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A few months ago I talked to someone that told me that Amano uses a ton of shrimp in the first few weeks of the tank set up. The number was at least 3 shrimp per gallon. I can't say if that is a fact or not. Just talked to someone that claimed they knew.

Without praising Amano, such an approach does seem a good idea for the first few weeks of the tank set up. It's more of a prevention measure until the plants start to grow well. There aren't any similar prevention steps that I know of that we, in the US, use.

As probably most of us here I too look for a bullet proof way to start and maintain a sparkling clean tank :D, so...

A few days ago I overstocked a newly set up 55 gal. tank with otos - a total of 20 otos and 15 cherry red shrimp. That isn't even near to the shrimp stocking level that I described above but it is pretty heavy.

I did notice a considerable reduction and thinning of the 3 sq. inches of very short hair algae that were growing on a rock. The few long strands of hair algae that I saw disappeared within a day.

It is hard for me to say if the otos/shrimp are helping with the long hair algae strands, but they definitely do help with the short ones.

(The tank has very much perfect water parameters (CO2=30, N/P=5/.25, heavy Fe/Traces/Ca addtions) and only 2 wpg of light. The Cladophora that is starting to appear in this tank seems to grow slower than usual.)

What do you think about overstocking the tank with the "cleaning crew" animals in the first few weeks until the plants take hold?

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