In order to maintain your
pet fish tank at an optimum level of health and sanitation for your pet
fish, you may want to hire an in-house maintenance crew.
Monthly Aquarium Discounts
Actually, this 24-hour maintenance crew is going to be a gang of
scavengers that will feed on algae (hence the name "algae eaters") and
on uneaten food at the bottom of the aquarium. Algae turns up in the
best of aquariums, by the way, and you may see green algae, red
other colors. Some of these scavengers can dwell peacefully in
community tanks without causing harm to the fish while some may eat or
attack smaller fish, so be sure that you only buy community friendly
scavengers. Why not add a few of these cleaning machines to your
aquarium's maintenance crew?
For those of you with a
Frankenstein complex, the algae in your tank is proof that your tank
can support life on its own. Unfortunately, however, most tanks are
plagued by more algae growth than is actually necessary. You guessed
it. This is where algae-eaters come in.
Chinese algae-eaters can easily scrape algae off of
flat surfaces. Once they become adults however, they will usually
become aggressive and attack fish even larger than themselves.
Therefore, they are ideal in your tank only when they are young. Trunk barb or flying fox eat algae as well as leftover
food in the tank. However, don't put them in a tank with a similar
species because as they become adults they become territorial and
aggressive. Catfish are also great algae-eaters and
are ideal community members. They are shy and peaceful fish.
Snails usually eat plants before they
eat algae, so if you have lots of plants in your tank snails may not be
such a great idea. Apple
algae but they may feed on sleeping fish! Snails also reproduce
quickly, so if you don't want your aquarium to be filled with them,
only put one in.
Sometimes live plants may
come with snail eggs, which will lead to an overabundance of snails in
your aquarium. To get rid of them, you may want to consider purchasing
snail-eating fish such as loaches. Loaches are also algae-eaters, so
they will continue to be useful after the snail invasion has been
cleaned up. You should avoid sucker loaches because they may nip at
other fish as they become adults.
Shrimp are also useful in maintaining
your tank. Algae multiplies if there are enough nutrients available,
such as leftover food at the tank. Bumble bee shrimp will feed on leftover food, but
you will have to provide them with additional food, as well. They are
very small (about an inch long) and relatively harmless. Ghost shrimp will eat fish food at the bottom
of the aquarium as well as algae. Unfortunately, they may also eat
smaller fish and will devour fresh fish food before your other fish
fish are ideal
scavengers, but may feed on smaller fish in your aquarium.
Crabs are some of the best
algae-eaters for saltwater aquariums. Hermit crabs eat algae and food at the bottom
of the tank. It's best to purchase crabs that don't grow larger than an
inch, larger crabs may attack and kill your prize fish. Emerald green crabs are small and relatively
harmless to other fish. Mithrax
crabs will eat
algae, especially bubble algae, and leftover food. Sally Lightfoot Crabs are peaceful even though they
appear otherwise, they eat bubble algae and hair algae.
These algae-eaters and
bottom-feeders help keep algae growth to a minimum and maintain the
cleanliness and water quality of your aquarium, which means you can
spend more time enjoying the beauty of your tank and less time cleaning
the aquarium in hopes of removing
Caring for Pet Fish