9 Black Algae Eating Fish That Will Keep Your Tank Clean

There are many black algae eating fish that will keep your tank clean.

Black algae are not harmful to fish, but they can be unsightly and hard to get rid of.

There are also many reasons why black algae might form in your fish tank, so knowing the cause is important when trying to find a solution.

The following 9 black algae eater fish will help you keep your pond or aquarium clean!

Black Algae Eating Fish That Will Keep The Tank Clean

Black algae are a common problem for many fish tank owners.

These algae can be difficult to get rid of and often leave a tank looking dirty.

One way to combat black algae is by adding some fish that eat it!

Here are nine black algae eating fish that will help keep your tank clean:

1. Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese Algae Eater is a great fish for black algae control. They are a voracious eater of algae and will work to keep your tank clean.

Siamese Algae Eaters can grow up to six inches in length, so make sure you have enough room in your tank before adding one!

It is best to keep only one Siamese Algae Eater per tank, as they can be fairly aggressive.

They are peaceful fish and would do best with other non-aggressive species of the same size.

2. Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus Catfish is one of the best algae eaters for your tank.

They stay small in size, only growing to be around two inches long, and prefer a tropical freshwater environment with plenty of hiding places.

The downside to these fish is that they are very sensitive to water conditions so if you have poor filtration or it is not clean, they may not be the best choice for you.

Otocinclus Catfish is a great option if you have black algae in your tank because they will eat it all up!

They are also peaceful fish and do well when kept in schools of six or more.

3. Algae Eating Shrimp

There are two types of algae-eating shrimp that will help clean your aquarium.

The first type is the Amano Shrimp which grows up to four inches in length and has white claws with black tips.

They do not accept dried foods so you must feed them fresh vegetables like zucchini, kale, or spinach.

The second one is the Bamboo Shrimp which is smaller than the Amano shrimp and has a reddish-brown body with black stripes.

The bamboo shrimp can also be fed dried foods, but they prefer live food.

Both of these types of algae-eating shrimp are great for removing black algae from an aquarium because they are not afraid to get close to the glass.

4. Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose pleco is a popular algae eater for planted tanks.

They get to around seven inches long and can be kept in most community aquariums with other non-aggressive fish that aren’t too small.

The downside of this little guy, however, is their need for high humidity levels which isn’t typically possible if you don’t have a humidifier going at all times.

This will keep your tank clean and clear of black algae.

5. Siamensis Shrimp

This small black, red and white shrimp will do a great job of keeping your fish tank clean.

It is often referred to as the Siamese algae eater or freshwater cleaner shrimp because it lives off of eating all types of hair algae.

In fact, these tiny creatures cannot survive in an aquarium that has no algae for them to eat so this is one you definitely want to add if you are having problems with black algae.

They should be added in groups of at least six as they do best when they are in a colony and will work together to clean the tank.

Siamensis shrimp prefer hard water with a pH of around neutral and a temperature range of 68-79 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Loaches (Whiptails, Clowns, and YoYo Loach)

In this section, we will be learning about 3 different loaches that will help you get rid of black algae in your tank.

Clown Loach

The clown loach is a good addition to any aquarium due to its unique personality and ability to keep the bottom clean.

It keeps the tank free of debris like dead plant matter, leftover food, and uneaten fish flakes that can cause unwanted build-up and clouding of water over time.

Whiptail Loach

The whiptail loach is an efficient algae eater and will quickly eradicate any black algae present in the tank.

They are also schooling fish so it’s best to keep at least six of them together.

YoYo Loach

The YoYo loach is a small, active loach that is a voracious algae eater.

It will quickly consume any black algae present in the tank and should be kept in schools of six or more.

7. Nerite Snails

Nerite snails are a great addition to any tank as they feed on black algae.

They are very small, so they won’t take up much space, and they’re non-toxic to both fish and plants.

Keep in mind that nerite snails reproduce quickly, so you may want to only add a few at a time.

You need to do some research to make sure you get the right type of nerite snail.

8. Siamese Flying Fox

The Siamese flying fox is an omnivorous bottom feeder that will eat just about anything you give it.

It does best when there are other fish in the tank to keep it company and provide some natural variation in its diet.

Should not be kept with fast-moving fish or small prey.

Also, flying foxes are a great option for black algae control in ponds.

9. Cherry Barb

Yes, the humble cherry barb is a black algae eater and it does a great job of keeping the tank clean.

This fish is small, peaceful, and easy to care for making it a perfect choice for anyone just starting out with an aquarium.

Cherry barbs can typically be found at most pet stores and they are relatively inexpensive making them a great option for those on a budget.

Each of these fish will consume black algae and help keep your tank looking clean.

If you are having problems with black algae, be sure to add one or more of these fish to your tank!

Why Is My Fish Tank Growing Black Algae?

There are quite many reasons why your fish tank is growing black algae.

High nitrate level in the water.

Low pH level in the water.

Overfeeding of protein-rich foods or feeding them too often will cause this problem to occur more frequently, especially when you have other types of food that are not as high in protein available at all times for the fish.

Poor water circulation.

Lack of plants in the tank as they compete with algae for nutrients.

Presence of light, especially direct sunlight.

The tank is not cleaned often enough or thoroughly enough.

Fish are not healthy and/or there is an overpopulation of fish in the tank.

These were some of the basic reasons for black algae occurrence in the fish tank.

If you want to read more detailed information on why black algae appear in fish tanks, you can check out this article.

Is Black Algae Harmful To Fish?

Some people may wonder if black algae are harmful to fish.

The answer is, it depends. If there is a lot of black algae in the tank, then it could potentially clog the gills of the fish or make it difficult for them to breathe.

Additionally, if black algae start to grow on the sides of the tank, it could cause the fish to become trapped.

However, if you are seeing black algae in small amounts on some of the decorations or gravels in your tank then it is unlikely that there will be any harmful effects.

Black algae eaters fish can help prevent this from happening by eating up all of the excess black algae growing in your tank so that they don’t have a chance to become a problem.

Is Black Algae Poisonous?

No, black algae are not poisonous to fish.

In fact, black algae is a food source for some fish. However, black algae can cause harm to the tank by blocking light and oxygen from reaching other plants and fish.

Usually, black algae are not harmful to fish unless it grows out of control.

When it grows out of control, black algae can deprive other plants and fish of the light and oxygen they need to survive, leading to their death.

What Fish Will Keep My Pond Clean?

When pondering what fish will keep your pond clean.

The first thing you should ask yourself is how big is your pond?

The next question to ask is how many fish do you want in your pond?

You don’t want to overcrowd your pond and make it difficult for the fish to get enough oxygen.

The third question you need to ask yourself before adding any fish is what type of fish do you want in your pond?

Do you want Koi, Goldfish, Catfish, or some other type of fish?

Once you have answered those questions it will be much easier to decide on the right fish for your pond.

Pond cleaning fishes come in many shapes and sizes.

There are some fish that are specifically bred to eat algae and keep the pond clean.

Some people might think that adding a few goldfish will do the job, but in most cases, it won’t.

Goldfish are not known for their algae-eating abilities.

In fact, they usually contribute to the algae growth in a pond.

The best fish for the job are those that are naturally inclined to eat algae.

Here is a list of nine black algae eating fish that will keep your pond clean:

  • Koi
  • Catfish
  • Tilapia
  • Algae Eater Fish
  • Plecostomus
  • Danio
  • Loaches
  • Tinfoil Barb
  • White Cloud Mountain Fish

Now that you know what fish will keep your pond clean, it’s time to decide which one is the best for your unique situation. A good place to start would be with a Black Algae Eater or Plecostomus.

How Do I Get Rid Of Black Algae In My Fish Tank?

Well, there are many ways to get rid of black algae in the fish tank.

The easiest and safest way is adding more fish that will help you clean up your aquarium and don’t create a perfect environment for the growth of black algae.

There are other common ways that can help you remove black algae including increasing the water’s pH, adding an algaecide or a clarifier to your tank, and changing more than 25% of the water.

However, if you’re looking for a permanent solution to get rid of this pesky algae, it is best to take apart your fish tank and clean it thoroughly.

You should remove all algae and then re-assemble your tank.

This means that you will need to rinse the gravel, rocks, plants, decorations thoroughly with tap water before replacing them back into the fish tank.

You should also use a good filter for an effective black algae control but make sure not to change more than 25% of your existing filter media.

If you want more knowledge regarding how to get rid of black algae in the fish tank we have an article on our website that can help you out.


In conclusion, adding black algae-eating fish to your tank can help keep the tank clean and free of black algae.

Some good options for black algae eaters include:

  1. Siamese Algae Eater
  2. Otocinclus Catfish
  3. Algae Eating Shrimp
  4. Bristlenose Pleco
  5. Siamensis Shrimp
  6. Loaches (Whiptails, Clowns, and YoYo Loach)
  7. Amano Shrimp
  8. Siamese Flying Fox
  9. Cherry Barb

Be sure to do your research before adding any new fish to your tank in order to ensure they are a compatible fit for your aquarium.

Let us know you came across black algae issue in your tank and what you did to resolve it? It will surely help our other readers.

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