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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm guessing that they are just evil in a planted tank is likely a settled question for most here. However I don't see them mentioned in the most regrettable fish choice thread so I'm curious.

I've read they will not only eat any and all of types of plants, but will spend all day doing it ferociously effectively killing them off one by one from favorite to least favorite. I've also heard that they can be kept with java ferns and moss and crypts and some other less tasty plants with few problems. They may nibble, but not devour.

However, I've also read that they are vegetarian...and yet mine just go crazy for shrimp pellets. So, I don't believe everything I read.

I'm wondering if anyone has had success keeping them with plants, and which ones.

Thanks.
 

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Well, I don't know about planted tanks, but I've seen them in some very large FW setups destroy even heavy-duty-industrial-strength plastic plants. I believe they'd make mincemeat of a plant tank.

But I've never tried it.
 

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brighty K is correct. I have seen them destroy some fairly tough plants like Bacopa C. and some Crypts in a 200G tank at a friends house.
 

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I have a very large pair in my 125 gallon, and yes they can be lawnmowers, but they are certainly nice docile fish in general, and I am able to have lots of plants in there with proper algae feedings to keep their "salad" cravings to a minimum....

As stated they will eat other things like shrimp pellets, but mine are quick to grab up the algae wafers as soon as they hit the water, and it's cute to watch them swim around with the "cookie" in their mouths.



And here's a shot of the tank they live in as proof that you can beat the odds with them, if you are careful with your plant selections, and overwhelm them from the start. In my case, I just stuck all of the prunings from other tanks into this one until they got tired of it.


As for the types of plants, you have to choose carefully, use some fast growers, and of course tough ones. In my case, Anubias, giant hygro and things like hornwort work well. Maybe not the aquascapers dream, but it can still make a pleasant scape if you want to keep this fish....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Jan...still not sure if they will stay, but have some hope now. They are a lot of fun.

I get an algae hunk in each SD's mouth to keep them busy for awhile before the shrimp pellets go in for the bicher that needs more time to find his food.

However, there's a couple of killifish in there that sometimes get a hold of the algae chunks if they don't sink fast enough. Apparently inside the front half of their body is nothing by one fat mouth-throat-stomach tube; they take down some massive hunks of food for their size.
 

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The Bala's don't bother the plants at all, unless they accidentally uproot them with their big bodies when they are streaking across the tank. :)
 
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