Natural Algea Eaters for a Freshwater Aquarium

Designing and creating your own freshwater aquarium is a highly rewarding experience. Aquariums bring a sense of peace and tranquility to a room of any kind and fish are very easy to keep as pets, provided they are treated appropriately. When considering the elements that will make up the ensemble for your aquarium you will consider items like filters, gravel, decorative stones, under water treasures and small hiding places as well as aquarium plants. Many people forget, that even fresh water, despite having a filter, will attract algae.

Thread Algae

There is a small fish call the Siamese Algae Eater which as an interesting array of stripes along its back. Its top third is gold and its bottom third is silver. A black stripe runs direct from eye to tail and the Siamese Algae Eater prefers thread algae as its main course. The Crossocheilus Siamensis; the Latin name for the Siamese Algae Eater also feeds quite happily off the brush algae which other fish leave behind. Flatworms, which can become a huge nuisance in an aquarium will also be devoured by the useful and resourceful Siamese Algae Eater. There a slightly more common algae eater called the Chinese Algae Eater which will also eat the same diet. However, the Chinese variety will eat less as it gets bigger, finally stopping altogether and then becoming a nuisance and bully to the other fish. Both varieties must have a minimum tank size in order to not be too constricted.


The Caridina japonica, otherwise known as the Amano shrimp is a highly useful little fish to have in your freshwater aquarium. It skims the tanks for left over food and plant detritus which it devours in huge quantities, despite never growing larger than about two inches. These details make is superb for the smaller aquarium where space is a premium. There are also snails which will serve well as algae eaters in your fresh water aquarium set up. The Malaysian Trumpet snail, for example, is again, no more than 2 inches at maximum growth. This snail will focus its attention on the dead plant leftovers but will not eat living plants. Their ability to burrow down and aerate the under water gravel is vital for keeping the tank oxygenated and clear. Any other debris can then be over turned and consumed by either the snail or other algae eating creatures.


The Bristlenose Plecos is part of the catfish family of sucker-mouthed fish. Its uses are important in sucking algae from the lower part of the inside of the tank, cleaning the glass and keeping the water clear. It can paired with the other catfish family member, the Oto catfish. The Oto is another tiny version of a catfish which will also consume dead plant products, algae, leftover food and debris. A further addition would be the Twig Catfish, AKA the whiptail, feeds mainly on algae. It prefers a well established tank with older water and friendly fish.