I think I need an algae grazer

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Dec 23, 2003
Nebraska, USA
Now that my tank's finally out of it's cyano phase, I'm wondering if I can fit another small fish.
40gallon breeder - 2x96w PC's (1 actinic03, 1 10k) - CPR bak-pak2R - 3 powerheads giving me about 14x turnover an hour
2 small false percs - 1 six-line wrasse - a half dozen small brittle stars, 1 skunk cleaner shrimp, 2 turbo snails, 2 tiny conch's, a half dozen small hermit crabs, 1 yellow sea cuke, 1 6" serpent star, 1 sand sifting star. I also have a small patch of yellow polyps, and some green mushroom corals.

I'm seeing patches of green algae on live rock. Do I have room for something like a lawnmower blenny? I think I heard a scooter blenny will also graze?

Compatibility is so difficult sometimes.
I am having the same problem Malkore. I have green algae all over my LR as well. I would be curious to see what could get rid of it as well.

You have to love the idea of owning a fish with the name Lawnmower Blenny... In fact, I think I want one too. Jeff
My prob with the lawnmowers is that the one I had never ate much. Supposively they eat pods as their main staple... some say theirs eat other items but mine actually starved to death (I believe he did) a few days after I got him. I have only 35# of lr so I guess it wasn't sufficient.
I have pods all over the place in my tank. I don't know if he would be readily accepted in my tank since it is pretty aggressive. I have a large hermit crab that usually does a good job, but he has been slacking lately. A good sand sifter is what I need.

I think you have room in there. A Scotter Blenny is really a Dragonete. A pod eater that won't touch algae.
My Lawnmover Blenny, assisted by my Coral Beauty have managed to mow down nearly 70% of the algae in my tank. Thank goodness they both eat prepared food as well.
Highly recommended for the job.
I think a bi-color blenny will graze also. Small too. Seen a gumdrop goby? Just got one as I hope he will do some grazing for me. Cute little pugnacious thing and about an inch and a half. I was told nearly full grown. He perches on rocks and is currently almost affixed to the rock in QT.
I would agree with austinsdad, for that tank size a bi-color would be a much better choice. Very interesting fish with loads of personality. It may not control your algae needs completely but will definately make a good dent. They are also more prone to accepting prepared foods where a lawnmower will often not and in a smaller tank a lawnmower could easily eat itself out of house anjd home. Both of these fish will also not typically eat macro/turf alages although they may scrape the film algae off the foliage.

2 grazing snails are also on the low side even for a newer tank. I would up that a bit at your next opportunity. The conch snails depending on species will not normally leave the sandbed so they are not likely to help in regards to the whole tank.


THanks for the info. I was actually told that 3 turbo snails were too much...then one died/was eaten by a scarlet hermit, so I never increased their numbers.

I will scope out the availability of a bi-color blenny, and a couple more grazing snails at the LFS's.
I was not particularly suggesting turbo's, just more snails. The "Turbo's" moreso sold in the hobby these days are not the right species anyway (Turbo fluctuous). I would actually opt for 1-2 each of trochus, nerite, margarita and cerith. I wouldn't add more than about 10ish for now. It can always be added to later.

i am going through a similar blenny question as well right now. i did learn ( like quarryshark mentioned ) that scooter blenny is really a dragonette and eats pods not algae of any sort. for my 29 gallon i was told a lawnmower could get too big. a sailfin or blacksailfin blenny was recomended. i have seen the sailfin also called the algae blenny or even lawnmower. http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=94 i dont know if this is a lawnmower or sailfin, but austinsdad gave me this link to try and help. i am going to a couple LFS this weekend to buy a blenny or get more info ( or both) i will report back if i find anything useful

steve r
one more quick question while we are on the topic. are we talking about macro algae. my main problem right now is bigger more plant like algae. i actually dont mind a little bit for texture but i have too much right now.

steve r
I have always had a little green algae in the tank, but to be honest, after changing my lighting system to a Coralife 4x65w the green algae has spread rampantly all over my rocks. That is the only thing that has changed in my tank recently. I am thinking about increasing the water flow to see if that helps or not.

what is the K of your new lights? just curious. i have a combo 10,000K / 6500K. i have heard the the 6500K promotes more algae growth then 10,000K or higher.

steve r
2 10,000k daylight, and 2 actinics. I can't remember what the kelvin rating is for the actinics though. Perhaps that could be the issue there. I was thinking about getting some 50/50's to see if that would help.

A little green algae is not a bad thing if you have animals that like to graze on it. My system seems to just grow enough to keep my Blenny and Coral Beauty busy.
But salttanker if its getting to be too much, something has to be feeding it. Excess nutrients can be part of the cause. Aggressive skimming can be a big help, also water changes.
I use a skimmer, and do water changes religiously. The only thing that has changed in the past month is the new lighting system. Based on the fish I have now, what would you suggest I get to help eat this stuff on my rock?

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