One of the biggest complaints with keeping up a tank is algae growth. Some people like having some natural green growth, however having a lot of algae in your tank looks dirty to most. So there are a few different ways to control having a lot of algae in a tank. Some fixes for this can include, reducing the amount of light in the tank, reducing the amount of fish in the tank, or getting a cleanup crew for your tank. One disclaimer is that there aren’t any fish that will directly eat fish poop. A lot of people want something that will eat all the unsightly waste in the tank, but no fish will directly eat the poop. Once it is broken down and algae is formed, that is when the cleanup crew will work its magic.
What is a Cleanup Crew?
The term cleanup crew refers to fish or invetermrets that feed off of the algae that grows in the tank. These fish, snails, and shrimp come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What they all have in common, is that they help keep your tank looking clean and make your job of scraping algae off of the tank much easier.
Factors to Determining the Best Cleanup Crew for Your Tank.
Before buying any random algae eater from a pet store, there are some considerations you should have in mind. The first is do you have live plants or are they all fake? This is important to know because some algae eaters will also munch through your live plants. So if you have live plants, it is important to get fish that wont eat all of the money you've invested in your plants as well.
Another factor that should be examined is the kind of algae that is growing. It is possible to look at different kind of algae online and see what it is. Different algae grows under different water parameters and other conditions. If you know the kind of algae that is being grown, it is possible to find fish that will eat that kind of algae specifically. Not all algae eaters eat every kind of algae.
One of the last factors to determine is if the algae eater will do well in your tank. If you have a lot of algae growth in your tank and buy a lot of algae eaters, that is only a temporary fix. Now you have all those fish that you need to make sure they have enough food for. If they go through and clean your entire tank, and it doesn’t produce enough algae to sustain them, then without supplemental food like algae wafers, they will starve and the entire process will restart. Also, not every algae eater will do the best in every tank. It is important that you get ones that can survive. For example, shrimp and snails help keep tanks clean, but they can easily become prey to fish in your tank if you have bigger aggressive fish.
Variety is Important.
When finally deciding on what members will become your cleaning crew variety is important. If you decide to only get one species of fish for your crew, realize that there are some risks involved with that decision. Like mentioned earlier, if you get a species that doesn’t eat a specific kind of algae that is growing in your tank, then that algae will grow rampad. Instead, it is a good practice to have fewer of each species, but more kinds. By having different species in your crew, it gives you more of a spectrum that will become food for the cleanup crew. Also, if you find out one species really doesn’t do well in your tank, you still have others that will carry their weight until you can find others.