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Old 03-09-2012, 07:43 AM   #1
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True Algae Eater? Help please.

I need algae eaters for my 10 gallon tank. I have now just 1 male betta in this tank.

ANY suggestions?

History: This tank is very well established. 0 ammonia - 0 trites - 20 trates - ph 8ish always...

I added a second filter 3 months ago. Moved it from a bright room in to my bedroom to try to reduce the algae from sunlight. Removed half the gravel twice in 3 months and washed it using water and a dechlorinator only. Scrubbed all the sides and ornaments. Even with LESS fish (there used to be a molly and 6 cherry barbs) and now using only the one new filter as of 3 weeks ago - I still get a layer of green algae.

The tank that I have with my pleco in it is lovely - no algae but the 10 gallon is far too small for that fish I know.

What would be small enough and not annoying to the betta?

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
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Well what comes to mind first is-- Otocinclus and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. The biggest problem with the snails is that they will reproduce quickly, especially in an environment where there is enough food to support a growing population. I think if you bought 3 Otocinclus, that would do the trick--but once the algae is gone, you will have to supplement them with algae wafers or fresh veggies (boiled zucchini is best I've heard).
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:48 AM   #3
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Well what comes to mind first is-- Otocinclus and Malaysian Trumpet Snails. The biggest problem with the snails is that they will reproduce quickly, especially in an environment where there is enough food to support a growing population. I think if you bought 3 Otocinclus, that would do the trick--but once the algae is gone, you will have to supplement them with algae wafers or fresh veggies (boiled zucchini is best I've heard).
I personally hate having an abundance of snails in my tank. Personally feels like something is out of my control and I can't fix it. I would get one of these snails to combat the algae. Remember that most algae eaters do not eat the algae that you see. They eat the algae that you can't see. you will still need to scrub your tank regularly in order to keep the algae off. This type of algae (im guessing) is the kind that comes from a well established tank. Is it growing on the glass?
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:53 AM   #4
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A single Malaysian Trumpet snail will not help anything sadly. They are so small that they cannot feed on that much algae. If you are worried about your tank becoming overrun by the snails, just stick to the fish!
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:58 AM   #5
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A single Malaysian Trumpet snail will not help anything sadly. They are so small that they cannot feed on that much algae. If you are worried about your tank becoming overrun by the snails, just stick to the fish!
Sorry I forgot to read, again. Trumpet snails are good for cleaning up a tank, but they really do over take your tank really quickly and there is no stopping them. Black mollies eat algae if you would like to look into that.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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Mollies are not appropriate for a 10 gallon tank though and would most likely create an issue with the betta.

I would vote for the otos. But in your case, I'd get only 2. Mine have no issues keeping my 16 gallon clean and they will also eat algae wafers, however, many people have written to say that their otos die because they refuse anything but natural algae.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:20 AM   #7
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IMO Mollies shouldn't be kept in such a small space. 10 gallons is perfect for 1 male betta and 3 otos Even though Lynda says 2, it's best to keep them in group of >3 because they are so shy. The security of having multiple friends will often help them to accept other types of food than just natural algae as well!
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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IMO Mollies shouldn't be kept in such a small space. 10 gallons is perfect for 1 male betta and 3 otos Even though Lynda says 2, it's best to keep them in group of >3 because they are so shy. The security of having multiple friends will often help them to accept other types of food than just natural algae as well!
I suppose it all depends on your filtration. I had 5 or 6 mollies in mine and it was perfect.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Oto's are great! >3 is best but 2 will be perfectly fine with enough hiding spaces and no aggressive fish to pick on em. They are cool little fish and eat algae like crazy, my tank is spotless. Just know that you will have to feed them. They will clear up algae fast and their diet will have to be supplemented.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:06 AM   #10
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I'll tell you what I tell 99% of the customers who come into my store looking for 'one a' them allergy eaters':

No tank needs an algae eater. None. Ever. They're nice to have, but they're not a cure for algae problems.

Now, I'm not saying that you should have zero algae if the tank is properly taken care of, but let's be honest here, a 10g aquarium takes all of 30 seconds to scrape the algae off the inside of. Minimizing the amount of excess light it gets will go a long way towards preventing a lot of nuisance algae; sunlight can cause algae like you wouldn't believe, especially if it's direct (not to mention that your aquarium shouldn't receive direct sunlight for a host of other reasons).

A bit of extra algae certainly doesn't hurt anything, and in fact can help your betta by providing a spot for the cultivation of microfauna inside your aquarium that he can snack on. Unless we're talking enormous sheets of nuisance algae on the inside of the tank, a little on the sides won't hurt anything. I just think that adding an 'algae eater' is a knee-jerk reaction that could cause more problems than it solves in the long run.
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