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Re: algae eating critters

> I am enjoying my first planted tank and would like some advice. Do you
> generally consider algae eating critters like amano shrimp, sae, otocinclus,
> snails, etc., as necessary to control algae in a well managed tank?  Or are
> they just a backup crew in case something goes wrong?
> Denise

Yes and no.
It will help in almost all cases but folks tend to expect a great deal from
these poor critters.
It's just one component of several that make for a well run tank.
Your second question is more the goal but the first is often what many folks

Basic plan: do everything you can to beat algae.

How: grow the plants.

Maintain the tank weekly, dose nutrients every 2-3 days or less depending on
light intensity, prune, scrub off all/any algae on leaves, equipment etc.
If you take care of the CO2 well, the nutrients well and also do regular
pruning and maintenance, you don't need algae eaters even.
I don't have any except for a few snails but no algae.

Adding Am,ano shrimps in high numbers will remove most all attached algae.
Daphnia eats Green water quite well but fish eat the Daphnia.
SAE's are good for algae that attached to the leaf margins/edges and young
BBA algae. Barbs, flagfish etc eat anything fuzzy or furry looking. Otto
cats are good for Diatoms. Snails are good and no one cares if they die, and
they are easy to bred in large numbers. They are very good at cleaning fine
needled plants.

Having a good sized crew is a nice back up in case you neglect the
tank........which BTW _everyone_ does.  It'll make many aspects of getting
rid of algae easier on you, better the Amano shrimp attacking the algae than

I spend maybe 1-2 hours max on a tank a week total. Includes water changes
pruning etc.

Tom Barr