Re: algae eating fishes


The three fish you mention - 'Pterygoblichthys', Peckoltia, and Hypoptoma -
are all loricariid catfish and pretty similar in nature. My own experience
is that while loricariids are pretty good at eating algae from rocks or
glass, they are less good with plants. Typically, they ignore algae on very
fine leaves (like Ceratophyllum). When feeding on stiff leaves (like
Anubias) they can damage the outer layers of the leaf leading to gradual

This varies very much between species. Small mouthed species, like
Otocinclus and Rineloricaria are by and large harmless to plants, but
equally have a limited impact on rampant algae growth. More efficient
grazers, especially the larger plecs like Panaque, can be quite

All the larger plecs are, to a degree, omnivores, and may uproot plants
while burrowing for worms, etc. The smaller species, especially Otocinclus
and Farlowella are restricted to green algae.

With care, the smaller loricariids (I would suggest Peckolita and
Rineloricaria, which combine small size and durability) make a useful
contribution to tank cleaning. The bigger species, at least when adult,
need to be used with caution. Some authors reccommend combining small
loricariids with siamese algae eaters and mollies. The three sorts of fish
feed on different algae, and altogether cover most of the types likely to

All the best,



>From  Neale Monks' Macintosh PowerBook, at...

Department of Palaeontology, Natural History Museum, London, SW7 5BD
Internet: N.Monks at nhm_ac.uk, Telephone: 0171-938-9007