Most of the Loricariads eat the flatter sorts of stuck-on algae. Some eat driftwood and some are more carnivorous. I do not think any of them are really good at the hairy sorts of algae.
Among the best:
Bristlenose Pleco- Thrive in a wide range of water conditions, and are big enough for tanks from about 30 gallons on up (30 gallons as juveniles)
Rubbernose Pleco- A bit smaller than the BN.
Otocinclus- Smaller, more delicate. Thrive in soft, acidic water.
Common Pleco- Good algae eater when young. Actually several fish are sold under this name and the adults may reach 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) depending on species. Some will attack other fish, latching on and sucking the slime coat. They may do this for the protein; they seem to eat more high protein types of foods as they mature.
Peckoltias (there are quite a few available) are wood eaters, and do little against algae.
www.planetcatfish.com is a good resource for catfish info.
Chinese Algae Eater (not a catfish) is a good algae eater when young, but may need more protein as they mature. They get aggressive, and have also been caught in the act of sucking the slime coat off other fish.
Several unrelated fish are pretty good at the hairy sorts of algae.
American Flagfish. Can handle a wide range of conditions, but optimum is a cooler tank with hard water.
Siamese Algae Eater- Get too big for tanks under 30 gallons, and even a 30 only when they are young. They are related to the 'sharks' and may be attacked by Red Tailed Black Sharks, Flying Foxes and similar fish. SAE are usually peaceful enough among themselves, though.
Mollies (also eat Diatoms) Can be a bit pushy toward each other. Optimum water conditions: Warm, Hard, Alkaline water. Salt is optional.
Rosy Barbs: Social fish, cool water.
Happy fish keeping!
Brown Algae, Diatoms are easy for the fish to eat, and most do.
Mollies in a warm hard water tank, Otos in a small community of soft, acidic water, Bristlenose in many sorts of water, larger tanks...
Happy fish keeping!
NB: when the gobies were tiny (1-1.5cm), the (then a lot younger/smaller) modesta ate a lot of them. Some gobies are still that small but are now ignored by all.
Mahalo? If that means you're writing from Hawaii then stiphodon should be available in local streams. If so, please get/post photos. They're difficult to catch in a dip-net.... and a lot of fun.
Those nerites will help if they'll live in fresh water.
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