Fish Species That Help Keep Your Aquarium Glass Clean

Otocinclus Catfish, Siamese Algae Eaters, Plecos, and Mollies are excellent tropical fish that help clean algae off your aquarium glass. However, they don't replace regular tank maintenance!

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What Tropical Fish Clean My Tank Glass?

I know, I know. We all love our colourful, vibrant fish tanks, but sometimes, the glass gets a little, well, fishy. Algae build-up on your tank glass can disrupt the view of your underwater paradise. But did you know certain tropical fish can lend a fin in keeping your tank's glass clean? It's true! And who better to talk about this than an aquarium enthusiast like me? Let's dive in and explore some of these fantastic, industrious little creatures.

Meet the Clean-Up Crew

1. Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus, or "Oto," catfish is one of the smallest but most diligent algae-eaters out there. They are known for their impressive ability to clean not only the tank glass but also the ornaments and leaves of your artificial plants. A small group of them can really make a difference!

2. Siamese Algae Eaters

This is a breed that should be on top of your list. The Siamese Algae Eater (SAE) has a voracious appetite for algae, including the stubborn black beard algae. They are quite active and can reach those tricky corners of your tank with ease.

3. Plecos

Plecos are large and in charge when it comes to algae-eating. They can grow quite big, so make sure you have an appropriately sized tank before you introduce them to your aquarium.

I love our Plecos!!! They often just chill cleaning all the tank as they go. I've saved so much time because of these glass sucking fish!

4. Mollies

Mollies are not only great algae eaters but also add beautiful flashes of color to your aquarium. Mollies eat algae off tank surfaces but can also help prevent snails in your aquarium as they are known to consume small snails too.

Remember, these fantastic fish are not a replacement for regular tank cleaning. While they help reduce algae, it's essential to still maintain a regular cleaning schedule and ensure your aquarium filter is working well. You should also take care to balance your lighting, as too much light can increase algae growth.

Things to Consider

Before you race out to your local pet store, there are a few things you should consider. Just like every other fish, algae eaters need a suitable environment to thrive. Make sure your tank's water volume is compatible with the size and number of fish you're planning to introduce.

Pay attention to the fish's temperament and habits before adding them to your existing community. While most algae eaters are peaceful and can coexist with other species, some can be territorial, like certain types of Plecos.

It's also important to note that while these fish are enthusiastic algae eaters, they cannot survive on algae alone. Their diets need to be supplemented with fish flakes or algae pellets to keep them healthy.


So there you have it, a list of tropical fish that can help keep your aquarium glass spotless. Remember, while these little cleaners can do a fantastic job, they are not a complete substitute for regular tank maintenance. Monitoring your tank's conditions, regular cleaning, and providing a balanced diet for all your fishy friends is the key to a thriving aquatic environment. Aquariums are a commitment, but with the right information and a little help from our algae-eating friends, you can maintain a stunning and clean underwater world.