Aquarium Attendants – Fish, Shrimps, Snails, Fighting Algae

A clean and well-kept aquarium is not only beauty, but also a guarantee of a long and healthy life for its inhabitants. But sometimes, contrary to the efforts of the owner and even the work of high-tech equipment, home pond is covered from the inside with brown or dark green bloom, brushes, fringe or threads. This is algae. If this problem overtook you, then do not rush to grab at once for chemicals. Try to accommodate algae, for which eating such a "garbage". is one of the natural physiological processes. For information on what the orderlies aquarium known and against which algae they are most effective, read our article.

Algae fighting fish

Most often in lovers’ aquariums there are these “workers of cleanliness”

Especially good "cleaners" are considered

  • pterigoplicht (brocade catfish),
  • Ancistrus ordinary,
  • and otozinclus (dwarf catfish), preferring diatoms.

With their suction cup, they thoroughly clean everything (bacterial film, algae fouling, other organic pollutants), starting from the walls of the aquarium, soil, stones and ending with snags and large leaves of plants. At the same time, they themselves are rather unpretentious, which is a definite plus.

  • For example, an adult pterigoplicht can grow up to 40-45 cm and begin to behave aggressively towards other inhabitants.
  • Sometimes somas, overly keen on cleaning, damage young tender tops of plants or make holes in young leaves.
  • And some individuals with age begin to be lazy and poorly perform their "duties".

Dwarf catfish. seaweed from the family of chain catfish best of all cope with brown diatoms. A flock of five fish can easily keep a clean tank of 100 liters. The "dwarf" is unpretentious, peaceful, able to get along even with large predators.

The amphibious catfish corridor is also quite good in terms of harvesting, only it is very disturbed by the water and inclined to devour other fish.

But the "janitor", which can be found less often, but this does not make it worse: Panak royal, belonging to the family of chainmail catfish. Large fish, which will need a 200-liter (not less) aquarium. Young individuals are calm, but with age their character deteriorates noticeably. Perfectly get on with peaceful haratsinovye. Best of all, Panak cleans snags.


This family combines only three types of fish, the most popular of which are the girinoheylus.

Their lips look like a sucker with folds on the inside. These bends form a sort of "grater".

Thanks to this design, fish can be kept on stones even with a strong current, while at the same time scraping off algae from their surface.

Aquarium Attendants. Fish, Shrimps, Snails, Fighting Algae

This food is not very nutritious, so it is necessary to scrub girinoheylus very much.

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Negative points include

  • damage to the leaves, which after the "cleaning" may remain grooves and holes;
  • A small number of fish is not enough to maintain cleanliness in the aquarium;
  • in large numbers, they are aggressive and constantly attack their own kind, as they are territorial.

It is very difficult to achieve peace among them. Neighbors should also be selected carefully, it is absolutely impossible to take sluggish fish.

Aquarium Attendants. Fish, Shrimps, Snails, Fighting Algae


Very many of them have a well-developed lower jaw, which resembles a scraper, which easily removes plaque from walls, soil and plants.

The most popular vivipars are guppies, mollies, petilles, and swordsmen. Some breeders claim that these fish can survive even without additional feed, eating only green fiber.

The disadvantages of this group include the fact that they need to be kept in a large flock (at least 10 pieces), but even in such quantities they will not provide complete order in the aquarium. They are good only as assistants to other algae.


The most tireless fighter against algae from this family is the Siamese seaweed (he is crosshale, Siamese, or crossochelius, Siamese, or Siamese epalceorinch).

His horse is green algae and the so-called "Vietnamese" or "black beard" (these are growths in the form of dark tassels on stones, leaves of plants and other places).

It also copes well with other algae in the form of a gun, since its mouth is most suitable for this. For a 100-liter aquarium to be perfectly clean, it’s enough to have just two (even the smallest) Siamese sea-eaters.

The advantages of these fish are also activity, mobility, a rather peaceful disposition, a small amount of vessels for a normal existence and modest care.

Not without flaws. After the length of the fish will be more than 4 centimeters, they can begin to eat Javanese moss, if that grows in the aquarium, and much more willing than algae.

Another pair of sweepers from this family is Labe two-color (bicolor) and green (Frenatus). Their mouthparts are facing down. Algae and fouling they, of course, eat, but not as good as the previous ones. It is rather their hobby, so to speak. Their big minus is increased aggression and territoriality in relation to both other fish and their own kind.

Seaweed Shrimp

These arthropods are deservedly called champions of purity. Freshwater shrimps are especially good, their bodies are equipped with special “fans”.

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These outgrowths filter the water and extract uneaten food, feces, plant particles and what is left of the dead inhabitants. Males loosen the ground and filter the dregs, which at the same time rose. Females remove dirt from the bottom surface.

In addition to filtering water, these creatures remove fleecy algae from the leaves of plants and all other surfaces, and much more successfully than fish.

  • a small shrimp can handle only a small amount of work;
  • so that the aquarium is really clean, it will take a lot of shrimp (one individual per liter);
  • they are very defenseless and can be eaten by fish, as a result of which neighbors should be chosen very carefully, plus a lot of reliable shelters should be created.

In addition to cherry, not bad are struggling with algae shrimp amano. Perfectly keep clean Kladorf balls, eat thread.

Important! The effectiveness of "work" is affected by their size. The larger the shrimp, the tighter the strings of algae it can eat. Four centimeter arthropods are considered the best.

Enough 5 such pieces per 200 liters. Three centimeters will need 1 individual for every 10 liters of water. Small need more (1-2 for each liter). The last option is the most unproductive and most expensive. It is also worth noting that these shrimps do not eat xenococcus and other green algae in the form of bloom. Black beard is also used reluctantly.

Another view is the neocaridins. They are most common among amateurs, as they are very easy to breed. They are small, only 1-2 cm in length, so many “combat units” will be required (one individual per liter). Preference is given to soft filamentous algae of the Rhizoclinium type. Neocaridins are the best choice for plant aquariums. They are irreplaceable in the newly launched aquarium, as they help to establish balance. In the mature balance is maintained.

Algae-fighting snails

Although mollusks are not so successful in the role of orderlies, their strength is the ability to consume almost all the pollution (remaining food, excrement of living and the remains of dead inhabitants, rotted plants, mucus and deposits on all surfaces, film from the surface of the water).

And the well-being and behavior of some species is a kind of indicator of the purity of the soil and water.

The bad thing is that the number of snails is almost impossible to control, and they multiply very quickly.

Here are some snail cleaners most often found in home aquariums:

Neretina Zebra (tiger snail), neretina hedgehog, neretina black ear. They remove plaque from glasses, stones, snags, decor, and large leaves without damaging them. It seems that they never get tired. The minus is left on the aquarium glass unaesthetic caviar clutches.

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Neretina horned. This baby (1-1.5 cm) is able to crawl into the most inaccessible places and clean them to shine. Copes with diatoms.

Septaria or snail-turtle with a flat shell. It is very slow, but despite this it copes well with algal fouling and Vietnamese. Plants do not hurt. The lack of characteristic. caviar, hung on the scenery.

Corbicula. This is a three centimeter snail. It is also called yellow Javanese sharovka or gold double leaflet. Helps to cope with turbidity of water, suspension and flowering, as it is a filter. This means that the mollusk passes water through itself (up to 5 liters per hour!), Eating the microorganisms contained in it. Interestingly, in carbicula aquariums, fish do not suffer from ichthyophorosis, as they somehow retain their cysts. On an aquarium of 100 l it is necessary from 1 to 3 such snails. The negative aspects include plowing up the soil and digging up plants with weak roots.

Ampullary. Quite a large lungfish. Picks up the remnants of food, dead fish and other snails, actively eats fouling from the walls of the aquarium.

Helena, called the killer snail. This miniature predator is considered to be a scavenger. However, it is able to eat not only a forgotten piece of food or a dead fish, but also a quite lively small shrimp or snail (for example, a reel or melee).

Theodoxus. These are small beautiful freshwater snails. There are several types. Can live in both freshwater and salt home water bodies. They feed only on fouling, preferring brown and green algae. They even compete with the guerrhoehyluses for primacy in the effectiveness of the struggle against the xenocus focus. But the "beard" do not like. Plants do not spoil.

In conclusion, we say that the aquarium biosystem can successfully exist only with the help of humans. Proper selection and adjustment of equipment and lighting, proper start-up of an aquarium, and regular monitoring of water parameters and the condition of inhabitants are very important. Fish, shrimps and snails are helpers in solving the problem of algae control, not the main characters. Of course, here we only briefly described only some of the representatives of aquarium nurses, since in one article it is impossible to tell about all the details. We will be grateful for interesting additions.

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