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Description
Golden Chinese Algae Eater
(Gyrinocheilus 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
Golden Chinese Algae Eater's are an albino variant of the common Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilos aymonieri), which have been selectively bred over the years to increase their availability within the hobby and enhance their coloration. Gold Algae Eater's exhibit a striking goldish / yellow coloration that sets them apart from most other freshwater tropical aquarium fish commonly found within the hobby. They range in appearance from a light tan / yellow color, to a deeper goldish / yellow coloration depending on aquarium conditions, lighting and food sources.
They typically exhibit their best coloration when kept in an aquarium with live plants and driftwood, which enables a variety of different conditions for algae growth. This provides the Golden Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilos aymonieri) with a variety of food sources which when combined with vegetable based sinking wafers provide a diverse and healthy diet that will bring out the fish's best colors.
Aquarium Care
The Golden 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 Golden 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 Golden 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.
Aquariums housing Golden Chinese Algae Eater's should have plenty of rocks, driftwood and plants for the fish to graze on for algae. Golden 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 alone.
Even when they chase other sucker mouth fish, they are not overly aggressive and typically only squabble with each other or 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
Golden 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, Golden Chinese Algae Eater's can also be fed sinking algae wafers and pellets.
Additional Photos