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Bristling with Excitement

You know how you try to do everything right without get neurotic about
it?  You check and double check, you wait and retry . . .

Well I had this nagging algae problem in my big tank.  SAEs, otos,
cleaning, pruning, and then regular nutrient tests and dosing, and
major water changes (Thanks Tom, these last 3 got me 95% of the way
there).  But still this nagging problem of algae build up on older
leaves, especially anubias.

Then my lfs finally got in bushynose plecos (a.k.a. bristlenose pleco,
bushynose cat,bristlenose cat, etc.).  Extraordinary difference!  A
little of these goes a long way, even scrubbing the anubias.  They
might get a bit aggressive with the anubias now and then (or so I've
heard) but the barbs chew up a few leaves now and then anyway.  I don't
mind the natural appearance of a few bitten leaves.

These industrious crepuscular cats have even scrubbed the leaves of
rorripa without uprooting the plants or damaging leaves, plants which
seem to knock loose from the substrate very easily.

I'm still waiting for the cons to show up -- uprooted plants, holey
amazons (not to be confused with saintly swords).  But I'll bet I'll be
glad to accept few holes in a leaf instead of a coating of algae.

My oldest daughter named the one in her tank Agnes, because I had
called it "Angus," it being a dedicated grazer.

I might have a Frankensteinian situation -- it looks good now but will
soon go out of control  (for you younger readers, think "Little Shop of
Horrors").  When all the algae is gone, will they eat me out of tank
and home?  I'm shopping zucchini futures just in case :-)

Now, if they only came small enough to fit in a 15 gallon tank.

Scott H.
who lost power for several hours two nights ago along with a quarter
million other folks in NJ and the tanks didn't seem to mind at all.

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