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25537 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Bombalurina
Hello Everyone,

I have a male Betta (Neptune) in a 10 gallon tank. There seems to be a lot of algae growing on my plants, rocks and well... everywhere. I've only had the tank for two weeks, and the fish for three. I have been doing about 2 gallon water changes once a week. I only have about 8-8.5 gallons of the tank filled.

I had been wanting to get a Nerite (did I spell that right?) snail, but I wasn't able to get over to the store. I work at PetSmart, so my coworkers talked me into a Golden Apple (Mystery) snail. I bought him/her last night and named it Charlie. Charlie has been zipping around my tank like a little racer. But, I'm realizing I don't think this is a task Charlie can tackle by it's self.

Another coworker had suggested Otocinclus, but I was a little nervous about adding another fish to my 10 gallon and wanted to talk with you all first. Do Otocinclus and Betta work in a 10 g together? What types of hiding places do I need for the Oto's? I have two rock caves and about 1/3 is heavily planted (although not too heavy for Neptune to get through). Can I just introduce the Oto's to the tank? Or should I add another plant to throw off Neptune so he's less territorial? How long will they live? I've tried to google Otocinclus, and can't find much on lifespan. I tend to get attached to animals quickly and would be pretty sad if they died quickly.

Thanks in advance.
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I'm just like you in getting attached to animals. :)

Before you should add more fish you should try and cycle your tank. Cycling is establishing a cycle of bacteria that turns the toxic ammonia (which comes from the fishy poop lol) into nitrate which is much less toxic. It's not too tricky but it takes a while (about a month :$). You can do it with your betta in there! Here is a good thread on it:

Your tank isn't large enough for any other algae eaters other than a nerite snail or otos. :(

Otos are quite fragile, so they usually like to be in a well established tank (up and running for over 6 months), so they probably won't be your best bet.

I love nerites. :) They eat algae like a champ, are small and don't breed in fresh water.

Apple snails get big and are messy. They poop TONS! lol They aren't very good algae eaters. :(

Another option is to clean of the algae yourself. I'm not sure about live plants - but when I get algae on my fake plants and caves I just take them out of the tank and rinse them under hot water. With a little scrubbing the algae comes right off. When it gets on the walls of the tank I use my gravel siphon to suck it up. :)

How long do you have the light on in the tank during the day? I'm guilty of having it on too long. :p In my experience, if I leave it on for 12 hours or more in one day algae will appear.

I hope that didn't sound too intimidating. :/ Fish-keeping is a blast and it's really rewarding.

Good Luck! :D
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Thanks for the reply. I'm still in the process of setting up a "good" tank. The only thing I have thus far is a heater. My next purchase is going to be a filter, but I'm a little nervous about that. Working at PetSmart, I've heard a lot of horror stories about fish getting sucked into the filter. I actually didn't intend to get a fish. I swore off fish after my last betta died years ago. But, three weeks ago I kept looking over at the betta's from the register (they're just a few feet away) and he was always looking at me. So after 8 hours of him staring at me I brought him home with me.

I do wash everything in warm water each week. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'll try to get over to a good aquarium store today to get a nerite. Will the nerite and mystery snail get along? I actually prefer to stick with the snails, so I'm fine not getting an otocinclus.
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1 otocinclus is not enough! TRUST ME, lol. I posted something like this a while ago and other members were battering me about it >:O Apparently Otos must live in a 30 gallon minimum tank. They love lots of room to roam, and cannot be kept singly or in numbers lower than 6.
Nerite snails are fantastic cleaners though. I had one for several weeks ("Borrowed" from my cousin's tank hehe) when I had a big algae bloom in the goldie tank. Well, the little guy zipped around and in 2 weeks there wasn't half as much algae on the tank walls....and this was a 40 gallon. If you want a good clean-up crew, get a couple more nerites :3
I'd always been told otos can be in a 10 gallon in a group of 3?

I'm not sure about keeping nerites and apple snails together - I'd worry about the size of the apple snail. Some one with more knowledge about snails will come along.
I was told 5 in a 15 gallon with a single betta and 7 neons, 6 being ideal much like other schooling fish. Footprint is very important with bottom dwellers rather than water volume though. But like someone else said, Otos need very stable water conditions and should be kept in an established tank and never introduced to a new tank because they are so sensitive. A lot of people have loss in the first month, a lot die due to starvation because they don't take to algae wafers very easily.

I'd go with a nerite or 2. I'm doing that myself because of my algae build up (mind you I didnt do anything to prevent it and my tanks nearly 5 months old). Snails need mid-hard water to protect them from shell deteriation.
I wouldn't add more than one nerite.
So if I add the nerite can I just drop it in? When I added Charlie I added a second cave to the tank. There is no more room for anything like that without being too crowded, but should I add a plant to throw off any potential territorial aggression? Charlie is only about 1/2" around. Charlie was the smallest snail in the tank.

If I decide to add an otocinclus (which is very unlikely) I won't add it until the tank is cycled and established. From what I've read online it seems like 3 in a 10 gallon would be fine, as long as they have places to hide and i have no other fish except them and Neptune.
3 otos in a 10 gallon with a betta and a nerite would be just fine but beware, otos poop a lot!

If you don't have enough algae in your tank, you will have to feed them algae wafers or better yet, blanched veggies. Many otos are wild-caught though and they may or may not recognize the veggies as food. It depends.
I'm still un-sure about having the nerite and the apple snail together. Apple-snails grow to the size of a ping-pong ball. o_O
True, but they don't eat other snails. Are you concerned about the bioload?
True, but they don't eat other snails. Are you concerned about the bioload?
Yup. 3 otos, 1 betta, a nerite and an apple snail seems like a lot to me.
I'd have either the nerite snail or the otos not both imho. It does seem bioload busting. Nerites are tougher but otos are cuter.
Yup. 3 otos, 1 betta, a nerite and an apple snail seems like a lot to me.
I'm not getting 3 otos now. If I did get 3 otos in the future I would probably move Charlie (the apple snail) into my 2.5 gallon tank.

Charlie keeps going and going. I actually "think" I'm starting to see a small difference. I'm so paranoid about him though. Neptune doesn't seem to care, but I'm always worried hes going to do something to poor Charlie.
Hmm. Unless you ever have a crazy, crazy, crazy algae problem, 3 otos AND a nerite AND an apple snail would be overkill. Since they all eat algae, they'd really be competing for food. And when algae runs out, otos tend to starve to death because they don't recognize things like veggies and wafers as a source of food.
I have a 8 gallon tank with a filter/heater.. and it's planted.

After cycling my tank (which took just a little over 2 weeks with the help of Nutrafin's Cycle) I added 1 betta, 2 nerites (one is a zebra nerite and the other is a tracked nerite) and just recently placed 3 otos...

I recently lost a single oto - likely starved unfortunately... but he was in a 3g with the betta and snails while I was waiting for the 8g to cycle. The biggest issue I had with the oto (aside that they do like to be in a min schoal of 3) was that my betta was being territorial over the food... And I didn't have much room to try and hide some algae wafers.

I tried zucchini and even setting him in his own tank - but he just didn't make it.

Otos are more known for eating brown algae... so this time I'm changing it up with a different type of wafer, I have 3 now, so they should be socially happier, and I have sufficient covering (multiple pieces of driftwood) for them to escape to (and to hide the wafers at) You can also supplement with blanched zucchini, spinach, lettuce.. and you can also grow some algae on rocks in a jar outside in the sun.. and just cycle the rocks through the tank. is a good website for info on the oto... can help you determine bioload

A filter is a must for a 10g. You can cover the intake of whatever type of filter you get with panty hose to prevent any inhabitants from getting sucked in - and you want to find one that had adjustable flow.. I'm using the Marineland Duetto 50 - works nicely.. Also, the filter is what houses most of your bacteria colonies that process the nitrogen cycle.
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Also take back the apple snail, imo. They won't be good for algae in the long run and as many others have mentioned they have a large bioload.

And for acclimation, I use drip method.. works nicely.. in a clear container cause it allows my betta to see the new inhabitants and I can observe if he has any outright aggression... for the most part, bettas do fine with otos...
You could always just get a few more mystery snails. They don't require a lot of space, and produce a small bioload. Two more snails with a team of five ghost shrimp should be a good cleanup team. The shrimp will eat leftover foods preventing further algae growth, and the snails will cure you of your already existing algae problem. Just remember that when they eat all the algae, you have to get some algae wafers.
Mystery snails actually have a pretty big bioload, and don't do a great job with most types of algae.
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