View Full Version : My algae eaters don't work anymore. =(

12-16-2004, 06:36 PM
I've had my algae eaters for over 2 years now, and lately I've noticed that they are less effective. It's seems like their just not as hungry anymore and I plan to buy them some algae eating friends to help them.
Anyone have any suggestions about great algae eaters? The tank is 600 l, and they would share it with the old algae eaters and cardinals, guppies, red wagtail platy and tuxedo platy. pH is 6,0-6,5.

12-17-2004, 03:39 PM
What kind of algae eaters?

if you have chinese algae eaters, they do not eat algae when they grow older. they also get mean and big.
Bristlenose plecos are far more effective (and nicer) all throughout their lifespan.

12-22-2004, 11:36 PM
Oh, so that's why! Time for them to retire. =)
I'll check out my local pet store for those bristlenose ones.

Thank you!

12-26-2004, 04:30 AM
I've got two albino bristlenose plecos; I love 'em, but they eat Amazon Sword plants. I had to put them in a new tank without Amazon Swords. They seem to do fine with Crypts and other plants, though.

Bristlenose plecos grow to 8 or 9 inches, and the albino strain only gets to about 5 inches. Your tank is probably big enough for just about any pleco, though the smaller fish in your tank might get eaten - I lost some small guppies to a 6 inch common pleco awhile ago...

I totally recommend Siamese Algae Eaters (SAEs), as they eat the nasty bearded algae that other fish won't eat. These guys grow to 4 or 6 inches, and are best either in groups of five or more, or singly in a community tank.

I also recommend Otocinclus (Otos), though they aren't quite as hardy. They only grow to 2 inches.

The SAEs and Otos are great for planted tanks. For unplanted tanks, the plecos might be better, though all three are decent algae-eaters.

Get rid of the Chinese Algae Eaters before they pummel your other fish :twisted:

12-27-2004, 01:20 AM
Get rid of the Chinese Algae Eaters before they pummel your other fish :twisted:

It's SOOO hard to get rid of fish, I think. I get so attached to them. Maybe I can organise a retiring home for old, cranky, evil, non-working Chinese Algae Eaters...

12-27-2004, 04:01 AM
feed your plecos then :wink: mine don't bother swords at all. just those silly clown loaches who pop holes in them :)

btw, some regular bns only get to 4", the problem when getting them, is that you can't tell exactly how larger your particular hybrid will get. 4-6" is a pretty safe guess, though.

with plecos, unless you saw the fish kill and eat the other fish, do not assume he killed and ate the other fish. Any pleco that does is an incredibly rare exception. however, if they find a dead fish, they will take full advantage of the situation :roll:

SAE are schooling fish, trios are minimal. unlike flying foxes, they are not as aggressive full grown, but a 6" SAE isn't something to scoff at.

12-29-2004, 01:33 AM
feed your plecos then :wink: mine don't bother swords at all. just those silly clown loaches who pop holes in them :)

Funny you should mention. I just started feeding my plecos and loaches cucumber slices; it's been a success. (I'd like to try zucchini, but I can't find any at the grocery store...) None of my plecos are in tanks with Amazon swords, but the Clown Loaches seem to prefer the cucumber to my live plants.

with plecos, unless you saw the fish kill and eat the other fish, do not assume he killed and ate the other fish.

True. This is just a strong suspicion based on what the LFS guy told me, and that there were no other fish large enough to eat the guppies at the time in my tank. I never found any guppy cadavers, so the evidence points to my large pleco.

Suffice it to say, a large adult pleco with such small fish is risky, which was the point of my story. :wink:

SAE are schooling fish, trios are minimal.

I would definitely recommend five, as they get very active. I recently added two to my group of three in my 45 gallon tank, and they've been very playful since the addition. My smaller tank would be totally overstocked if I added two more SAEs, unfortunately, but the lone SAE in there seems content, and has been cleaning up the loose bits of bearded algae efficiently.

If I can offload my cory catfish (or my Neon Tetras), I would certainly add two more SAEs.

12-30-2004, 12:07 AM
I bought bristlenoses today, I hope they are very hungry!

12-31-2004, 01:47 AM
oh definitely, 5-6 would be a much better number to start with. I just don't think it is good to keep them singly.

01-02-2005, 06:20 PM
You think so?
I'll better bring them some friends then, when the shop opens again.

01-03-2005, 02:16 AM
5-6 SAE, not plecos...

01-03-2005, 03:09 AM
I think Ladyjai was referring to the SAEs, but not the plecos.

01-07-2005, 09:16 PM
So bristlenoses can be alone?

01-07-2005, 09:23 PM
Absolutely. Plecos aren't a schooling or shoaling fish. Some plecos also get territorial, namely adult males.

I have two together in a 45 gallon tank. They get along fine, though they are quite young, and I suspect I have a male and a female. Your tank is more than big enough to house several bristlenoses, so don't worry either way.

01-09-2005, 10:34 PM
Is it hard to know what sex they are?

01-09-2005, 10:43 PM
It's only hard to tell when they are little. This link seems to have some good info:


My two bristlenose plecos are about 2" long. One has bristles, and the smaller one does not. The size difference isn't that much between the two, so I figure the smaller one is a female. I could be wrong, but I've been keeping a close watch on them to see if my suspicions change.

I also moved them back into my 45 gallon tank; I had them in a 20 gallon tank for several weeks. Hopefully the bigger tank will promote faster growth.

The guy who runs the website (see the link above) told me that bristlenose plecos are more playful in small groups, incidentally. As long as the tank is big enough that they can each take over some territory when they mature, this is probably true.

Black, how many bristlenose plecos did you end up getting?

02-10-2005, 07:45 PM
Two, and I think they are both female. They eat alot, but I'm toying with the idea of getting some more of them.