Top 12 Most Effective Algae Eaters For Freshwater Aquarium

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algae eating fish
Algae eaters

Read this article to learn how to choose a new clean-up crew for your tank. Because of how important these fish are to your aquarium, it is essential that you learn how they can naturally clean up your system so you can stay away from harsh chemicals. Let us know what we missed in the comments below.

Due to their expertise in algae removal coupled with their quirky looks and habits, they are glorious additions to your aquatic family. From fish, to shrimp, to snails; we will cover our favorites for eating algae in your tank.

Algae eaters have long been an integral part of the aquarium-keeping hobby for balancing the natural ecosystem we are all trying to replicate.

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What are the Best Algae Eaters ?

1.Bristlenose Plecostomus (Bristlenose plecos)

Bristlenose plecos
Bristlenose Plecostomus

Bristlenose plecos are a great addition to most aquariums, They’re also commonly available in different color varieties, namely gold or albino. This particular pleco algae-eater will do well in aquariums that have driftwood and plenty of hiding spots on top of their impressive algae-eating abilities, they’re capable of being quite the conversation starter. Males develop large whiskery growths on their faces, something that seems appropriate for an aquatic janitor.
This means that they can be quite the dramatic addition to an aquarium.. These weird little guys only grow to be around 4in long, allowing them to fit into most medium-sized community aquariums. This makes them a valuable alternative to the very common “Sucker Fish” (Hypostomus Plecostomus) that grows to almost two feet long.

2. Siamese Algae Eater

algae eater
Siamese Algae eater

Siamese algae eaters Not only eat some of the least appetizing forms of algae, they’ll also help control flatworm populations and eat leftover detritus in the aquarium. Siamese algae eaters are the algae-eating powerhouses of the fish keeping world.
Their generally peaceful nature and ability to eat and control a wide range of algae (including the dreaded Black Beard algae) makes them an asset to almost any aquarium. These guys are particularly ravenous. . They also do extremely well in planted aquariums because they’re not known to typically damage the plants when grazing for algae.


3. Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus are the smallest species in this article, only getting up to 1.5 in or so. These algae-eating catfish are one of the best species in the trade, hands-down. These guys do best in groups are doing remarkably well in planted aquariums. This and their very calm demeanor make them perfect for most community tanks. They will not harm the plants and are particularly good at removing brown algae and general new algae growth before it gets a chance to take hold in the tank

4. Chinese Algae Eater

algae eater
Chinese algae eater

Although Chinese algae eaters can be docile enough to be kept in a community tank when they’re adolescents, they become much more aggressive as they age. This obviously means that they shouldn’t be kept in community tanks, but this might actually be an advantage for some fish-keepers.
Chinese algae eaters have been around the aquarium trade for a while. Though they aren’t necessarily the best algae-eaters available, they do offer something that our previously mentioned species don’t.
These particular suckerfish get on the larger side (in terms of the fish presented here today), reaching about 10in or so. Their large size and agility make them one of the few algae-eaters that can survive with larger semi-aggressive fish or in certain African cichlid tank setups.

5. Amano Shrimp

Amano Algae Eater
Best Algae Eating Shrimp

Amano shrimp are the best algae-eating shrimp species.

Their larger size (2in) makes them better able to defend themselves in community tanks, setting them apart from the Cherry shrimp. This species is great at eating various types of soft algae as well as decaying plant matter and some leftover fish food.



6. Live Bearers

algae eaters
live bearers

A lot of community tanks feature these fellows already because of their ability to rapidly reproduce. Fortunately, these fish are also helpful in taking care of hair algae.

Some of the best live bearers are Mollies, platys, and guppies are readily available within the aquarium trade.




7. Nerite Snail

"<yoastmarkNerite snails are in high-demand within the pet trade.
This Snails are Herbivorous in feeding habit. Food content:Nerite Snail eats phytoplankton, especially algae, Cyanobacteria, Diatoms, Film Algae and vegetable bits. Supplement the food of Nerite Snail with the small bits or the flakes of cucumber, blanched spinach and lettuce, and corgette.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns and, unlike most other snails, will not breed in the aquarium. Nerites are intense algae grazers, willing to eat almost any type of algae while not harming any live plants within the aquarium

8. Rams Horn Snail

Rams horn snails (Planorbis rubrum) are good for any freshwater tank. Red rams horn snails feed on algae and feed leftovers which are dangerous for fishes health. Also, these snails server as some special indicator of a tank water quality.

Rams horn snails generally will eat only the most delicate plants, preferring algae,uneaten fish food, and dead fish. Some varieties do particularly enjoy eating the leaves of stem plants such as cobomba and anacharis.

9. Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Trumpet Snail
Trumpet Snail

Malaysian trumpet snail for eating algae and removing algae from aquarium. These snails are prized for their tendency to scavenge for food underneath aquarium substrate.Their drive to look for food underneath the substrate effectively makes them plow the soil, so to speak, aerating it for live plants. They are detrivores and will eat plant and protein matter found underneath the substrate while also coming out to eat soft algae.

The only drawback is that this species of snail will very quickly and rapidly breed within the aquarium if food is abundant.

10. Cherry Shrimp

red cherry shrimp
Cherry shrimp

These little aquatic rubies are one of the most popular ornamental shrimp species widely available.

They’re pretty hardy if their water conditions are kept stable and will easily breed within the aquarium. Cherry shrimp are great at eating different types of hair algae and will also eat leftover fish food. They come in a variety of colors (though a bright red is the most common) and make beautiful tank mates if kept with smaller fish that won’t hunt them.

11. Whiptail catfish

wig tail catfish
wiphtail catfish

Whiptail catfish are one of the best catfish algae-eaters in the hobby and are slowly becoming more and more available. They readily accept a variety of foods and quickly clear a tank of any green algae. However, out of all the algae-eating fish discussed in this article, this particular species requires the most care.

They need to be in an aquarium that has high oxygen levels and a bit of a current, not to mention pristine water-quality. And, because of their shy nature, they must be kept with accommodating species that won’t out-compete them for food. Assuming your aquarium meets these requirements, a Whiptail catfish would make an interesting and useful addition to your tank

12. Mystery snail


Mystery snail, a smaller species of Apple snail, are a very popular snail that can be found at almost any local fish store. These snails are true detrivores and will helpfully eat different types of algae, decaying plant matter, and leftover fish food. This snails are one of the larger snail species in this article, but they still only top out at around 2 in, making them a sure bet for smaller community tanks as well as larger ones.



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