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19 Must Have Algae Eaters For Your Aquarium To Control Algae Growth

In the event you’ve made the choice to start out an aquarium, you’re in good firm. Fishkeeping is quick changing into one of the in style hobbies in America, and for good purpose. Maintaining fish is a good way to entertain your self, in addition to to enhance your general well being and wellness.

Nonetheless, when you’ve began an aquarium, it’s possible you’ll discover that you’re overwhelmed by the fixed cleansing your tank appears to require. Whereas fish are pleasant to boost, the maintenance concerned in conserving their tanks freed from algae is usually a daunting job by itself.

The takeaway? It’s essential put money into some algae eaters. Whether or not you go for algae-eating fish, snails, or shrimp, algae eaters can take the stress out of fishkeeping in an aquarium – regardless of the scale or scale.

1 Twig Catfish

Twig Catfish
Photo by Adrián Afonso 
  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Difficult
  • Measurement: As much as 6 inches
  • Temperament: Calm and non-confrontational
  • Temperature Vary: 72=80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.5-7.8

Twig Catfish usually are not one of the large forms of catfish, however they will develop as much as six inches in size. This species has a brown physique (sure, like a twig!) that’s slim and slender, with stripes working vertically from the pinnacle to tail. These fish make nice tank mates for tetra barbs, different catfish, and lots of others, largely as a result of they’re peaceable and non-confrontational in nature.

These catfish have voracious appetites for many forms of algae, together with blue-green algae, purple algae, black algae, and even brown slime algae. As scavengers, these fish additionally feed on leftover fish meals and plant waste, serving to to chop down on the quantity of waste that’s produced within the first place. If doable, you must complement your twig catfish’s eating regimen with spirulina algae tablets about two or thrice every week. They admire loads of areas to cover and are, in reality, camouflaged by nature. Offering plenty of construction, corresponding to bogwood and vegetation, is a good suggestion.

Twig catfish are lively breeders, that means you will want to watch out about pairing them with different catfish. As a result of they reproduce shortly, you may have an enormous inhabitants of catfish in your tank in case you are not cautious!

2 Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Malaysian Trumpet Snail
Photo by Peter Kemmer
  • Kind: Snail
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 1-2 inches
  • Temperament: Curious
  • Temperature Vary: 50-90 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.5-8

This curious breed of snail additionally likes to eat algae. Often known as merely trumpet snails, this species primarily eats algae and may actually assist lower down on the quantity of waste in your tank. Incomes their title for his or her trumpet-shaped shells, these snails are darkish brown in coloration (though there are some uncommon black trumpet snails as effectively).

These snails aren’t notably lively through the day, preferring to cover beneath the gravel, and it’s possible you’ll marvel at instances whether or not they are going to be capable to sustain with their algae-eating duties. Nonetheless, given the possibilities, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail can utterly clear your tank of algae. They like to dwell in tanks that comprise dwell vegetation and can do most of their feeding and exploration at night time. At night time, yow will discover them digging by means of the substrate to diligently clear up any algae and particles.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails will eat all forms of algae, in addition to extra meals or vegetation that could be floating round your tank. They don’t eat dwell vegetation, preferring as a substitute to roam round them, so you may preserve your tank totally occupied with decorations. They do, nevertheless, want a tank with the next alkaline steadiness. This helps to maintain their shells agency. They shouldn’t be stored with predatory fish, as they are going to shortly develop into their prey.

3 Ramshorn Snail

Ramshorn Snail
Photo by Daniel
  • Kind: Snail
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: 1 inch
  • Temperament: Shy
  • Temperature Vary: 70-80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 7

Ramshorn snails thrive in tanks with plenty of vegetation. They admire the a number of locations to cover, and in contrast to many forms of algae consuming snails, they received’t eat your dwell vegetation. They like as a substitute to depart algae and useless plant matter and can solely resort to consuming residing vegetation if they’re on the point of hunger. They will additionally eat leftover meals and fish eggs.

These snails are aptly named as a result of their shells look considerably just like the horn of a ram. They’re often purple or brown in coloration, rising to solely an inch or so in size. Preferring alkaline waters, they can’t dwell in acidic waters, as it can dissolve their shells. They like hotter waters and may clear nearly any kind or dimension of tank.

In the event you resolve to maintain ramshorn snails, know that they may help clear your vegetation, aquarium partitions, decorations, and backside of your tank. They’re good when stored together with different algae-eating fish, snails, or shrimp, however understand that they shouldn’t be stored with predatory fish.

4 Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp
Photo by Ryan Paul
  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: No bigger than two inches
  • Temperament: Shy
  • Temperature Vary: 72-82 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 7.0-8.0

Ghost shrimp are in style algae-eaters as a result of they’re inexpensive to buy. One of many least costly choices, Ghost shrimp don’t eat as hungrily as Cherry or Amano shrimp, however they will nonetheless put fairly the dent within the algae of your aquarium. These shrimp are sometimes bought as meals for different fish, which is why they’re so cheap.

Ghost shrimp are small and translucent and are good at eliminating hair algae particularly. Sadly, they’re usually eaten by different fish, so it’s essential take note of the feeding habits and preferences of the fish you have already got earlier than buying even a single Ghost shrimp. That being mentioned, Ghost shrimp may be enjoyable to take a look at and to look at as they work, and are a sensible choice for a tank stuffed with fish that don’t eat dwell meals.

5 Siamese Algae Eater

Siamese Algae Eater
Photo by Stephen Lim
  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Common
  • Measurement: 6.5 inches
  • Temperament: Reasonably aggressive
  • Temperature Vary: 75.79 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.5-8

Siamese algae eaters are a few of the most prolific algae eaters on the market. Usually confused with Chinese language algae eaters, they’re distinct species, with Siamese algae eaters by no means rising fairly as massive as their shut family members.

These fish are appropriate for small tanks and may eat all forms of algae, from blue to purple to brown. Siamese algae eaters are most effective at algae-eating when they’re younger, relying little or no on supplemental meals sources like pellets.

6 Mollies

Photo by DaPoPics
  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 2 inches
  • Temperament: Easygoing
  • Temperature Vary: 75-80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 7-8

Molly fish are frequent freshwater aquarium species for his or her look alone, obtainable in a variety of hanging colours. Nonetheless, these enjoyable fish are additionally capable of carry out double-duty in that they’re voracious algae eaters. They’re unbiased and solitary by nature, requiring minimal care and maintenance. Consequently, they’re generally beneficial as a first-choice fish for beginner aquarium hobbyists.

For greatest outcomes, complement your molly’s eating regimen of algae with a little bit of flakes. This may assist preserve your molly feeling vibrant and robust. They eat massive quantities of algae and may be nice algae-eaters when left to their very own units in a tank, or when paired with different algae-eating creatures. You can even feed your mollies protein-rich meals sources like bloodworms.

As a result of mollies are a hybridized species of fish, yow will discover mollies in nearly each coloration, from golden to black to dalmation varieties. The most effective mollies for algae-eating functions are black mollies, that are probably the most environment friendly at cleansing up free particles within the tank. Most mollies are easygoing in nature, however some may be aggressive if overcrowded.

7 Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish

  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 1.5 inches
  • Temperament: Shy, non-confrontational
  • Temperature Vary: 70-80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6-7.5

Often known as dwarf suckers, Otocinclus catfish are basic selections for small fish tanks which might be lower than ten gallons in dimension. These small fish can eat algae even when it’s crowded in a good spot, corresponding to on decorations or between vegetation.

These fish usually are not aggressive and get alongside effectively with nearly some other species of fish (except for angelfish, who’re recognized to assault Otocinclus catfish with out warning or obvious purpose). They’re comfortable so long as they’ve loads of algae to eat, having fun with brown algae particularly. That being mentioned, they are going to eat any sort of algae it’s important to spare.

8 Thriller Apple Snail

  • Kind: Snail
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: As much as six inches
  • Temperament: Reclusive
  • Temperature Vary: 76-84 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 7.2-8.6

The Thriller Apple Snail prefers to dwell on the underside substrate of your tank and develop to just about six inches in diameter. Bought in quite a lot of colours, from brown to yellow and extra, this snail is legendary for its myriad hues and a number of coloration patterns obtainable.

This snail is greatest fitted to tanks of round 20 to 30 gallons (or much more whether it is given different tankmates to assist clear up the surplus algae). It is going to eat any kind of algae, nevertheless it prefers plant and substrate algae. It is going to additionally feed on backside substrate vegetation, so it’s essential watch out when selecting the vegetation you resolve to incorporate in your aquarium, as they will simply develop into snail meals!

The Thriller Apple Snail reproduces very slowly, with men and women partnering in a 1:1 ratio. Subsequently, they’re a superb choice if you’d like a tank inhabitants that received’t by chance explode on you! Thriller Apple Snails are sometimes bought as infants, nevertheless it’s necessary to reember that they will develop to just about the scale of a tennis ball, requiring considerably extra tank area as adults than they did as infants.

These snails make an incredible addition to your tank, providing leisure in addition to performance. They’re simple to identify as they brush their massive antennas throughout the aquarium ground, and they’ll eat any sort of leftover meals. They’ve a big urge for food, and whereas they are going to eat any sort of algae it’s important to supply, it’s additionally beneficial that you simply complement their eating regimen with another meals, like vegetation.

Thriller Apple Snails are solitary by nature, however smaller varieties might develop into targets for predatory fish. In case you have any of those sorts of fish in your aquarium, train warning earlier than introducing Thriller Apple Snails.

9 Nerite Snails

nerite snails
Photo by budak
  • Kind: Snail
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: 1 inch
  • Temperament: Adventurous
  • Temperature Vary: 70-80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: Larger than 7

Nerite snails may be one of many more difficult forms of snails to look after, solely acclimating effectively to sure varieties and sizes of tanks. Loach fish and cichlids can’t be stored with nerite snails, for instance, because the snails simply and shortly develop into prey to the fish. These snails are additionally fairly adventurous and can climb out of your tank if given the prospect, so a coated tank can be a necessity.

These snails lay their eggs throughout your tank, and whereas that’s not problematic in itself, it could possibly make your tank look a bit messy, considerably contradicting the final word goal of those snails (which is to make your tank look cleaner, not dirtier). That being mentioned, nerite snails are a sensible choice for cleansing up extra algae, as they are going to eat any kind or kind. Nerite snails will even eat Inexperienced Spot and Inexperienced Beard Algae, purportedly two of the toughest algaes to scrub. They’re additionally backside feeders, serving to to maintain the substrate clear as they feed.

Nerite snails are one of the in style forms of algae-eating snails, principally as a result of they’ve such a voracious urge for food for algae and are enticing to take a look at. They’ve lovely, zebra-striped shells and may be present in a number of colours.

Moreover the difficulties offered by their curious personalities and breeding habits, Nerite snails are a superb choice for extra alkaline tanks. They want a pH of seven or increased to assist preserve their shells arduous, preferring barely arduous water because the calcium in it can assist preserve their shells sturdy.

10 Indian Zebra Shrimp

Indian Zebra Shrimp
Photo by Abhisek Mallick
  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: 1.4 inches
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature Vary: 60-70 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.8-7.5

One other zebra-patterned algae-eater is the Indian Zebra Shrimp. Whereas this creature additionally has stripes akin to these of a zebra, it’s a shrimp as a substitute of a snail. One of these shrimp can develop as much as 1.4 inches in size, and has distinctive nasal antenna that assist it sense and discover its meals. These shrimp can dwell with passive tropical fish, together with different shrimp and snails, however shouldn’t be stored with predatory fish who will view the shrimp as meals.

Ideally, your Indian Zebra Shrimp ought to be stored in a tank of at the least 20 to 30 gallons in quantity, with a temperature that’s reasonably heat. Indian Zebras can eat any kind of algae present in freshwater tanks, together with tender inexperienced and golden brown algae. These kinds of algae are often discovered naturally in Indian rivers and lakes, which is why these shrimp are so attuned to it. Indian Zebra shrimp breed quickly, so in case you are conserving multiple, you will want to watch out except you desire a breeding inhabitants in your fingers.

11 Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos
Photo by Amanda Cleveland
  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: 4-6 inches
  • Temperament: Non-aggressive
  • Temperature Vary: 60-70 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 5.5-7.6

One other in style algae-eating catfish is the Bristlenose Plecos. This fish can develop as much as six inches in size, and is colourful, with feather-like fins and tail. The Bristlenose can dwell with some other non-confrontational, peaceable fish, preferring tanks which might be at the least forty gallons or bigger. It is going to eat any sort of algae, preferring inexperienced spot algae particularly, though it can additionally eat DIatoms, purple algae, and brown algae with out criticism.

Bristlenose Plecos can eat a ton of algae as they cruise alongside the underside of your tank, however they need to even be fed sinking algae pellets to enhance their diets. They’re distinctive in that they’re one of many few algae eaters to eat Inexperienced Spot algae, which is often ignored by different algae eaters. These fish are extra lively at night time and are usually passive, making them a sensible choice for big tanks, even these with notably aggressive fish.

12 Cherry Shrimp

Cherry Shrimp
Photo by Adam Okuń
  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Minimal
  • Measurement: 2 inches
  • Temperament: Adaptable
  • Temperature Vary: 57-84 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.5-8

These bright-red shrimp are simple to look after, adapting simply to most settings and possessing the distinctive capacity to shed their exoskeletons every now and then. Whereas this implies you will want to scrub the tank of their shells on occasion, the profit they provide as an algae-eater far outweighs this minor problem.

Rising to 2 inches in size, Cherry Shrimp are efficient algae eaters and are a sensible choice for tanks smaller than ten gallons. Though they often are available in a vibrant purple coloration, they will also be bought in different shades. They’re calm and versatile, capable of get alongside effectively with smaller fish. They like algae and biofilm as common components of their eating regimen, however will also be provided with vegetation, zucchini items, flakes, and different vegetable merchandise.

Cherry Shrimp may be stored with any non-predatory fish and snail species, together with different shrimp. They kind massive colonies in a brief period of time, and can clear up algae rising on the wooden, rocks, and even the substrate of your tank. As a result of they’re so small, they’re nice at cleansing up algae in hard-to-reach locations. They may also tidy up leftover fish meals, pellets, and flakes.

13 Rabbit Snail

  • Kind: Snail
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: As much as 5 inches
  • Temperament: Shy
  • Temperature Vary: 76-84 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 7.5-8.5

Rabbit Snails are shy, but massive, rising to virtually 5 inches in diameter. Their our bodies are manufactured from two colours, often a darkish brown shell and a yellow head. The snail usually retains its head tucked away contained in the shell, surfacing solely when it needs to maneuver.

These snails can dwell in peace with quite a lot of different aquarium dwellers, together with in style algae-eaters just like the Otocinclus Catfish and the Amano Shrimp. It prefers massive tanks of 25 gallons or extra in dimension, however can exist peacefully in smaller tanks as effectively.

This algae-eater will eat any kind of freshwater algae, preferring tender and inexperienced algae particularly. It is going to additionally eat leftover bits of fish meals and Java Ferns. Rabbit Snails don’t breed usually, solely yearly or so, so you may preserve a number of snails directly with no downside.

14 Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp

  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 1.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceable
  • Temperature Vary: 68-86 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.5-7.5

Amano Shrimp can develop as much as 1.5 inches in size when stored within the correct freshwater circumstances. Native to Japan, this shrimp likes to climb up the vegetation and rocks in your tank, that means you must all the time preserve the tank coated so it doesn’t by chance escape.

These shrimp may be stored with some other fish, however ideally ones which might be extra passive. Predatory fish are undoubtedly off-limits, however you may embody guppies or different algae eaters. Amano shrimp eat all types of tank algae, together with purple, brown, blue inexperienced, and inexperienced. Particularly, it loves hair algae. It is going to eat voraciously, so you must complement the eating regimen of this shrimp with algae pellets. Keep away from utilizing any sort of chemical substances for the vegetation within the tank, because the Amano shrimp will eat these, too.

15 Tiger Shrimp

Tiger Shrimp
Photo by Joseph Choo
  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Reasonable
  • Measurement: As much as 13 inches
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Temperature Vary: 65-75 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6-7

Proper from the very second you buy your tiny juvenile tiger shrimp, you can be amazed at how shortly it begins to scrub your tank. Tiger shrimp are born algae eaters, rising to a big dimension as much as 13 inches. It might probably dwell in peace with any tropical fish, shrimp, and snails, as long as it isn’t a pure supply of prey for one among these creatures.

These shrimp require tanks of at the least fifty to sixty gallons (or extra, in lots of instances), as they develop to such excessive sizes. They’ll eat any species of algae, and ought to be supplemented with algae pellets and vegetation.

16 American Flag Fish

  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 2 inches
  • Temperament: Adaptable
  • Temperature Vary: 66-86 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.7-8.2

One of many extra colourful algae-eaters, the American Flag Fish is an adaptable species that can eat algae for hours. Historically conserving to itself, this fish is native to the swamps of Florida and is patterned in a way that’s paying homage to the American flag. These fish are solitary creatures, usually hiding between rocks and vegetation.

Rising as much as two inches in dimension, this fish likes to highschool, so you must preserve it inside a group of fish. Different fish it could possibly coexist with embody gouramis, cherry barbs, and Endlers. Ideally, it ought to be stored in a tank of round thirty gallons or extra. Whereas the fish received’t disturb species of fish on increased layers of the aquarium, it can stay most frequently within the heart and backside layers of the aquarium, consuming nearly any kind of algae.

17 Golden Nugget Plecos

Golden Nugget Plecos

  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Tough
  • Measurement: As much as 12 inches
  • Temperament: Delicate
  • Temperature Vary: 75-80 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.6-7.5

The Golden Nugget Plecos is a education catfish, preferring to stick with members of its group. Rising as much as a foot in size, this fish is very delicate to emphasize. It might probably dwell in peace with different fish that grasp close to the highest layers of the tank, corresponding to tetras and Corys. Golden Nugget Plecos choose bigger tanks of fifty-five gallons or extra, ideally these with plenty of pure aquascaping like rocks and caves.

Golden Nuggets will eat any sort of algae, however often gravitates towards that which is rising on the substrate stage, rocks, vegetation, and wooden. It likes to eat dwell meals, shrimp, and flakes as effectively.

18 Fancy Guppy

Fancy Guppy

  • Kind: Fish
  • Care Stage: Simple
  • Measurement: 2-3 inches
  • Temperament: Easygoing
  • Temperature Vary: 74-82 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.8-7.8

Guppies are a few of the hottest fish within the aquarium world, often bought for his or her calm temperaments and enticing appearances alone. Nonetheless, these fish are additionally voracious algae eaters, which many aquarium homeowners uncover as a nice shock as soon as they’ve introduced their fish house.

The Fancy Guppy is without doubt one of the extra in style forms of guppies for this goal, rising to an inch or two in dimension. Out there in all kinds of colours and pores and skin varieties (together with these which might be translucent!) this fish coexists effectively with angelfish, ghost shrimp, apple snails, feeder fish, and extra. It does greatest in massive tanks of 40 to 50 gallons or extra.

This fish will eat most forms of algae, although it prefers blue inexperienced, ed, and brown algae. Its eating regimen also needs to be supplemented with flakes, pellets, and dwell meals to offer correct nutritional vitamins and diet.

19 Orange Shrimp

Orange Shrimp
Photo by Abhisek Mallick
  • Kind: Shrimp
  • Care Stage: Tough
  • Measurement: 1.5 inches
  • Temperament: Passive
  • Temperature Vary: 65-85 levels Fahrenheit
  • pH Vary: 6.2-7.8

Native to Taiwan, the Orange Shrimp is a sexy algae-eater that may be a bit more difficult to maintain. It must be stored in a tank that has constant temperature, pH, and high quality with the intention to keep away from injury. Consequently, you will want to usually clear and filter your tank.

These shrimp may be stored with some other passive tankmates, like rabbit snails and fancy guppies. Something that won’t eat shrimp is truthful sport as a companion. These shrimp want loads of algae feeds at common intervals, however will eat any sort of algae it’s important to supply. It prefers blue inexperienced, brown, and inexperienced algae, and also will eat the biofilm that types on underwater surfaces. You may additionally need to complement with algae pellets and nutritional vitamins.

Your Subsequent Steps

Able to take the following step? Contemplate elevating one – or a number of! – of those algae-eating organisms in your aquarium. Whereas not each tank will likely be designed to help every one among these creatures, including only one kind of algae-eater can drastically cut back the quantity of cleansing it’s important to do in your tank.

In a wholesome aquarium, algae construct up is unavoidable. Attributable to lighting, sediment buildup, vitamins, and different elements, algae is a primitive type of plants that’s present in nearly each tank. Whereas some algae isn’t essentially an issue, an excessive amount of algae could cause sickness and potential demise amongst your fish populations.

An algae eater may help eliminate your algae downside, with out disrupting the fragile ecosystem inside your tank. Head to your native pet retailer as we speak to select up one among these algae eaters, and also you’ll be rewarded with a a lot cleaner – and more healthy! – aquatic surroundings to your fish.

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