NANFA-- Cold Water Algae Eating Fish, Bitterling

Mark (
Wed, 6 Feb 2002 22:42:25 -0500

I think I have discovered another temperate algae-eating fish. I have some
bitterlings, Rhodeus sericeus, a minnow that is native to most of Europe.
I noticed that some of them were not thriving and I have lost a few over
some time. I suspected they were lacking something in their diet, perhaps
some plant material. So I moved them the other day to a tank that _was_
heavily infested with some stringy green algae. I mean I was vac-ing big
gobs of this stuff out of the tank when I would do water changes. Since
adding the bitterlings (and two dace, Leuciscus leuciscus, I believe) three
days ago, the algae has practically disappeared. The rocks still have a
short green fuzz, but it looks like someone went over them with a lawn
mower and trimmed the "grass" down short. I've seen stonerollers do
similar work, but this tank was really loaded. I wasn't watching to
confirm that the bitterlings were the workers, but all I did was drop them
in the tank three days ago, and the algae is gone. I think they would be
excellent algae trimmers in planted tanks. Now I've just got to get some
mussels to spawn them in. Anyone have any experience with this? On
another note, this species has been successfully introduced in the Hudson
River in New York, so, if you get some, _don't_ let them loose in your home

Columbus Ohio USA <))><

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