How To Choose The Best Algae Eaters Even For A Small Aquarium?

Do you have a large or small aquarium at home? Either way, I’m sure you know how to keep the tank free from algae, don’t you? The answer is simple; you just add algae eaters to the aquarium. But do you know how to choose the best algae eaters?

This is where I come into the picture. In my article, I have discussed the factors to take into consideration for selecting the living species that help in keeping the tank clean for you. These sea animals eliminate unwanted inhabitants present on the substrate, decorations, glass, and plants of the aquarium.

No matter how clean or small your aquarium is; algae growth is inevitable. And you might have to bring home some algae eaters to keep the mess under control.



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What You should Know

Building an aquarium is a popular hobby these days, isn’t it? As humans living on this planet, we’re all trying to balance our natural ecosystem. And algae eaters are a significant part of that unrefined environment we’re making an effort to replicate. (Significant health benefits of aquariums)

It’s like they have a personal goal to achieve, these algae eaters. Because when it comes to algae removal, they’re right there doing their part all the time. The quirky habits and looks of the species are quite appealing. Plus, these types of snails, shrimp, and fish make great additions to aquatic families.

But how to choose the best algae eaters? You understand that you need such a clean-up team in and for your tank, but you don’t know how to go about selecting the right kind.

Don’t just dismiss the issue due to the lack of knowledge. Keeping your aquarium naturally clean doesn’t require you to use harsh chemicals. And I’m sure you know how beneficial that is, don’t you?

In that case, let’s find out the correct answer.

Factors to Consider


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Before we delve into a topic like this, let’s answer a more fundamental question. What are algae eaters? Many pet fish owners have a very general or vague idea about the algae eating breed. More often than not, they associate algae eaters with just a few common species. But that’s not the case.

Algae eaters constitute a large group of invertebrates and fish. And each of them possesses specific needs as well as requirements based on the type of your tank. This means that you need to keep certain factors in mind before selecting the right kind of algae eaters for your aquarium.

The process demands you to consider the basics along with the more complicated conditions. So you don’t just measure the parameters of the water that fish tend to survive and thrive in. Other significant facets matter too, especially when it comes to your aquarium’s ecosystem and the other inhabitants.

1. Speed of the Current

Not many people know this, but some algae eater representative species prefer excessive water flow. But this doesn’t apply to all because the others find it slightly stressful to deal with. So check the speed of your tank’s current before deciding what type of algae eaters you want to add to it.

2. Aggression and Activity Levels of the Tank Mates


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When taking important factors into consideration, please don’t forget to keep your tank’s existing inhabitants in mind. Will they gel with the algae eater of your choice or will they end up making a meal out of it?

Buying the best algae eaters requires you to meet this criterion before you do anything else.

3. Levels of Oxygenation

Do you know the oxygenation levels of your aquarium? Not all algae eaters have the ability to live in the same ecosystem conditions. So you need to pick one that matches with the said oxygenation levels of your tank.

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4. Density of Hardscape/Foliage

Here’s another piece of information you might have to find out before adding an algae eater to the aquarium. You should know the answer to the following question. How will the density of hardscape/foliage of your current tank affect that particular algae eater?

Other Important Factors

Have you heard the phrase “Match Made in Heaven”? Well, that applies to the situation at hand. With algae eaters, it’s not only important but also necessary to create a perfect match. Failing to do so might end up costing the life of the algae eater.

The husbandry needs and personalities of the existing inhabitants of your tank have to pair up well with that of the algae eater. So don’t make any rash or frantic decisions. Get all the facts laid out in front of you before choosing the type of algae eating species you want to house in your tank.

But you should know that there’s no correct answer or approach here. A one-size-fits-all solution applies only to clothes and not fish.

But you might find some relief in knowing that the most common algae eating breed can survive within all types of water parameters. If you keep the aquarium water stable and clean, your only concern is focusing on the compatibility of the new and old tank inhabitants.

Before I conclude, let me make the process of how to choose the best algae eaters easier by giving you some names. Here’s the list:

  • Amano shrimp
  • Ramshorn snail
  • Nerite snail​
  • ​Twig catfish
  • Bristlenose plecos
  • ​Siamese algae eater
  • Malaysian trumpet snail​
  • ​Black molly
  • ​Otocinclus cat
  • Cherry shrimp
  • ​Ghost shrimp
  • ​Whiptail catfish
  • Golden nugget plecos
  • Rabbit snail

There are much more, but these are considered to be the most common.

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Freshwater aquarium requires you to house algae eaters, am I right? Certain types of snails, shrimp, and fish are fond of consuming dirt. But it’s important that you make a choice depending on the tank’s size and the different kinds of fish you already have. Failing to do so might result in the other fish dining on the algae eater.

So it’s a relief to know how to choose the best algae eaters, isn’t it?

Do you have any insightful tips to share with us here? Tell us about your aquarium and how you keep it clean?

Don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and comments in the section below. The more information we have, the easier the process of choosing the best algae eaters.

I hope you found the post useful. If yes, then feel free to share it and spread the word.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

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