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I have realized that for various reasons, my 29 gallon currently has far less "cleaners" than it ever has for awhile now. I have noticed the effects of uneaten food and am looking to add something to help with that. I tend to go for snails in most situations, but in this case I cannot do that. I have been doing various things to get rid of a mini ramshorn population including dosing no planaria into the tank. My original through was to add amano shrimp. @nabokovfan87 brought up a great throught to me though. He mentioned borneo suckers. The tank currently has 3 otos, 1 reticulated hillstream and 1 Chinese butterfly which I ordered as a reticulated originally. The tank used to house at one point up to 5 otos and 5 hillstream loaches total (4 reticulated and 1 butterfly).  Also, breeding reticulated hillstream loaches is a bucket list project for me. I have too much going on right now to set it up, but it wouldn't hurt to just keep them for now and then I would have them available when I do have the time to set it up. 

The question is though, will I get the same eating extra food value out of them as I would with amanos?  The main food issue is that I tend to over feed the cories when I want them to breed. Amano may be better about picking the particles out of the gravel?  Should I maybe try both?  My heads a spinning lol. 

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On 8/23/2023 at 1:53 PM, Cinnebuns said:

The question is though, will I get the same eating extra food value out of them as I would with amanos?

It's not a great answer, but I just don't know what would be the go-to here.

Amanos will snatch food right away during feeding, but I hardly see them work as "cleaners" apart from plants, wood, sponge, or hardscape.

Oto and pleco generally have a hard time eating if it's not a surface larger than their head. I haven't kept a ton of plecos, but it's just something to note. More often than not they'd be on big plants, wood, or glass. If they are on the substrate, it's usually because of caves or wood.

Loaches though, I've seen them run around like little vacuums. They lift their head and gulp in folds.  I would think the mouth shape is better suited compared to all of the above towards a species that would go after food on the substrate.  It's been a few years, but that's what I remember from them. They did spend a lot of time on the glass and just all over the place.

Something like a ram even, would be one that also goes around and gulps off the substrate (depending what it is).

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