algea in a tank and after the tank is cleaned they have nothing to eat until new algle grows. So most people just starve them without knowing it.
 
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