Re: Algae-eating fish
This is in regards to Claudio Dioguardi's original post about the
usefulness of the loricariids from the genera Glyptoperichthys, Peckoltia,
and Hypoptopoma as algae eaters. Pterygoplichthys is no longer a valid
genus and its members now belong to Glyptoperichthys. There are numerous
fish being sold under the trade name G. gibbiceps that are, quite likely,
more than half a dozen valid spp. (e.g. L 23, L 83a, L 83b, L83c, L 165, L
196). This may explain why David Whittaker's fish has never eaten his
plants, but the G. gibbiceps that I have kept always decimate plants. The
other problem, as David mentioned, is the this fish grows too large for
the planted tank.
Peckoltia spp. are also not very useful as algae eaters. These
fish come from fast flowing streams and prefer to hide rather than get out
and "graze" the tank. They also are far more attracted to "meaty foods"
than algae and will only eat algae when they are really hungry.
Hypoptopoma, which are not very common in the trade, are perhaps
the best choice for algae control. They eat algae like Otocinclus spp.,
but get a little larger and thus do a better job (plus they can be kept
with tankmates that might think of ottos as snacks).
You are on the right track. The best way to keep algae
under control with fish is to have a diverse group of algae eaters that
will prey on whatever tries to grow in your tank.