What Fish Help Clean Ponds?
Having a lot of algae is the bane of all pond enthusiasts, and trying to figure out how to remove them can be an issue. But there are plenty of natural ways to try to control the growth of algae in your pond.
You will be surprised that it only takes to find the perfect fish to do the job well.
What fish help clean ponds? There are plenty of fish available to check if you want help with regards to cleaning your ponds. It includes Siamese algae eater, common pleco, pond loach, grass carp, and Otocinclus catfish, to name a few.
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In this article, you will find a wide variety of fish that can help you maintain and clean your ponds and make sure you still have the pond ecosystem balanced.
Best Pond Fishes For Your Pond
Pond algae eaters and other natural methods are a great way of keeping your pond in check. If you are looking for a natural way of keeping your algae level checked and preventing dreaded blooms, this will be your solution.
Here are some of the best pond algae eaters that can help you with your issue:
Siamese Algae Eater
The Siamese Algae Eater is a freshwater carp known to be a voracious eater and not choosy. They will consume everything from green algae to pond scum and even red algae that some other fish will touch.
They are known to be small for a carp species as they can grow half a foot long. This freshwater fish is known to be frisky swimmers who do best in larger surroundings.
With their enterprising nature and large appetites, they are known to be poor neighbors of smaller fish like minnows but great goldfish and koi companions.
Siamese algae eaters can live up to 10 years, but they do not thrive in temperatures below 70F. If you have a pond outside and wintertime, they must be transferred to an indoor location when the weather cools down.
Common Pleco is also known as suckermouth catfish, and they scour a pond underwater for small crustaceans, invertebrates, and algae. They are famous when it comes to their ability to control algae in aquariums and ponds.
They also work against the kinds of filamentous algae known to be the ugliest and the most fish-stressing blooms.
They are known to be largely solitary and prefer not to compete with other plecos for large stretches of their territory. If more than one pleco is added to your pond, each should have at least 1,000 gallons to call its territory.
Plecos are much tougher than Siamese algae eaters, but they still need to be brought indoors if the temperature drops below 50F. Be sure to check the pond’s temperature now and then ensure that your fish don’t suffer.
Compared to other algae eaters on this list, Pond Loach prefers cooler temperatures. In some areas, they are mostly known as weather loaches.
Since they do not depend on summertime algae blooms, pond loaches take this opportunity to eat a wide variety of plant life and other insects that come in their way. But algae are the primary source of their diet.
Loaches are known to be sociable fish as they travel in small groups, and they can grow to a foot long. They eat fewer algae than some other species, and they do not get along with other highly social fish.
They are good companions with goldfish and koi, and their hardiness and resourcefulness make them the popular choice for first-time pond owners.
Koi Fish & Goldfish
Many pond owners won’t associate their koi fish and goldfish when cleaning their pond, but they do as they eat algae. However, it is fair to say that they eat less and eat about anything else.
Algae is an important part of their diet during wintertime when there are few alternatives available. These species are among the few who can stay in your pond during winter.
The prime algae-related benefit of having koi and goldfish in your pond is their ability to help other species not put a big dent of algae level on their own as they make sure to keep harmful algae.
If you think your koi and goldfish are essential species in your pond, it might be smart to choose other species that complement them well.
Plecos are a great example and docile enough to get along with koi but may damage smaller fish if it comes along their way.
As the name implies, grass carp feed mostly on plants, especially chara or musk grass. This type of algae resembles a pond plant and conveys the same benefits, including water filtration and a good habitat for small fish and invertebrates.
But it can grow rapidly and aggressively that in certain conditions, it can overwhelm the entire pond. Together with chara, grass carp, especially the elodea, and duckweed, two oxygenating plants can easily outgrow their usage and become pests.
Grass carps are bigger than other species and can weigh up to 55 pounds. As a result, this type of fish can only be useful in larger ponds.
They are also known to be good breeders and, in 50 years, have become a problematic species in many freshwater areas. Because of this, only the triploid grass carp are advisable.
Mollies & Guppies
While Grass carp excel in large ponds and lakes, mollies and guppies are perfect for smaller ponds, especially in warmer climates. Like many other popular pond fish, mollies and guppies prefer a varied diet, as a tiny guppy won’t do much to get rid of the threatening bloom of algae.
The only difference is that they reproduce so quickly that even a small group of these fish types can suppress excess algae growth before long.
And because of their size, they prefer soft green algae, which is considered a beneficial type in general, compared to other types of pond scum. They also eat insect eggs and larvae, which get rid of mosquitos from your pond.
Mollies and guppies are known to be soft fish, and they thrive in temperatures above 55F. Mollies, in particular, don’t like cool temperatures and prefer to have a 75F temperature.
When winter is around the corner, they need to be brought inside or sold to pet stores.
Otocinclus catfish is a smaller version of a common pleco. They are two-inch long and sometimes called dwarf suckermouth catfish. In a general sense, it mostly shares some characteristics with plecos, including its appetite for algae.
Since they are known to be smaller than regular plecos, they prefer shallow water and perfect placement since it is the prime breeding ground for problematic algae types.
In the right conditions, otos can be an excellent first line of defense when it comes to excessive algae growth. They can survive even in small ponds full of littoral areas relative to their size.
When presented with other shallow and non-threatening neighbors, otos can curb algae growth even in hard-to-reach places.
Chinese High-Fin Banded Shark
Chinese High-fin is not a shark but just a fish with a prominent dorsal fin. They are mostly known as their other name, freshwater batfish, nearly as striking as a banded shark.
These batfish are known to be bottom feeders and prefer algae to other foods, and they grow slowly. Batfish are sociable fish and prefer to live in small groups.
They coexist easily with other small species though small fish like guppies and goldfish may be accidentally injured if they come across a feeding batfish’s path.
A flying fox is not a fox, as it is a double misnomer. A flying fox is small, but they are notoriously ravenous fish and can reach up to 4 to 6 inches in length.
They mostly subsist on algae and prefer the simpler and more beneficial type of algae.
Flying foxes are spirited fish that get along with different species, though they are not mutual all the time. They are known to be frisky, and it often leads to competition with others of their kind.
They usually prefer to be in smaller ponds and warmer climates, preferably 70F.
In conclusion, pond fishes consume algae because they need to grow and maintain their normal health. When algae bloom suddenly, it often happens during the warmest stretches of summer.
These fishes are responsible for bringing down the algae growth completely or under control.
You should know that algae-eaters do not necessarily change the pattern of which algae develop or bloom.
They can keep the algae from spreading to your pond’s floor and keep the baseline algae level manageable throughout the year without jeopardizing the entire pond’s health.