Some people keep algae-eating fish like plecos mostly to keep their aquariums clean, but that is quite unfair to the humble pleco. Plecos and other algae-eating fish can look quite nice, especially if you take good care of them. One way to treat your aquarium cleaners is to give them the best algae wafers as a treat.
Algae wafers for algae eaters are not just made of algae. They also often come fortified with additional vitamins. So, not only are your fish getting a tasty treat, but you are also supplementing their diets. This article will teach you how to choose the right brand of algae wafers for whatever fish you have in your tank.
You will also receive a couple of product reviews and recommendations so you can decide which is right for you.
- Best Algae Wafers Reviews
- 1. King British Algae Wafers
- 2. Aquatic Foods Inc Sinking Algae Wafers
- 3. Ultra Fresh Picky Pleco Algae Wafers
- 4. Tetra Algae Wafers
- 5. New Life Spectrum Algaemax Wafers
- 6. Hikari AHK21328 tropical Algae Wafers
- 7. Aquatic Arts Algae Wafers
- 8. Invert Aquatics Mini Algae Discs
- 9. API Algae Eater Wafers
- 10. Aqueon Algae Rounds
- What to Look For When Buying a Algae Wafers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Algae Wafers Reviews
1. King British Algae Wafers
I keep a couple of shrimps and a pleco just to keep my aquarium clean. However, because they are doing such a great job, they would not have enough algae to eat. A friend suggested that I try using these algae wafers for fish and I was kind of hesitant at first.
I did not want to put algae in my tank on purpose. However, the moment I put on a single wafer, all my shrimp came swarming towards it and finished it in a matter of hours.
The organic algae itself already provides enough nutrition but it also comes fortified with spirulina for additional health benefits. Just like in humans, spirulina promotes a stronger immune system in bottom-feeding fish, crustaceans, and invertebrates.
Aside from spirulina, these wafers also contain a healthy amount of Vitamin C. Just like spirulina, Vitamin C also promotes a stronger immune system. In addition, it makes the skin and scales of fish and other aquatic creatures healthier. I saw the most improvement in my cherry shrimp as they now have brighter colors than before.
These algae wafers also contain additional protein to increase the mass of my aquarium denizens’ mass, thus making them healthier. The shrimp gained the most benefits. They managed to grow quite fast and are more active than before.
The only thing that I did not like about these wafers is that they would turn the water momentarily cloudy. However, once the shrimps and my pleco started eating, the water would clear up again. I just don’t like the shock of seeing a cloudy tank.
- Bottom-feeders like them a lot
- Contains spirulina to boost fishes’ immune system
- Contains Vitamin C for healthier skin and scales
- Also contains additional protein
- The wafers are a bit too big
- Temporarily turns the water cloudy
My shrimp and plecos like this product a lot, so much that they would swarm to it immediately. Even though the wafers are a bit too big in my opinion, my fish still manage to finish them in just a couple of hours.
2. Aquatic Foods Inc Sinking Algae Wafers
Spirulina is considered a superfood, which is why you would find it in many human food supplements. So, it makes sense that you should also include it in your fish’s food. After I started giving my catfish and shrimp these algae wafers, they have gotten considerably bigger and more active.
Aside from algae and spirulina, according to the company’s website, these wafers also contain a variety of different ingredients. From fish meals to different vegetables, they are all in this healthy fish food. In addition to getting bigger, my shrimp’s colors have gotten significantly brighter than before.
I also like this choice for the best algae wafers for shrimp as it does not muddle the water in the tank, unlike the other algae wafers. I have tried other brands of wafers that would immediately break down once in the tank, turning the water green. These algae wafers are a bit firmer but still easy for small creatures to nibble on them.
I have a couple of Amano and cherry shrimps in one of my tanks and they would swarm to the wafers that I put into their home. I would usually break a wafer in half because they are a bit too big, so a bag would last quite a long time.
The shrimps are not the only ones that benefited from these algae wafers. The plecos and catfish looked great, too. I have a couple of apple snails in one tank and all of them look amazing. The apple snails, in particular, looked much better. They did not have the vibrant colors they have now when I just let them eat any algae that formed in the tank.
The only major complaint that I have with this product is its smell. These algae wafers have a rather strong smell. I needed to transfer them into an airtight container to keep the smell from getting out. I do recommend putting a desiccant pouch in the container to prevent these wafers from getting moldy.
- Infused with spirulina for added nutrition
- Contains various ingredients that will help keep your fish healthy
- Specifically formulated to increase the clarity of the water
- Promotes shiny and healthy skin and scales
- Has a very strong odor
- The packaging does not have any nutritional information
Unlike some of the other brands of algae wafers I have tested, I liked how this one does not make the water cloudy. It would have been much better if the nutritional information were on the packaging instead of being only on the company’s website.
3. Ultra Fresh Picky Pleco Algae Wafers
What’s great about the best algae wafers for plecos is that it contains a lot of natural and healthy ingredients. This does not just contain algae but also different fruits and vegetables to provide additional vitamins and nutrients. In my opinion, this product is more like a food supplement rather than plain fish food.
Another thing that I liked about this brand of algae wafers for shrimp is that it does not make the water in my tank cloudy at all. This fish food drops immediately to the bottom of the tank, so it is ideal for bottom-feeders like plecos, catfish, snails, and shrimp.=
Moreover, although it softens quickly, it does not dissolve easily. This means that the fish can eat it easily without clouding the water.
This fish food also contains premium dried prawns for additional protein content. The additional protein helped my sick fish recover quickly, particularly that one catfish I had that my cichlids bullied (he’s now in another tank). It also helped my shrimp grow quite fast and they are now livelier than ever.
This food also contains seaweed, which is something that helps improve the coloration and skin condition of fish. It also contains beneficial probiotics that help fish absorb more nutrients.
I only have one, somewhat big, issue with this product – that is the fact that it is a bit too small for my plecos. Although these pellets sink immediately to the bottom, they are still hard by the time my plecos get to them. It means that they would sometimes choke on them a bit before they could swallow the pellets.
- Contains a wide variety of natural and healthy ingredients
- This fish food softens quickly but does not dissolve easily
- Contains premium prawn meat for additional protein
- Sinks to the bottom to make it easier for bottom-feeders to access
- A bit too small for most plecos
- Not everyone liked it – Some of my shrimps did not touch it
The fish that did like this product cannot get enough of it but those who are not fond of it did not even touch it. I would still recommend this if you have any algae-eating fish in your tank. Some of them might not like it, but those who do will surely love it.
4. Tetra Algae Wafers
The tetra algae wafers are specifically formulated to provide bottom-feeding fish with the nutrients that they need to thrive. For instance, since bottom feeders usually eat the waste that the other fish leave behind, they need hardy digestive systems. This product promotes the overall health of plecos and other similar fish.
This fish food contains just a couple of basic ingredients that might not sound appealing but it is quite beneficial. This fish food contains quality algae and zucchini, which provides most of the vitamins and minerals that plecos need. It also contains additional fiber, making it easier to digest.
Another nice thing about this fish food is that it does not dissolve quite as fast as other brands. This means that it will not make the water cloudy unless your fish will not eat it, which is unlikely to happen.
This fish food is also shaped perfectly for bottom feeders. They have a disk shape that promotes the natural foraging instincts of the plecos and similar fish. This means that your fish will still feel like they are in their natural habitat. Expect them to feel more comfortable and happier as a result.
The only problem that I have with this product is that, unlike the other brands I have tried, they are hard to sink. I had to soak these pellets for a couple of minutes before they could sink to the bottom. Other brands would sink readily without any preparation at all.
- Specifically formulated for bottom feeders
- Contains algae, zucchini, and additional fiber for easier digestion
- Does not dissolve quickly – It keeps your tank water clean
- Has the right shape for bottom-feeding fish
- Kind of hard to make them sink
- Most fish leave the outer part of the wafers uneaten
Despite the mentioned flaws, I am still satisfied with the overall performance of this product. The algae wafers are good enough for bottom feeders plus they promote ease of digestion, making them good additions to their diet.
5. New Life Spectrum Algaemax Wafers
I like the dense packing of these wafers as this means that they will immediately sink to the bottom. I don’t like using the ones that you need to soak first so they would sink. These wafers are just a lot more convenient to use. Moreover, they do not dissolve quickly so the water remains clear.
These wafers do not just contain algae. Although they do have a good amount of it, there are also several different kinds of seaweed in it. They provide a lot of additional vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your fish, including Vitamins A and C – all of which are important for the growth and health of your fish.
Aside from vitamins, additional protein also enhances this fish food. This is ideal in case you have a tank for the fish fry. The additional protein will help them grow faster and healthier. It also helps sick and recovering fish get better faster, so consider using this in your quarantine tanks.
Just because this fish food contains seaweed, that does not mean it is for marine fish only. The seaweed does not contain enough salt to affect freshwater fish, so this is perfectly safe for all kinds of fish. I keep a couple of apple snails as well and all of them like this stuff.
However, if this is the first time that you will be using algae wafers, I need to warn you about its smell. You will need to keep the lid screwed on tight and you might want to hold your breath when you place this in the water. Other than the smell, I do not have that many other complaints.
- Easily sinks to the bottom and breaks apart
- Contains several kinds of seaweed for optimum nutrition
- Has additional protein, making it great for fish fry and recovering fish
- Ideal for both marine and freshwater fish
- They smell horrible
- Not good for picky eaters
If you have picky fish, there is a good chance that they will not like these “pellets”. My catfish are not that picky when it comes to their food and they even did not like this. However, my shrimps and snails went crazy for the best algae wafers for otocinclus. They would immediately swarm to the food plate when I put these wafers in there.
6. Hikari AHK21328 tropical Algae Wafers
Aside from algae, this fish food also contains a variety of vegetable matter that will provide your bottom-feeder fish with proper nutrition. It also comes enhanced with additional vitamins and minerals, most notably Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and phosphorus.
I cannot say the same for other aquarium owners, but my plecos, shrimps, catfish, and snails just love eating Hikari mini algae wafers. Especially my plecos, they would immediately go to their feeding plate when it is feeding time.
I also discovered that fish fry likes this product. I think this is the reason why I am getting a higher yield of new fish every breeding season.
Unlike traditional fish food, this sinks immediately to the bottom. This means that your bottom-feeding fish will not be competing with the other fish in your tank. Also, unlike the other brands that I have tried, you do not need to soak these wafers in water to make them sink. They will do so quite readily.
Another nice thing about this product is you are getting a lot for its price. Algae wafers are quite expensive but not this brand. These algae wafers are nearly half the price of some of the other premium brands but they still work the same.
The only downside I can think of is that it contains copper sulfate, which a lot of Hikari algae wafers review posts did not like. Although it is not necessarily toxic, it does tend to increase the oxygen levels in tanks, which kills plants. If you have a planted tank, then you should use this product sparingly or at least no more than once a day.
- Contains a bunch of different vegetable matter aside from algae
- Plecos and other bottom feeders just love it
- Sinks quickly and does not dissolve that fast
- You will be getting a lot for the price
- Contains copper sulfate so you should use it just once a day
- The resealable packaging does little to keep the smell from leaking out
Aside from containing a bit of copper sulfate, there is not that much to complain about the Hikari tropical algae wafers. My plecos and shrimps just love this stuff and they have gotten visibly healthier than they did before I started using it. Just make sure to feed it to your fish no more than once daily to keep the copper sulfate at a tolerable level.
7. Aquatic Arts Algae Wafers
One thing I liked about this product is that it provides awesome value for money. Each packaging contains 8 ounces of algae wafers and it is enough to last a couple of months. As per package instructions, you only need to feed your fish every other day. Since I am only feeding one 2” pleco and a couple of Amano shrimp, half a wafer is enough.
I have another small pleco that shares a tank with a rather large goldfish. I had a problem when the goldfish would steal the pleco’s food, but this product solved it. These wafers are big enough that they will not fit inside the goldfish’s maw.
They are also hard enough that they could not crush it. This means my plecos can take their time nibbling on this wafer without disturbances.
One problem I used to have with other algae wafers is that a lot of my fish are picky eaters. I would plop a wafer in the tank and it usually gets ignored. This is not an issue with this brand. I often see the fish and shrimp swarm these wafers. In the tank where I keep mostly shrimps and snails, one wafer will be almost completely gone in an hour.
Another nice thing about these algae wafers is they contain a lot of protein, which all fish and invertebrates need to grow. My shrimps and plecos are visibly healthier after just a month of using these wafers. My shrimps are also more active now and their colors are brighter.
The only thing that I did not like about this product is that the surface layers would soften and disintegrate quickly. This causes the water to turn cloudy for around an hour or so. It is a good thing that I have beefy water filters; otherwise, this could become a serious issue for me.
- Great value for money
- The pellets are big enough that even goldfish will not be able to swallow them
- Even picky eaters love these wafers
- Contains a lot of protein
- Has filler ingredients
- Disintegrates fast and clouds the water temporarily
If you are looking for big algae wafers, these might be the ones you are looking for. A reason why these are so great in my opinion is that they are big enough that my large goldfish could not devour them.
This means that my plecos, shrimps, and other bottom feeders do not need to compete with the other fish. This ensures that they are getting enough of the right kinds of nutrition.
8. Invert Aquatics Mini Algae Discs
Other algae wafers are too big for feeding one pleco or several shrimps. You will need to break them in half. This brand is just the right size for my catfish, plecos, shrimps, and snails. They can finish all of the discs in under an hour and there are rarely any scraps left behind.
These discs also have spirulina. This is a superfood that contains lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, which is why you usually find it in many food supplements. Humans are not the only creatures that can benefit from spirulina. My plecos and shrimp have gotten a lot healthier since I started using this product.
This fish food is not just for plecos, even if the packaging states it is. All algae-eating fish and invertebrates just love this. Whenever I place one disc in my shrimp tank, they would all come out of hiding and swarm over it. It is also ideal for fry, snails, and even crayfish. I also keep a couple of hermit crabs and they would fight over these discs.
Although they come shaped like discs, these wafers immediately sink to the bottom of the tank. This is important because bottom-feeders like plecos have mouths that point downward, meaning they cannot eat food that floats on the water.
This also prevents other fish from stealing food from the plecos. It usually happens if they share a tank with cichlids and other big fish species.
The only issue that I have with this product is that it does not provide a lot of information about its ingredients. Aside from the brand name and a couple of pictures, there is no ingredients list and nutritional information. You can find the necessary information on the company’s website, but you should not have to do that.
- Just the right size for small bottom feeders
- Contains spirulina for additional nutrition
- Not just for plecos but also shrimps, snails, and crayfish
- Sinks quickly
- There is no ingredients’ information on the packaging
- They disintegrate quickly
You will be getting a one-pound bag for a reasonable price and this bag will last for at least a couple of months. It may feel like you are taking a risk since there is no ingredients’ information on the packaging, though.
However, if you can take my word for it, I have used it for close to a year, and my plecos and other algae eaters are quite happy.
9. API Algae Eater Wafers
The nice thing about this fish food is that it is specifically formulated for bottom-feeders like plecos, catfish, loaches, and others. If you have a pleco that is way too good at its job, you can supplement its diet with these wafers. I have a couple of young plecos and they love the wafers.
Another nice thing about this product is that it makes fish more efficient at absorbing nutrients from their food. According to API, this makes fish absorb more nutrients and produce less waste. This means that your fish are healthier and theoretically should keep your water clear.
It seems like these algae wafers are tasty because even my catfish, who are picky eaters, love them a lot. Whenever I place one wafer down in my tank, all the shrimp, along with the pleco, would immediately swarm towards it.
Aside from vitamins and minerals, these algae wafers also contain a lot of protein that promotes the healthy growth of fish. I have a smaller tank that I reserve for fry and these algae wafers are what I feed them. These are also great for injured and/or recovering fish. It makes them get well much faster.
Now, here are the things that I do not like about this product. First, these wafers dissolve so fast that they make the water cloudy. There are even instances when the water would have a greenish tint for a day or two. However, the biggest issue that I have is that, if the fish are not able to eat all of the wafers, they make the water smell bad.
- Provides superior nutrition for bottom-feeders
- Makes fish more efficient at absorbing nutrients
- Even picky eaters love it
- Contains a lot of protein that promotes healthy growth
- Makes the water cloudy
- Prone to making the water smelly
You can avoid the issues with decreased water quality by feeding your fish just enough wafers that they can finish in a couple of minutes. These algae wafers are just chock full of beneficial nutrients that it would be a shame for you not to try.
10. Aqueon Algae Rounds
These algae rounds contain a lot of other ingredients aside from dried algae. The most notable ingredient is the dried kelp, which provides the kind of flavor that most fish find irresistible. My Amano shrimps seem to particularly love this algae wafer because they would immediately flock to it.
These algae wafers are not just a nice treat for bottom-feeders but they also contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients. These wafers contain spirulina, which promotes a healthy immune system. It also provides a lot of Vitamin C for healthy scales and skin. My pleco used to look drab and dull but now, it is quite vibrant and healthy.
Unlike other algae wafers that turn the water cloudy, these will take maybe thirty minutes to start dissolving. However, if you forget to fish out the leftovers, it will cloud the water. I avoid this problem by feeding my fish one wafer at a time, only putting more if my fish wants it.
These wafers are especially for bottom feeders, which is why they immediately sink to the bottom. These also have a disc shape so they lay flat on the substrate, making them easier for fish, like plecos, catfish, and loaches, to eat.
Just like the other algae wafers I have tried, these also smell horrible. These wafers come in a plastic bag that is not resealable. If you do not want your house to smell like the beach at low tide, you should put them in an airtight plastic container immediately after opening.
- Contains dried kelp and spirulina
- Improves the fishes’ immune system and their appearance
- Does not dissolve quickly, preventing the water from clouding
- Sinks to the bottom and lays flat on the bottom
- Can make your tank cloudy
- Has a terrible smell
I have only experienced the water-clouding problem one time. Since then, I have only been putting these wafers one at a time. I found that you need to remove leftover wafers immediately as these would dissolve in half an hour or so. If you have lots of algae eaters in your aquarium, they would most likely love this.
What to Look For When Buying a Algae Wafers
Shopping for the best algae wafers can be tricky, especially if this is the first time you are buying them. To make this task a bit easier, here are some of the things that you need to consider.
Size of the Wafers
The wafers should not be too large that your fish and other bottom feeders cannot finish even one piece. Of course, you can just break the wafer apart, but it would be a lot more convenient if it is already the right size.
You should also take into consideration the size of the fish that you will be feeding. If you are feeding plecos, the wafer should be bigger than its mouth so that it will promote its natural feeding habits. If you will be feeding shrimp and/or snails, the wafers should only be big enough that they can finish one off in ten to fifteen minutes or so.
Aside from algae, good-quality algae wafers should also contain other beneficial ingredients. Look for products that contain kelp, spirulina, and other superfoods. You can also look for products that contain dehydrated shrimp, fish meal, and other protein sources.
Look for products that contain lots of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. These vitamins would make your fish look and behave healthier.
Algae wafers are ideal for bottom-feeding fish and other scavengers, so they need to immediately sink to the bottom of the tank. There are some brands that you need to soak for a bit of water before they settle at the bottom, and they are fine if you do not mind the extra steps.
Does not Dissolve Quickly
Some algae wafers would immediately turn to mush after just a couple of minutes. These are the ones that you need to avoid as they will turn the water in your tank cloudy fast. Because they start to deteriorate quickly, you will not even be able to fish out the leftovers without making the water even murkier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Algae Wafers have Calcium?
The best algae wafers for snails contain a significant amount of calcium. This means that crustaceans and mollusks will benefit greatly from eating them.
Do Algae Wafers Cause Ammonia?
The bottom feeders will still produce waste, but if you feed them quality algae wafers, they will not produce that much ammonia. Most algae wafers are formulated to give bottom-feeding fish more efficient digestion.
It would be problematic if you put too many shrimps or plecos in your tank. They might do too good of a job at cleaning your aquarium, thus leaving them with nothing to eat. If this happens to you, you need to procure these algae wafers to supplement their diets.
Algae wafers do not just nourish bottom-feeding fish but they are also great for other fish like loaches and even bettas. Your fish deserves the best algae wafers and it is up to you to find them.