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How many types of algae are there???

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1.    How many different types of algae are there? (ill list all the ones I know). Let me know if I missed any.

  • blackbeard
  • green hair
  • green spot
  • blue green 
  • diatom/brown


2.    What fish/shrimp/snails eat each type of algae listed above???

       - so many people have told me conflicting things about what fish eat. For example, I specifically have a small green hair algae problem in my tank and was told by some people that the ONLY thing that eats green hair algae is amano shrimp... I find that hard to believe, and Ive heard others tell me a bunch of other conflicting things about several different fish, and several different algaes. How do i find out whos right and wrong? people online and real life all give me different fish for the same question lol. IDK WHO TO BELIEVE ANYMORE

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Part of the problem is that we are using common names for algae, and there are literally thousands of species--at least. Some estimates range to the MILLIONS.

As hobbiyists we cannot easily identify algae at the species level, but we can identify broad categories. Even then we get in trouble. "green hair algae" is at least 4 different types of thing in my experience, and one kind is eaten by almost everything, including guppies. One seems to be eaten by NOTHING. 

to answer your question to the best of my ability:

  • blackbeard--reportedly florida flag fish & SAE
  • green hair--depends: slimy stuff, almost anything. really tough stuff(aka thread/string algae), still looking.
  • green spot--nerite snails
  • blue green--Nothing, use antibiotic
  • diatom/brown--Otocinclus, suckermouth cats, Plecos, snails
  • GREEN WATER--daphnia
  • STAGHORN--reportedly florida flag fish/SAE, I will test this shortly.

My amanos were USELESS as algae eaters. I think you would need a huge number. For that reason I prefer neocaridina and snails, becasue they make more of themselves.

Edited by Brandy
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Unfortunately there’s not a definitive answer for what species will eat what algae, most results are likely just situational. For example, I have some staghorn algae and string algae. During research I read Amano shrimp will eat stagehorn as well as other algae’s. But they don’t touch the algae at all, they found out that they like the sinking pellets and just go after the easy meal instead. But if I were to stop using foods they want to eat they may start eating the algae as others have reported. Unfortunately it’s a community tank and that food isn’t intended for them, so I’m not likely to find out what situation makes my amano shrimp eat the algae. 

Though with diatom algae the results are more consistent. Otocinclus and snails always seem to be near the top of the list. And I did have the consistent results with those to myself. From reading on diatom algae it requires silica to grow, so once the silica source (in sand substrates) is used up it no longer grows. 

From the what I’ve read, SAE do seem to be great algae eaters when young. But less as they grow bigger and start becoming more aggressive. 

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