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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The current inhabitants of the tank are a pair of convicts who breed regularily (although I have an outlet for the fry, so none remain for more than a month) and a pair of nics who have not yet spawned. I had a common pleco in the tank until about 6 months ago but he was constantly harrassed by the cons and took quite a beating, so I gave him away.
The algae that I have is that brown stuff (diatoms?).
Any suggestions for an algae eater that the cons will leave alone? I don't want anything too big, and I don't think an aggressive algae eater would be suitable for my tank... my male con is a brute. Is there a type of algae-eating snail that would be ignored? Or a small algae eater that the cons wouldn't see as a threat?
 

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If he's a brute then I doubt anything less aggressive will stand a chance, especially if he pestered a pleco enough to be forced to rehome him.

I'd look into magfloat glass scrapers, algaefix or other chemical treatment, then maybe a more extreme suggestion of a uv sterilizer.
 

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You said that you're not looking for an aggressive guy, but I have a Chinese algae eater in my 20 with a very young breeding pair of cons. He's lasted pretty long, but not a minute goes by that my male con doesn't chase him or bite his fins. The only time he gets cover is when I shut the lights off.

Before I introduced my female, my algae eater locked horns quite often with my male con, and sometimes he put a scare into the con.

I'm not sure if there exists an algae eater that you can safely place in the tank with a breeding pair of cons, and expect it to thrive.
 

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The real problem that you have is "breeding pair." ANY actively breeding pair will see any scavenger as a threat to eggs/fry, and they will try to eliminate the threat. It's unlikely that they will leave anything alone.
 

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oldcatfish said:
The real problem that you have is "breeding pair." ANY actively breeding pair will see any scavenger as a threat to eggs/fry, and they will try to eliminate the threat. It's unlikely that they will leave anything alone.
+1
I don't keep bottom feeders in with breeding pairs because once the lights go out the eggs might be a snack. Plus the pair will waste my hard earned money on algae eaters and then I'm left scrubbing the algae. Try keep the lights on to a min and phosphate removers do wonders on algae.
 

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Get Zebra Nerites (snails). 1 per 10g. Great job on brown algae. They dont reproduce in tank so wont infest it. Best algae eater I have tried and fish ignore it.

Mystery snail are the same I believe.

...Bill
 

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Elijah said:
You said that you're not looking for an aggressive guy, but I have a Chinese algae eater in my 20 with a very young breeding pair of cons. He's lasted pretty long, but not a minute goes by that my male con doesn't chase him or bite his fins. The only time he gets cover is when I shut the lights off.

Before I introduced my female, my algae eater locked horns quite often with my male con, and sometimes he put a scare into the con.

I'm not sure if there exists an algae eater that you can safely place in the tank with a breeding pair of cons, and expect it to thrive.
I would never recomend CAE. They only eat algae at a young age (they don't even do a good job) and get get bigger then cons and get really aggressive. When the lights go out and those cons are a sleep the CAE may be sucking the con's slime coat. Eventually this will weaken the cons and they will die from that or just the CAE's aggression. CAE name is very missleading. Just look it up online or pick up any fish mag. I read something on this in Tropical Fish magazine.
I would recomend plecos, but most would eat the eggs while the fish are sleeping. Some plecos are 100% veggatarian so maybe look into something like that. I know common plecos will eat eggs, and get really big.
Snails might be the best option here IMO.
 

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phishes said:
I would never recomend CAE. They only eat algae at a young age (they don't even do a good job) and get get bigger then cons and get really aggressive. When the lights go out and those cons are a sleep the CAE may be sucking the con's slime coat. Eventually this will weaken the cons and they will die from that or just the CAE's aggression. CAE name is very missleading. Just look it up online or pick up any fish mag. I read something on this in Tropical Fish magazine.
I would recomend plecos, but most would eat the eggs while the fish are sleeping. Some plecos are 100% veggatarian so maybe look into something like that. I know common plecos will eat eggs, and get really big.
Snails might be the best option here IMO.
You're absolutely correct, they do get bigger then cons, but I have never seen one in any LFS or any aquarium more then 3 inches, plus they are super slow growers; unless fed a diet consisting of algae. The cons will most definitely pass the CAE in growth. I have a hard time picturing the CAE going within 6 inches of the cons' nest, and whenever he's anywhere near it, he's chased away viscously; if he did get close enough to suck their slime coat, he'd be done for. Murdered. Body bagged. Killed. Instantly.

But you're right, I don't put my stamp of approval on these guys, that is, unless you house it with bigger, more aggressive fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the replies. The most promising seems to be the zebra nerites or possibly mystery snails (thanks MonteSS). I'm using two HOB filters so there isn't any worries of snails clogging up an overflow, and I believe a local guy is selling off a bunch of his mystery snails right now. Does anybody else have experience with either of these two snails?
 

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do snails eat fish eggs? or is it just plecos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ClearMud said:
do snails eat fish eggs? or is it just plecos.
Good question, I'm curious to know the answer. But in my case losing fry isn't an issue... the survivors get fed to my crawfish.
 

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ClearMud said:
do snails eat fish eggs? or is it just plecos.
I think apple snails might eat eggs, any other snail would be fine. I know trumpet snails are good. Not sure on plecos. bristle nose plecos are supposed to be good for eating algae, but not sure how they would be with eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...bristle nose plecos are supposed to be good for eating algae, but not sure how they would be with eggs.
My cons won't tolerate a pleco unfortunately. Otherwise a bristlenose would be perfect.
 

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my question was at night and i say that just to make sure these answers are right. :D
so if they are right no to apple snails.(aren't they also known as mystery snails too)
 

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Got to give my 2 cents on algae eaters for a cichlid tank. Common plec and CAE are excellent algae eaters and bottom feeders for a cichlid tank. They perfoem a very usefull role!!

Either/and/or depending on which cichlids, particular situation and size of tank. Common plec gets pretty big (usually 12" or more) so is really only practical for 75 gal. tanks or larger. There is more then one species considered a "common plec", and some may get even larger yet.

Here's my common plec after 6 years of owning him/her. Measured at 13 1/8" and 207 grams:




This is pretty much the size any of my common plecs have gottin' in the past. Though i beleive there are different types that can get even larger. But the types i have had have beeen like this one.

At 207 grams they are no more of a bio-load on a tank then any 207 gram fish could ever be :D And that is a FACT! When they pooh a lot, it's almost always green, because they are eating algae----it's already in the system! Some one explain to me how it is adding to the bio-load whan what they are eating is already in the system???

A common plec is a a very effective bottom feeder. I have all bare bottom tanks. I see the particles that large cichlds and piranahs will not eat, even if they have not been fed for 3 weeks. A pleco will eat it all, no matter what kind of food, and perform a very usefull role eating food that will produce toxins if not consumed.

I like algae. But if you have tanks with out an algae eater, and lights on 12 hours a day or more to promote it's growth, eventually, algae unchecked will start to dye off and and produce organic waste. When i have tanks with out an algae eater, even though they are bare bottom and i'm doing over 80% water change once a week, they still get very 'dirty'. An algae eater makes a lot of sense to keep algae in check so that the old layers do not dye off and make the tank 'dirty'. I've had tanks side by side--one with a common plec and one with out----and it's way easier to keep clean with the plec in the tank! :D
 

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If any fish ever got a bad rap, undeserved, CAE has got to be the best candidate.A very active and effective bottom feeder and algae eater. The main draw back of a CAE in a cichlid tank is their small girth----they get swallowd easily. That is the fate of most of my CAE's. I've had a few recently that were starting to get some size, but I should not have put them in a tank with jewels or salvinis. Some I had got quite large in the past but got swallowed by RD or JD.

Sure they can be aggressive. They chase and hit with their head. Never, ever seen one suck on a fish, though i supose they would on weak, sick or very unagressive fish. Seen black sharks suck on a fish a number of times; seen big plecos suck on fish on a few occasions----those were aggressive actions in the midst of a fight. CAE, like plecos, hit with their head when defending themselves, and they will chase subordinate fish, though seldom will they be very dominant in a cichlid tank ( unless your talking about young juveniles).

I have a CAE in my 180 gal. right now. Nothing in this tank is going to eat them (convict, Black belt, bumblebee, blue gourami, angelfish, pleco). We'll see how big it gets. I dont think they get near the size of a male convict. A little longer , sure. I have seen some in tanks with Veija that had really big CAE , but they were probably no more then 7". Here's was my male cons at 6" and 105 grams. A CAE is a smaller fish then a convict as i sinscerely doubt a CAE would ever get more then 50-60grams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the input. To be honest I had written off CAE before knowing much about them due to their bad rep. I'll have to check them out a bit more. bernie comeau, do you think a CAE would stand a chance in a tank where I removed a 6" common pleco because of aggression issues? I think the aggression to the pleco was because he stood up for himself and squabbled with the cons instead of taking the hint and leaving the area... I don't know how the CAE would react when harrassed.
As for the common pleco, I agree that they are very effective algae eaters (at least up until 6", I haven't kept one long term yet). I wasn't aware of the great job he was doing until I got rid of him and the algae started cropping up. Unfortunately he was getting beat down and was pretty stressed out so I rehomed him. For this tank I'll avoid plecos, but in the future I'd give them another try... though I'd probably go for the increasingly popular bristlenose next time.
 

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duds said:
do you think a CAE would stand a chance in a tank where I removed a 6" common pleco because of aggression issues?
I think it's worth a try. A CAE is much smaller so it should be better able to hide and stay out of the convict's way when it needs to. And they are definately not as stubborn as a pleco can be.

Of course it depends on the size of the tank (?). As well, what the other tankmates are? If it is the only other fish in the tank besides the convicts, it may receive too much attention. Introduction can be tricky----you may have to try a couple or a few and re-home extras, should they survive.

Had bristle nose plecos in the past as well. Good algae eater and bottom feeder, but not nearly as sturdy as a common plec----so not always practical in tanks with large aggressive cichlids.
 
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