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Flourite / Algae Eating Sharks

I have been using Flourite for several months (5) and I have been very pleased with
the results.  I recently upgraded from a 20 high to a 55 and stuck with the
Flourite.  I looked around a bit for laterite/soils to use but the ease of the
Flourite coupled with my past experiences made me stick with it.

It looks great, something like if you were to take dark red, brown and black bricks
and smash them up into little pieces about 1-2 mm across.  I also use Jobe's plant
spikes in addition to the Flourite for larger root feeding plants.  Though I
haven't used much else (UGF, low tech kitty litter), the Flourite has been quite
nice to set-up, use and to replant with.  If other things work better, I wouldn't
want to use them, as the tank would take up more of my time to cut things back (at
least once every 2 weeks currently).

When replanting I get a small amount of stuff that will cloud up the water just
around the roots.  I might be fish poop, it might be clay from the Flourite, I
don't know.  It only lasts a few minutes and the water is as clear as ever.  I
haven't had any algae outbreaks that I would attribute to the Flourite (I would
attribute them to my ineptitude and novice tinkering)

Also, I have spotted an "Algae Eating Shark" at my LFS.  It looks similar to a red
tailed shark but is not quite as streamlined and dones't have the red fins.  It's
body is all black.  It has 2 small barbels.  They want 6.99 for the guy (they only
have 2).  Any ideas on what it is or what it eats.  The only algae that I have in
my tank is some BBA and some spot algae.  Do you think one or two of these guys
would help?  I also have 4 platys, 4 flagfish, 3 otos, 2 pl*cos (2") and 6 cherry
barbs in the 55 gallon.  Would they all be competing for the same algaes or would
he attack the other types that are not being eaten?

csferrel at eos_ncsu.edu