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Chinese Algae Eater
(Gyrinocheilos aymonieri)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Maximum Size: 10"
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Water Conditions: 74-81° F, KH 8-10, pH 6.8-7.4
Diet: Herbivore
Origin: Southeast Asia
Family: Gyrinocheilidae
Species: Suckermouth Catfish
Aquarium Type: Community
Species Information
The Chinese Algae Eater has been a popular aquarium fish for a long time, as they have been kept in tropical community aquariums for some time. Hobbyist's initially purchase the Chinese Algae Eater for it's ability to keep algae under control, but soon find them to be both a useful and interesting fish to keep. Their unique swimming style combined with their ability to perch on rocks, plants, driftwood, etc. make them entertaining to watch.
If kept in groups, a single specimen will generally become dominant over the others and attain a much larger size then the other Chinese Algae Eaters kept in the same tank. While this is a breeding adaptation seen in many fish species, little is known about this species breeding requirements and habits.
Aquarium Care
Aquariums housing Chinese Algae Eater's should have plenty of rocks, driftwood and plants for the fish to graze on for algae. Chinese Algae Eater's can reach upwards of 10" when fully grown and can swim very quickly in short burst, thus they should be housed in aquariums of 30 gallons or more to give them the room they need.
They can be semi-aggressive towards others of their own kind, but tend to leave other fish only. Even when they chase other sucker mouth fish, they are not overly aggressive and typically only squabble with other similar fish species over territory. Ideally they should be provided shaded areas within the aquarium, as they tend to like to avoid the bright aquarium lights at times.
Feeding & Nutrition
Chinese Algae Eater's are herbivores that primarily eat algae growing on rocks, plants, driftwood and aquarium glass. They are excellent for planted aquariums as they can eat algae growing on live plants without damaging the plant itself.
Other larger algae eaters like Pleco's can be damaging to live plants due to their size and weight. If enough naturally occurring algae is not present within the aquarium, Chinese Algae Eater's can also be fed sinking algae wafers and pellets.
Additional Photos