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Otocinclus vs Chinese Algae Eaters vs Siamese Algae Eaters

Discussion in 'Fish' started by RaggieBreath, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. RaggieBreath

    RaggieBreath New Member

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    Location:
    South Africa
    I am wanting to buy otos, but need to know if what our LFS stocks, is the right thing or labelled correctly :)

    In comparing these through google searches (Otocinclus vs Chinese Algae Eaters vs Siamese Algae Eaters) - it seems that the otos come out tops in terms of 'lack of aggression', 'won't eat your plants'.

    Identifying these fish seems easy enough, although people seem to display images of oto species that vary with each website.

    So please help and correct me if I'm wrong here :)

    The Siamese AE has a solid black stripe down it's body:
    [​IMG]

    The Chinese Algae Eater has a more spotty appearance and very slight brown line along body:
    [​IMG]

    And the Otocinclus have a black line down the body and black dot on the tail:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ok, my other question is: Are all the otos pretty similar with respect to aggression and not eating plants - or do I want to see if I am able to get hold of the affinis? Does it matter which oto species I get? (what are differences)

    Thanks a million!
     
  2. hamza

    hamza Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
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    In my experience...

    SAE were the worst, I had proper ones(no FFs or fake SAEs). They just gorged and destroyed all my mosses. They were always moving around you hardly notice them cleaning any algae. They get easily spoilt by fish food(pellets, flakes, anything) and are always the first fish to grab food dropped into tank(intended for other fishes).

    Ottos(I have otocinclus vittatus), these are good for some algae, their small size can fit smallest of the scapes. They are better for preventing than for curing algae in infested tanks. You need them in good numbers to see something happening.

    Out of all, CAE(golden algae eaters) are best, even one or two juveniles were more than enough for a 100l tank. The way they scraped and cleaned rock surfaces/leaves was very remarkable. But theres a huge problem with these guys, they grow fast and once they exceed 3" mark they get aggressive, even their movements can disturb or uproot delicate plants. They are pretty difficult to net from a dense planted tank as well.
    Good practice is to get them as small as possible. The golden(GAE) variety are more effective than the proper CAEs.
     
  3. Kalan850

    Kalan850 New Member

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    Location:
    FL
    i'm going with otos. thanks for the info hamza
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    The Siamese AE has a solid black stripe down it's body:
    It also carries the black stripe into the tail and ends in a point like this >
    The only problem with the SAE is as they get older they become very lazy and prefer fish foods to their natural algae.

    The Chinese algae eater could become your worst enemy when it get bigger it can become very aggressive and rip pieces out of other fish in the tank.

    Ottos, they require a heavily planted tank with plenty of natural algae as this is their main food source.
    They are a fish worth having but dont expect to see them if at all, I never saw one for over one year.

    Keith
     
    derfliw likes this.
  5. RaggieBreath

    RaggieBreath New Member

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    Thanks Keith - I might be able to get some Ottos this week, if all works out well. (Here's hoping!!) I saw a list that might be stocking them on Tuesday here, so I've put my order in early for 12 of them. I heard they have a high death rate on arrival, so juuust in case that happens. And I can also divide them between my 2 big tanks. (one is 1.8m and the other is 1m)
     
  6. vikcyboss

    vikcyboss New Member

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    Ottos are good but if you have less algea in your tank then its trouble for them as they are pure veggies and you need provide some source of food like boiled spinach leaves, zuccini
     
  7. RaggieBreath

    RaggieBreath New Member

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    I will definitely supplement their diet with veggies. Thanks.

    I was also thinking of leaving one extra tank in a sunny area with a sheet of glass where algae can grow and putting it into the tank for them to munch on when algae is looking low in the main tank. (as an additional option)
     
  8. linelogic

    linelogic New Member

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    Hamza, I've noticed that SAE's may eat some variety of moss and not other varieties. My SAE finishes off all the Java Moss in the tank, but does not touch the Christmas moss. So you can choose the moss you want depending on what your SAE likes and does not like :)
    But SAE is really helpful if you are trying to tackle some bad algae like BBA. Has really helped in my tanks.

    Prabhu
     
  9. aquascapebob

    aquascapebob New Member

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    based on what I know + a bit of research http://www.aquascape.guru/chinese-algae-eater/, the Chinese algae eaters are friendly to other fish at younger age. But they tend to be aggressive and territorial when older, and they require meaty foods as well.

    My uncle once had 2 of these algae eaters in a koi pond (yes I'm not even kidding). They got so large like crazy.
     
  10. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  11. Superfish

    Superfish New Member

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    These fish are very cute, I love watching they feed Algae wafer.
     

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