Brackish Algae Eaters: Species That Will Keep Your Tank Clean

Brackish Algae Eaters

Maintaining a brackish aquarium is a difficult task. Mixing the water, finding the particular point, and feeding your fish is a lot of work already, but what if you have started seeing the algae in your aquarium too? This is something gross.

Now you should plan that you will be spending all your day clearing your aquarium, and once done, you’ll find more of it as there is no end. So you cannot have any free time when keeping an aquarium, especially the brackish one.

Do you want to get rid of all these issues? One of the best options here is to look for a species that will keep your tank clean. Such species will provide you with an automatic cleaning crew that will work as your helping hand. Exciting? Want to know about such fish species? We’ll cover them in this article along with:

  • Reason of different algae eaters for brackish aquarium
  • Multiple ways to handle algae
  • List of fish species that work as the cleaning crew

So, let’s start with the exploration of this helpful journey:

Why are algae eaters in brackish aquariums different?

You might wonder why the algae eaters in the brackish aquarium are different compared to the other tanks. The solution lies in the eating habits of the fish. The fish species you have in your aquarium eat a lot within the brackish system. Eating a lot means that the chances of excessive food particles, waste, and other raw material will be a lot more than the other tanks.

All such materials provide a good source of nitrates and phosphates. With a higher amount of these minerals in the water, the chances of alga growth will be a lot more. You cannot even get the fast-growing plants in your aquarium because of high salinity levels, so there is no helping hand for the algae eaters within your tank. Their task is almost double as compared to the other tanks.

Ways to handle algae

Ways to handle algae

Algae in no way is a desirable thing in your aquarium. So as soon you see it growing, it is appropriate to eliminate it. But what are some of the options you have?

Manual removal

You can remove the algae manually. Well, you don’t have many options in it. Once the algae grow and you don’t have any other mechanism for its cleaning, you’ll have to remove it manually. Using scrubbers for this purpose is a great choice.

But this is only a remedial step that you can take. It isn’t going to impact the further growth of algae.

Remove sources of algae creation

To reduce algae growth from your aquarium, you have to limit the sources of algae creation, i.e., the extra food particles and waste material. Performing regular cleanups can help in managing this aspect. With the lower waste available, nitrates and phosphates will be lesser.

Add more relevant species to your tank

Bring in the species that will eat all the algae from your tank. No doubt, this is one of the most sustainable options that you can exercise. You might have to spend some time and resources adjusting your tank, but once these algae-eating species start working, you can enjoy a lot more stability in maintaining and cleaning your brackish tank.

Do you want to know about some of the brackish algae-eating species that you can include in your tank? Let’s have a look at these angels:

Nerite Snails

You can find these snails in the market with great ease. Besides, they are adaptable when it comes to salinity levels, so you don’t have to worry about their health when adding them to your brackish tank.

If you want to have Pufferfish in your aquarium, too, then you’ll have to think about their population as well because Nerite Snails can prove to be the best food source for the Pufferfish in your tank. But it is okay; you can keep replenishing them for your alga problems and as a treat for your Pufferfish.


You can find the molies in almost all the freshwater tanks, so it is not one of the rare species. These fish can adjust to the brackish tank with great ease. Usually, these fish are plant eaters and are not explicitly categorized as algae eaters.

But if you can’t find the other species that can work as algae eaters, then relying on the molies can be a good option.

Florida Flagfish

You might have heard about it before because of its bulldog-like body, but the thing you might not have known is that these fish can eat algae and work as your cleaner crew. They live in the marshy and brackish areas, so living in your tank will not be a problem for them. 

One more thing to add here is by adding them in your aquarium, you’ll be having a fish with the name in the Guinness Book of World Record. They are known to be the fish producing the least number of eggs. So, enjoy

Violet Gobies

Violet gobies are long fish with eel-like bodies. Their teeth are very sharp and help scrap the algae from the rocks, decoration items, and other complex objects. So, having them in your aquarium will not have to do the weekly cleaning spree for the algae removal. You’ll have it done automatically.

You can find this fish species in the pet stores, usually 3-5 inches long. Over time, you can expect it to get to 15-inch in length, so make sure you have enough space for this fish when it grows in size. Besides, their habitat is blackish and marshy, so they’ll adjust in your tank very quickly. 


If you want to remove algae from your brackish tank, scats can be another option you can avail of. They are scavengers and they rely on fecal matters, decaying animals, or plants. Similarly, they can eat the algae from your tank, leaving it neat and clean.

But if you have a small tank, their size might be a problem for you because it can reach nearly 1 foot in length. Having a few of them in your aquarium will reduce the territory for the existing pets in your tank.

Hypostomus Watwata and Hypostomus Ventromaculatus

Reading these names for the first time because they are rarely traded, you cannot expect to find them at a pet shop. But if you have your connection or are lucky enough, these fish species can help you reduce the number of algae in your tank with great ease.

An essential fact to note while searching for these fish is that you cannot keep them in highly saline water. They’ll only work in the low salinity systems.

Summing up

Brackish algae eaters can be your life saviors, especially if you are already fed up with your tank’s cleaning and maintenance. Setting up the right mix of species in your aquarium will ensure that the number of nitrates and phosphates are readily consumed, or the algae formed as a result can be cleaned immediately so that it will not harm the other fish species. Amazingly, you have a lot of options available to make it happen.

Look for the species from the above list for your tank size and the other inhabitants, and enjoy a carefree life. Well, this wouldn’t exactly be possible because you have fish as pets, and they’ll demand your care every time, but yes, a comparatively easy one.