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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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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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