Best Plecos & Algae Eaters for Small Freshwater Aquariums

Although relatively small, these catfish species are amazing algae eaters
Photo provided by Flickr
9. Common Plecos
Common Plecos are a mix of Loricariidae suckermouth catfish species (Hypostomus spp., Liposarcus spp.) which grow to sizes typically between 30 and 60 cm, so they are an option only for very large tanks (300 liters and up), with other large fish. Most of them have a large tolerance range for pH and temperature. Include some driftwood for them to use as a resting place and retreat. They are nocturnal so it is usually best to feed them at night time. They are omnivorous and do eat algae, but also accept small live or frozen foods, green foods such as lettuce and peas, cucumbers, plus vegetable-based flake foods. As they grow they begin requiring a serious amount of daily food, more than most tanks can provide with just algae. They are oportunistic feeders and will happily eat a live fish if it lies in their way and fits into their mouth. Also, starving specimens have been known to latch onto the sides of larger fish to try to eat their skin mucus. They can be quite destructive when moving around the tank, releasing plants and dislodging rocks with their head-butts or a swipe of their powerful tails. Plecos will often eat the plants in the aquarium as well. More info about can be found in the Gallery section.
They like to nibble on the algae that grows on floating plants, but are not a specialized algae-eating catfish
Photo provided by Flickr
5. Bristlenose Plecos
One of the most popular and readily available algae eaters, they belong to a group of suckermouth catfish species (Ancistrus spp.) that often have curious growths around their head/nose and grow to 10-15 cm. They need constant supply of green foods. It is good to feed them with blanched vegetables and sinking algae tablets. Live plants are not beneficial. Even though, in general, they will not harm plants, it's been known that in case of insufficient green foods they will eat Amazon swords and other softer leaved plants. These fish are nocturnal and need shelters and dark substrate to feel safe. Bristlenose plecos are known to be peaceful and compatible with many fish except the predatory ones. The water should be well oxygenated with a moderate current. More info about can be found in the Gallery section. Jump to What's Your Algae Eater Of Choice? - Amano Shrimp. The Amano shrimp is a very popular and active algae-eating species. Ramshorn Snails. Ramshorn snails reach sizes up to 2 centimeters and have a brown or red coloring. Nerite Snails. Twig Catfish. Bristlenose Plecos. Siamese Algae Eater. Malaysian Trumpet Snail.
Photo provided by FlickrMar 2, 2016 - As well as the most common types of algae you will find in a home aquarium, ..
Photo provided by FlickrSep 13, 2016 - These are algae eater fish and spineless species which are rather available ..
Photo provided by Flickr
U.S. Habitat: Loricariids can be found in most freshwater habitats in tropical Costa Rica, Panama, and South America, but many species have small natural ranges. They can also be found in some brackish water habitats. Most loricariids are nocturnal. Armored catfish eat algae, invertebrates, and detritus however, there is one genus, Panaque, that is known for eating wood.These fish also don’t do well when there are big changes in the consistency of the water so be careful to keep the water at the same parameters when housing the Twig Catfish. As a base line, the Twig Catfish should be in a tank that is at least 70 liters in size. The question of “what fish eat algae?”, especially the number one choice, is best answered by saying that the Twig Catfish is your number one option. Catfish are one of the most well-known and appreciated algae eaters in ponds, rivers, and tributaries throughout many regions. The catfish comes in a variety of species. The most identifiable characteristic is the long whisker-like tendrils that extend from its front facial area. The catfish is an efficient algae eater and tends to avoid other fish. Occasionally, however, this species may tend to be a bit aggressive. When algae run low, some catfish, namely channel catfish, will look to prey on smaller species.The Siamese Algae Eater is a freshwater fish on the carp family, that originates from mainland southeast Asia. Several similar species are sold in the aquarium trade as Siamese Algae Eater, particularly the red algae eater which is the perfect algae eating fish if you don’t like the look of Catfish.