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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank has been yellow for a while. Initially I thought it was just from tannins and iron dosing, but when I did a water change I noticed the glass covered in white and brown gunk that doesn't want to come off. The plants have been covered as well and I usually scrape it off the leaves now and then.

Are there any snails that particularly like this kind of algae gunk? I want to get rid of it as naturally as possible and don't want to overcrowd the tank with big sucker fish (or have them destroy my plants).

Tank size 29g
natural dirt tank (only dose iron for the white hygros )
a few pond snails (number growing every few days)
2 rams horns (soon to be more since they are mating as I type)
a bunch of egeria elodia
a bunch of difformis
a bunch of hygro
java fern
anubias
floating ludwgia of some sort (growing surprisingly well an inch or two under my finnex planted+)

mollies, platys, swordies, and guppies in future

Thanks for the help!

pandragon
 

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Otocinculus will gobble this stuff.

Is it a new tank? Not atypical for a new set up.

High silicates will cause it.

Is your filtration working?
 

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Ditto on the otos. They'll clean it up and thank you for it; but don't put them in if it's a new tank. They are fragile little suckers.

Low PAR from a non-plant light will cause it too. My crawfish's tank is always sporting this stuff, and I can't put anything in with him to eat it. He loves snails, and I imagine an oto wouldn't stand a chance with him.
 

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A true siamen algea eater will love it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is a plant light, is growing hygros and everything well. The tank has been up for a few weeks or so after having to tear it down and redo the substrate from to much Ca (ph 8.5 and climbing over time). Everything is stable after the redo at 7.5 ph, kh 6.0-.25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, nitrate dropped from 5ppm to 0 and holding at 0. The snails are happy. I think I got the algae stuff from the egeria and ludwigia i found in a shallow cove of a nearby river (also where I found the snails). Maybe its not diatoms but some kind of true algae. I don't know, it is a bunch of brownish, yellowish mixed with a touch of green stuff that is dry and insanely hard to scrape off the glass, oh and there is the brown stuff all over the egeria leaves that comes off a little easier, but it is spreading to the other plants. I have a HOB filter with a thick sponge/floss thing in it for particles, no charcoal or anything like that.

I thought ottos got pretty big? If I had a 50+g tank I would feel more comfortable getting some algae eater fish, but with my 29 tall, I am worried about overloading it especially after I get livebearers which like to breed. I can take pics if you think it will help.
 

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Otos is very small algea eater. Mine always stay at 1-1.5in max. For 29gal, you can do a schooling of them around 5-10 and it's still fine
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I must be confusing plecos with ottos, or some of the other cats. Thanks junglefowl! I'll get a few of them after my quarantine tank is set up and cycled. are the ottos at Petsmart ok to use, or do they just die?
 

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I got 10 of the otos at Petsmart in my area before and they are still doing fine in my tank...probably 3-4 months ago. But I bet it's still depend on location and the management. Some stores take good care than the others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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That's it! The otos is a very peaceful fish. You can see them just working on the algea on the glass, plants or driftwood and never bother the others...even shrimps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks tugg, get the one with the stripe down the middle not the spots, sounds easy enough. I hope to have qt set up and cycled soon. I feel bad for the snails, they try and try to eat all the algae, are breeding like crazy, and are leaving little tracks where they have cleaned but have missed a ton. I think 5 ottos would be a good sized school so they don't get scared or anything?
 

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I wouldn't count on seeing them that often. I had those 10 (well 9 and 1 imposters) in a 10g for quarantine. They ALL hide under a wad of java moss all day. They would only come out at night, and with ANY sign of movement/light they would poof away, leaving only the settling sand in their wake.

Since I only ever saw 1 at a time I actually thought all but 1 had died. I assumed the snails had eaten the corpses, but I ended up tearing the tank down recently and found every last one of them.

Just remember, they are wild caught. They aren't breed in captivity like most of the PetJunk fish. They are VERY fragile when you first bring them home. Don't be surprised or feel bad if half die during the quarantine. That's probably about average.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You would think wild caught would last longer if treated right. At least all the fry I have seen in my now favorite spot of a local river nearly get stomped on and scared half to death by people, frogs, bigger fish, birds, crayfish, etc and a lot of them live. Maybe they are just treated so bad in horrible water conditions under lots of stress that they just can't survive. It is sad :(
 

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The stress of transport that's the biggest problem. They go from an abundance of VERY stable clean water, to being packed like sardines in dirty water with who knows what parameters and probably not fed.

River > Foreign Fisher's Bucket > Foreign Distributor > US Distributor > PetJunk > Your tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm surprised they don't farm them, so that they go from US farm > US distributor > Petjunk > tank. I just added some caves to my tank so the little guys have a place to hide...assuming they survive quarantine when I pick em up. Oh, Tugg, thanks for your post regarding plants for your chichlid tank, I copied the perfprated pot/gravel/ soil/plants/cap/stones idea for my qt. :)
 

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I have a 40 gallon that had the same issue. I have a farlowella cat, 6 ottos, 4 SAE's and still had issues. I ordered 100 cherry shrimp off aqua bid. These were wild so about 80% did die off but before they did they cleaned the tank completely. Almost over night. I have since stocked the tank with Amano's only and have no problems.

I would introduce shrimp into your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sooo...I was all prepared to get ottos, was waiting for qt to cycle, then something really foul started growing in the tank so I nuked it and started over. Hopefully I can have everything ready in a week or two, maybe three if the bacteria doesn't start doing its thing.

Are there any parameters ottos are specifically sensitive to like nutrients, nitrogen forms, etc I should be aware of? I have a cave made with a big piece of driftwood and a couple big flat rocks as well as some plants in a perforated pot with a few floaters to help with hiding places, waste removal, and o2 generation.
 
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