7 of the best algae cleaners list for freshwater aquariums

1. Amano Shrimp

Freshwater invertebrates known as amano shrimp are popular in aquariums. Takashi Amano, a well-known hobbyist, inspired the moniker 'Amano Shrimp.' These shrimp are regularly used in Takashi Amano's setup. In the aquarium, Amano Shrimp offer aesthetic appeal and are good algae eaters. Amano Shrimp are quite simple to keep and care for.

In captivity, Amano Shrimp are surprisingly difficult to breed. Without the need for human intervention, Cherry Shrimp and Ghost Shrimp will mate spontaneously in the aquarium. Amano Shrimp, on the other hand, are notorious for being difficult to raise beyond the larval stage. Amano Shrimp need brackish (salty) water to reproduce. This tutorial delves into the finer points of Amano Shrimp breeding and enhancing the likelihood of Amano Shrimp fry survival.

Naturally, the difficulty of breeding in captivity raises prices. In general, Amano Shrimp are more pricey than other invertebrates. Wild-caught Amano Shrimp account for a large majority of Amano Shrimp in aquariums. In captivity, they have a lifespan of 2-3 years. When introducing them to the tank, use caution. Because Amano Shrimp are wild caught and less tolerant of confinement, they are very sensitive to changes in water quality.

2. Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn Snails are a common freshwater snail species. They are generally regarded as pests because to their rapidly expanding numbers, which may be difficult to manage. Ramshorn snails have a brilliant orange coloration. Their shells are often transparent, and their slippers are a bright orange hue. Blue, red, and brown ramshorns are also available, although they are significantly less frequent.

Ramshorns may be a nuisance in planted aquariums. Ramshorn snails are omnivorous, meaning they will eat plants and other invertebrates' food. To avoid a population epidemic, any extra food should be removed from the tank. They will compete for food with other beneficial snails and shrimp, and if their numbers become too high, they may starve.

Snails of the Ramshorn genus may be divided into three categories based on their size. Gyraulus albus, often known as the 'White Ramshorn Snail,' grows to just 1/3 of an inch in length. Planorbarius corneus 'Great Ramshorn Snail', on the other hand, may grow to about 1 1/2" in diameter.

Ramshorn Snails will deposit eggs in batches all throughout the tank. They are visible to the naked eye and must be eliminated. Taking the eggs out of the tank isn't a realistic solution to the issue. Plants, substrate, and hardscape will all be used by ramshorn snails to deposit their eggs. This makes it virtually hard to get rid of the snail altogether.

Baiting the snails is an efficient way to get rid of Ramshorn Snails. At night, add blanched vegetables or big pellets in the aquarium. The Ramshorn snails may be readily gathered and disposed of early in the morning.

3. Nerite Snails

Nerite Snails are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium snails these days, and can be found practically everywhere, including local pet shops and chain retailers. Although there are several saltwater variations, nerites are commonly offered as freshwater aquarium snails. Nerite Snails have a reputation for being excellent tank cleaners and one of the best algae eaters on the market. Nerite Snails and Amano Shrimp are commonly referred to as members of an aquarium cleaning team. The disposition of Nerite Snails may be defined as docile, placid, and serene, and they can easily travel about the tank.

The good news is that caring for Nerite Snails is simple and uncomplicated. Snails of the genus Nerite are a resilient species that can adapt to a variety of water conditions. Nerite Snails tend to prefer water temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit in tropical community tanks. Nerites, according to some hobbyists, can live in a larger temperature range. Nerites similarly like an alkaline pH of roughly 7.5, as well as hard aquarium water with a moderately flowing circulation. Nerite Snail care, like that of other fish in a tank, must involve monitoring for ammonia spikes and high levels of nitrate, since Nerites are prone. Copper and other drugs, in particular, must be avoided at all costs since they may be harmful to snails. Finally, keep in mind that Nerite Snails may need Calcium supplements to keep their shells healthy.

It's also worth noting that Nerite Snail care involves how they're placed in the tank. Dropping Nerite Snails into water and letting them drift to the bottom where they will fall in different random spots is not a good idea. Nerites who land upright will have an easier time adjusting to their new environment. The snails that are unfortunate will fall on their backs. Snails of the Nerite genus have a hard difficulty flipping themselves over to the upright posture. It is almost hard for them to correct themselves in the majority of circumstances. Nerites who are left upside down might die as a result. To ensure the Nerites get off to a good start, make sure they are put in the aquarium upright.

4. Twig Catfish

Twig catfish may reach a length of 5 to 7 inches (12.7 to 17.8 cm). Twig catfish have a wide range of habitats. They may be found in the Amazon, Orinoco, and Panara rivers, as well as the Guyana Shield's coastal rivers. These catfish like a substrate made up of submerged dead leaves and sticks, which helps them blend in with their surroundings.

Twig catfish have hundreds of tiny, spoon-shaped teeth that they utilize to gnaw at wood and algae, which is their principal source of nourishment. Wood consumption as a major source of energy is exceedingly uncommon among vertebrates. Only fish from the species Farlowella have developed this ability.

They are given a gel diet as well as fruit like as zucchini and cucumbers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. They also like to consume all of the plants in their display.

Twig catfish are an oviparous species that lays its eggs in a single layer on vertically positioned rocks and plants. Instead of laying their eggs in caves or crevices, they prefer to deposit them in open water. Fertilized eggs are guarded by males.

Twig catfish get their name from their long, thin bodies, which look like a twig or a stick. Their noses are large, and their bodies are brownish with two black stripes going down the sides from head to tail. Bony plates known as "scutes" protect the body.

Because of their body form and colors, twig catfish may readily blend in with sticks, leaves, and other plants. Females have a smaller rostrum and are rounder in form than males, indicating some sexual dimorphism.

5. Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos, by nature, require water that is highly aerated and has some type of circulation. Provide lots of driftwood, roots, plants, and caverns for them to hide in during the day, since they are bottom dwellers. They are nocturnal, meaning they prefer to feed at night. Driftwood may offer an excellent substrate for algae to grow continuously, providing enough food for the Bristlenose Pleco. They are herbivores, however they do not destroy living plants.

Bristlenose Plecos thrive in tanks with a capacity of at least 20 gallons and can tolerate a broad variety of water conditions, from soft and acidic to tougher and alkaline. In Cichlid aquariums, some hobbyists have had success using Bristlenose Plecos. This may be true, however bigger Central and South American Cichlids should not be kept alongside them. If you want to breed them, don't put them in a tank with substrate-spawning Cichlids since the eggs will be eaten by the Cichlids.

Because Bristlenose Plecos are herbivores that consume mostly algae, it's ideal to give them algae or spirulina wafers once or twice a day. Granules, flakes, and bloodworms are very tasty, as are zucchini slices and blanched romaine lettuce or spinach on occasion. Just be careful not to overfeed. Whether plecos are well-fed, their coloring is bright, making it simple to identify when their nutritional demands are being fulfilled. The Bristlenose Pleco, like any catfish, will spend part of its time searching for algae and other debris on the substrate; this, of course, is a huge benefit since it means a much cleaner tank.

It's quite simple to breed this species, and it's also simple to discern gender. Males and females both have fleshy tentacles, giving them the nickname Bristlenose, although males are often bigger, have whiskers, and have greater bristles. Females have bristles on their snouts, while males have bristles on their heads. Males have spikes on their fins as well.

6. Siamese Algae Eater

Siamese Algae Eaters (Crossocheilus oblongus) are a freshwater fish species endemic to Southeast Asian waterways. Because of their propensity to consume algae, they have become popular in the aquarium hobby. They are fascinating to watch since they swim quickly and work hard to consume the algae in the aquarium. Siamese Algae Eaters, unlike other algae-eating fish species, are very nimble. This implies they can consume algae in areas where other algae-eating fish may be unable to. When they're young, this is particularly true.

They are industrious fish that are lovely in their own right, even if they are not as colorful as other tropical fish in the aquarium industry. Their body is elongated and dark in hue. There is also a dark horizontal line running across their body.

Siamese algae eaters are excellent starter fish. They're simple to care for, don't have a lot of preferences for tank mates, and can flourish in a variety of tank settings. Overcrowding is the most serious issue with Siamese algae eaters. You may believe that the more Siamese algae eaters you have in your aquarium, the cleaner it would be. But that is not the case; in fact, the reverse is true. The more fish you have, the more garbage you'll generate. You don't want to overcrowd your tank, particularly with Siamese algae eaters, since that waste can soon dirty it.

Because Siamese algae eaters are larger fish than most other aquarium fish, they need a larger tank. For Siamese algae eaters, most pros suggest a 25-30 gallon tank. 25-30 gallons allows them lots of freedom to explore and dart about the tank, as well as enough of space to hide in or behind decorations and other tank items. Caves or hollowed-out logs are popular hiding spots for Siamese algae fish. Plants to hide among and lots of shade are other favorites. They've also been known to leap, so have a tank lid handy.

7. Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Shell size, tank size, water conditions, nutrition, longevity, and reproduction are all factors to consider while caring for a Trumpet Snail. In fact, the Malaysian Trumpet Snail is such an easy snail to care for that it is recommended for novices.

The shells of Malaysian Trumpet Snails are elongated and resemble a sugar cone. As they swirl up from the tip, the shells seem to develop in rings. Shells come in a variety of hues and patterns, ranging from brown to grey to creamy-white. Malaysian Trumpet Snails are little at first. They may reach a length of roughly an inch from apex to aperture under ideal circumstances. Their shells may be as wide as a pencil eraser at their broadest point. Calcium is required for good shell development in Malaysian Trumpet Snails, therefore ensure sure calcium is included in their meals.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails live for around a year on average. Under the correct circumstances and with a little luck, they may live longer. A Malaysian Trumpet Snail that dies above the substrate will lie motionless on the tank's bottom. It may not be detected until the substrate is disturbed up if it dies while buried. While it is best to remove deceased residents from aquariums as soon as possible to minimize water quality concerns, some hobbyists prefer to keep empty Malaysian Trumpet Snail shells in the tank, allowing their minerals to dissolve back into the water.

One of the nicest things about Malaysian Trumpet Snails is how simple and straightforward they are to care for. Trumpet Snails may be kept in tiny covered tanks, such as 5 or 10 gallon setups, as well as bigger tanks. Keep in mind that they are living beings that create waste and put a strain on their aquatic environment's bio-load capacity. So keep in mind the tank's restrictions and don't overload it.