What is the absolute best clean-up critter? - Betta Fish and Betta Fish Care
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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What is the absolute best clean-up critter?

I have a twenty gallon planted tank with seven female bettas. I'd like to add a few more girls, and something low-profile that will help with the plant detritus and algae. I clean the tank weekly, but towards the end of the week it starts to look rather unsightly.

So far I'm leaning toward the mystery snail. I'm not worried about the bio-load, but I do worry about it getting pestered to death.

Should I put up with it, or try to add a tank mate? My substrate is sand.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 01:26 PM
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I would go for a clean up team of ottos, corys, and red cherry shrimp I personally dislike snails the only kind i keep on purpose are assassin snails, in the end it is up to you and what you want to see in your tank, we have not added red cherries to our sorority tank yet as we are establishing a breeding colony in a 10 gall but soon enough we will, the corys and ottos we have in the sorority tank do a good job the corys root around and eat up any left overs and the ottos clean algae off of everything in the tank, we are trying out an albono bristlenose pleco in another tank to see how well he does at algae clean up
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 01:40 PM
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If you're looking at snails, I would look into nerites.

I have a nerite and she scrubbed my 5.5 gallon until it was sparkling clean in two days, and just about every inch of it was covered in algae, lol. The only bad thing is that they poop a lot, but I don't think your plants will mind much, lol.

Nerites have shorter antennas I guess than other snails do so the girls aren't as likely to hurt a nerite.

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 01:49 PM
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I would say Amano shrimp instead of RCS (Cherries). They are known as the ultimate algae cleaners.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-21-2013, 02:24 PM
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I love snails! I think they're adorable!
I'd get some Malaysian Trumpet Snails for the substrate to start. Nerite snails are awesome if you can find them.

If you like mystery snails, go on and get one. Once it gets big, you won't have enough plant detritus to keep it fed (tiny bits of leafy greens or cucumber to feed it0 but the big ones are far less likely to get harassed and they are entertaining little pets in themselves.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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The Nerite snails sound perfect! I think I'll look for a few of those. Thanks for all the suggestions! My husband loves plecos, but I want something that will get the job done.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 09:44 AM
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I own some otos, and they keep my tank practically immaculate. I have them in a 10gal with 2 rabbit snails and Golem. I substitute their diet with wafers and zucchini. They have a tendency to be a little sensitive as well.

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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The otos do look cool... I tried corydoras a while back, and didn't have much luck. My sorority is thriving so far; everything is peaceful and the younger girls are growing nicely. I have a passion for invertebrates- I am also a tarantula keeper. I like the shrimp, but I have a feeling that snails would have better luck avoiding the inevitable nips. Especially some drab, olive-colored nerites.

Last edited by ElizabethB; 05-22-2013 at 10:33 AM. Reason: add
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 10:38 AM
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The best cleanup crew are Malaysian trumpet snails - they eat almost everything, including fish poop. Not much for algae though, but I don't consider algae removal part of clean up.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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The algae doesn't bother me quite as bad as the plant detritus and the poo. Everything stands out on the white sand.
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