From the amount of similarly titled posts, I guess this is a fairly common problem.
Anyway, I have 2 little fellas who are diligently cleaning the glass in my tank (usually hidden at the back behind the plants) that I am having trouble identifying. From the top they look like Goldy's avatar (though one is much darker in colour) and from below look like the pics attached.
i have seen them described variously as coldwater, Chinese and Burmese plecs and have seen one website that says they are no relation at all. They never come down onto the ground, but remain at all times on the glass. They're about 1.5-2" long.
Probably a flow related issue or a nutrition related issue, they go where microbial colonies are densest, the dont really eat algae you see they feed off the tiny creatures living within the algae- theyre micropredators.
In a goldfish tank the biotype isnt really suitable for them , so they just have to manage where they can. Put them in a proper reoliphic setup and youll find theyll go straight for smooth stones, large gravels and work them in rotation every few days browsing back fast growth aerobic bacteria and protozoa.
TBH I think most of these smaller hillstreams feel bugged by the presence of large lake fish like goldies, the potential to be mouthed by a goldfish often puts them off going low, and of course unless the tank is understocked the hillstreams often struggle to find the high oxygenation they really need, as the goldies wheezy great heavy breathers that they are, sap much of the o2 from the water.
Cant really expect a hillstream to show totally natural behaviour in a setup that isnt really right for it.
Thanks for this, all interesting stuff - I am learning so fast, it's great. I don't think they should be bugged by the others as there are no goldfish and none of the others (Dwarf neon rainbows, mountain minnows & guppies) have shown any interest in them at all. It is a large 15 gallon tank, so I am hoping they don't feel crowded. As long as they are happy, I'm happy.
It depends on which ones you have as I found the 3 I have at the moment are fine with the goldfish and scuttle around on the sand fine and when they get to a pellet or pea whatever they hover over it as if to say its mine where as the others stayed on the glass and where not as hardy again it depends on your set up as to their behaviour