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I'm looking for alternative natural filters for my tank to combat algae. I've read that a mussel can filter up to 100 gallons/day, consuming algae and detritus.

My concerns are:

  • I grow copepods and other microorganisms. Will this filter feeder wipe out the population (eg Consume the zooplankton that is the next generation)? We already dose the tank with phytoplankton, which I suspect is the main source of my algae. I'm hoping this will be a two-birds situation.
  • My tank volume is about 135gal. Filtering that much volume, will I have to eventually start supplementing their diet?
  • What other requirements do they have? Can they survive in fine substrate, such as aragonite? They would probably be more efficient in the main tank, but with my starfish and crabs it'd probably be happier in the sump.
  • Would clams, oysters, etc be better suited for this task?
  • How many would be appropriate for this size tank to be both efficient but not starving them? Do they quickly proliferate?
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  • Related: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/6643/…
    – Spidercat
    Jan 9 '15 at 19:10
  • Thanks for that. In my case, I'm merely trying to supplement my filters with natural methods, but I want to adequately care for my new critters in the process. Unfortunately, the less attractive workers of the trade don't get much attention so information is harder to dig up on them. Even the link in the answer to the question you provided is just anecdotal information provided by the seller.
    – Gary
    Jan 9 '15 at 19:30
  • No problem. I do think the bullets could be broken up into separate questions. But for the 4th bullet at least, I think it might be important to list what starfish you have. I imagine it's not the case in your tank since you also have crabs, but some starfish will go after bivalves so it might limit your options.
    – Spidercat
    Jan 9 '15 at 20:04

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