Re: Questions about some algae eaters

>From: Liisa Sarakontu <lsarakon at hila_hut.fi>
>Date: Thu, 1 Jun 1995 19:58:36 +0300 (EET DST)
>Subject: Questions about some algae eaters
>Greetings from Finland. I just joined this list, and now I'm going to
>try to post here. Let's see how this works.
>Bristlenoses, Ancistrus spp.
>I have heard from the net and from my friends that they eat all the 
>plants, especially Swords. Again, I have three small Bristlenoses 
>and I have never found any holes in the leaves of my Sword plants.
>They eat Limnobium and Duckweed, but those are meant as fishfood anyway.
>What is the opinion of them here? Nice algae eaters or damned plants
>Liisa Sarakontu                     INTERNET:    lsarakon at hila_hut.fi
>Helsinki University of Technology   WWW homepage http://www.hut.fi/~lsarakon/

Hi Liisa,

After I discussed it with you a couple of months ago, I went out and bought
a Bristlenose.  But the shop I bought it from only had large ones, so mine
was almost 9 cm long (I have since then located another shop with smaller
bristlenoses).  The bristlenose did try to clean up my driftwood, which was
covered with red fuzzy algae, but he wasn't as effective as a Peckoltia
vittata I once had.  I think it was because he was too large to get into the
smaller crevices.  He also ate brown algae (I think it is what Baensch's
atlas called "gravel algae") off of my Amazon sword leaves.  But he left
holes all over the leaves and pretty much killed them.  I returned him last
weekend.  I now have a Peckoltia vittata and am thinking of adding another
one.  They don't seem to harm the plants, from past experience (but the ones
I have kept were all small, ~4cm.  I don't know how they would do when they
get bigger).

I wonder if the smaller bristlenoses I saw in the other shop belong to a
different species, or just younger ones that will eventually grow that big
also.  If they are a different species, perhaps they wouldn't do as much
damage, due to their smaller size.