Aquarium Algae Eaters

Aquarium algae eaters are the best edition to a planted tank. They do keep algae at bay and are very interesting to watch. They play a big roll in the Eco system and will lead to a perfectly balanced nature aquarium.


Whiptail catfish

Farlowella acus, Twig catfish.
Algae is the preferred diet and therefore a well established tank is required and/or algae wafers should be supplied. Twig catfish can be kept in most freshwater community tanks without problems. This is a very peaceful species and must be kept with other peaceful fish. Small characins or rasboras should be fine but avoid aggressive fish such as barbs or cichlids as this is quite a fragile fish. This catfish can be kept both singly or in groups. This catfish does not handle shock very well and so large water changes must be avoided, a solution to this is several small water changes throughout the week rather than one large sudden water change.
Their size is up to 16 cm, pH 6.5 and temperature around 25'C. This fish needs to have a drift wood as a resting and hiding place. Plants are essential.
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Black Molly

Poecilia species.
Molly is an algae eating fish, but not the best in my experience. It will eat the soft Hair algae, but that is it, as far as I know. Since most fish will eat this type of algae I don't find necessary keeping this fish as an algae eater. For example, my Scalare did eat Hair algae also, and it would be funny me suggesting an Angel fish for an algae eating crew :-)
However Molly males have a large dorsal fin and a gonopodium. They grow up to 7 cm, need 7.5 pH and temperature around 27'C.
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Pleco - Suckermouth catfish

Hypostomus plecostomus.
Plecos are ideal in a very large tank ( 300 liters and up ), with other large feature fish. Include some drift wood for them to use as a resting place and retreat. They are nocturnal so it is usually best to feed them at night time.
Omnivorous. They do eat algae. As well green foods such as lettuce and peas, cucumbers, plus vegetable-based flake foods. Will also accept small live or frozen foods.
They will eat any fish that can fit into their mouth. Also, they have been know to latch onto the side of larger fish. They can be quite destructive when moving around the tank, lashing plants and dislodging rocks with a swipe of their powerful tails.
Plecos will often eat the plants in the aquarium.
They grow up to 60 cm, need a pH around 7 and temperature 25'C.

Photo by Dusko Bojic