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bubbzy81

Bristlenose & fry

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Can you keep fry & bristlenose in the same tank. They're only young fry, about 3 days old & I'm just finding a lot of food waste on the bottom of the tank & I'm worried about fouling the water. So is there any benefit, or can you even keep bristlenose & fry in the same tank?

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Small bristlenoses (up to about 4cm) would be fine with betta fry but large bristlenoses can be pretty clumsy and not take much notice of whats around them when they are feeding or just scurrying around. All bristlenoses will stir up the sediment quite a bit in their food foraging efforts.

Any tiny fry caught under their mouths on the bottom of the tank could also end up as food (bristlenoses will eat any fishy meat they are not just vegetarians).

I use a couple of large mystery snails to clean up and they seem to do a great job, move slowly and don't disturb the sediment and they don't breed like those other brown pesty snails I've got in a couple of tanks.

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Well I have some red ramshorn snails in there, but they don't seem to clean much & to be quite honest, they keep dying. The just keep dropping on me. I might try & get some tiny bristlenose & some mystery snails.

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Ramshorn snails are the pests that keep breeding (well they do in a couple of my tanks) and don't really seem to clean up at all. The mystery snails are much larger and far better from what I've seen in my tanks. The spawning tank and fry tanks are very clear all the time because of them. I also put in a heap of java moss for fry to hide in.

Mystery snails have to lay eggs above water and their egg rafts are large and white and easy to take off the glass if you don't want more of them - the ramshorns breed everywhere!

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I had spotted a couple of little baby snails. I just assumed they came in with the plants. I was under the impression it was the other snails were the pesty ones.

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I got 4 1cm peppermint BN's to raise with my fry and act as food disposal and they did a brilliant job. They kept the bottom nice and clean and of all the fry that they were with none were missing ventril's. I found though that I did still have to do a vac of the tank floor once every few days because the waste that they eat then comes out of them so you just end up with the same problem but in a different looking form! lol I've still got 1 of the original 4 peppermints too. I love him, he's my fav of all my BN!

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I've never seen a peppermint BN (must go google). Are they different in nature to the standard BN I buy from the LFS?

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I've not kept them, but from the ones I've seen in other tanks they seem a ltttle less gutsy and a little more timid. They are expensive in comparison to BNs though, and harder to source.

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What about ones like the golden sucking catfish? They are about 4cms long but have kinda small mouthes. Would these be ok?

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Chinese Algae Eaters (CAE) are the ones sold as sucking cats. They tend to be a bit flighty and pushy with other fish and are more into meaty foods than algae, especially as they age. They have a reputation for harrassing other fish and sucking on them. They get quite large also, so they probably are not a good choice.

The problem is that you need a fish that will eat the waste food, but not the rest of the food or the fry themselves, and that is really limiting. You need omnivorous, small mouth, not likely to harrass the try, and not likely to eat the live food before the fry do.

Thinking about it, I reckon your best bet if you really wanted a fish to do clean up might be one or two livebearer fry. Maybe an otto, but they are fussy about water quality though. Kuhlies would be nice later on, but they'd chomp up newly hatched fry, and they might not appreciate bare bottom tanks.

If you could get small BNs, it could be worth a go, but I wouldn't experiment with your best spawn, just in case :)

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Thinking about it, I reckon your best bet if you really wanted a fish to do clean up might be one or two livebearer fry.

What a good idea! I am going to try this with my spawns, maybe a couple baby guppies at a time. They will eat any dead live food, and clean up anything uneaten (and probably betta poops too... lol guppies).

You'd need to keep an eye on them though, make sure you remove the guppy fry before they're big enough and started snacking on the betta fry.

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They'll teach the betta fry to eat non-live food too. They dig right in, and the betta fry go "oh, you can eat that?" and then "damn it, I can't miss out on that delicious morsel! I know it's delicious cos everyone else is eating it! OUT OF MY WAY!!! MINE!".

:)

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Gotta watch those CAE's - one of them will go head to head with a convict male that is spawning - well mine did - 10cm CAE v 10cm Convict - it was a real 'mexican stand off' - quite funny to watch but eventually the convict got the better of the CAE and it backed off. They would have a go at a full grown betta I think not to mention what they could do to fry.

Peppermint BN's would probably love the water conditions of a betta spawn tank - they don't mind a bit darker water and they would be good for clean up as well - only issue might be higher temperatures in a spawn tank than peppermints prefer. A friend and I are going to take delivery of about 60 of them next week or the week after so will try one in a spawn tank and see how it goes.

LOL... Lisa all my fry have worked that one out - some of the baby pellets and crushed flake I tried them on floated to the bottom and all of a sudden it was a scavenger hunt... the ones at the top wondering why the food isn't there any more and the ones at the bottom wolfing it down from the tank floor!

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