Pets & Animal Pets Fish

Having an Aquarium - Have Fish That Clean the Tank

If you want the inhabitants of your aquarium to keep your tank clean for you, then you need to consider what aspects of your tank will need cleaning for you.
These will include: * cleaning algae from glass, ornaments, equipment and plants * removal of dead plants (and dead fish!) * removal of extra food * cleaning out of the snails that manage to invade your tank The good news about all of this list is that most of them are actually sorted by the same types of fish.
Better still, with all of the list, with the exception of dead plants and animals, the effect on your tank can be reduced by the correct feeding, allowing the fish to complete the job for you! But it is not just fish that you can use to do the job for you.
Shrimps and snails can also be added to a community aquarium, and certain specialist tanks, to assist with the job.
Not only do they act as great cleaners, but they can be very interesting.
And by using the correct snails (for example, Apple Snails), you will not be introducing a species that will over run your aquarium.
In fact with Apple Snails it is very simple to stop them breeding as they lay their eggs out of the water.
You just remove them when you see them.
So, what fish are you going to be looking at? There are a whole variety of species that can help, but if you look at algae eaters (look for fish with their mouths on the undersides of their heads) then straight away you know they will be eating the algae.
They will also enjoy a snack on a dead leaf or animal, when they can.
However, they wil usually not attack tank mates! Corydoras, Bristlenose Catfish and other similar fish are all excellent for this role.
I really enjoy watching my fish of both of these groups doing their jobs and the Bristlenose are particularly good at cleaning the glass (along with the Apple Snails).
If you are inundated with small snails then there are various loaches that will be your friend here.
Clown Loaches are good snail eaters, but they grow quite large and need to live in a group, meaning that they are only suitable for larger tanks.
For smaller tanks, a loach that is small and happy in pairs is better, or get an Assassin snail! It is possible to help your aquarium stay a lot cleaner by choosing specialist fish and feeding properly.
But ultimately, don't forget that there is no replacement to proper maintenance.

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