Species group: Loaches
Other common names: Gold Algae Eater; Siamese Algae Eater; Indian Algae Eater; Sucking Loach
Scientific name: Gyrinocheilus aymonieri
The Chinese Algae Eater is a species of Loach which lives in fast-flowing freshwater mountain streams in Southeast Asia. They hold on to fixed objects using a sucker-like mouth, and feed on a wide range of detritus, rather than simply on algae. In the home aquarium they will need to be offered algae wafers weekly to supplement any algae available in the aquarium.
The Chinese algae eater is popular because is it's algae eating behavior and hardiness. Tank-mates need to be chosen carefully though because this fish has a bad habit of eating the slime coating off of larger slow moving fish like Angles and Discus.
The Chinese Algae Eater has a yellow to brown body and light brown spots that form a line from the tip of its nose to its tail.
The Chinese Algae Eater is a semi-aggressive fish but won't bother most tank inhabitants. Chinese Algae Eaters will target certain fish and feed on the mucous on their skin which leaves them vulnerable to infection. Fish to avoid housing with Chinese Algae Eater for this reason are Goldfish, Angel Fish, Gouramis, and Discus any large bodied slow moving fish is at risk though. The best tank-mates are other torpedo shaped, fast moving, semi-aggressive fish like gold barbs, checker barbs, and some of the less aggressive African Cichlids. Smaller fish like neon tetras may be seen as prey when the Chinese Algae Eater becomes full grown.
The Chinese Algae Eater needs a minimum tank size of 55 Gallons when it is full grown. They like to be able to hide so plant, decorations and wood are a good idea for these fish, with out them they may burry themselves in the substrate to hide or become overly stressed. They enjoy water flow and can be found playing in the current of a high powered filter. A secure tank lid is needed so they don't jump out.
74 - 82 °F
6.8 - 7.5
green algae problem, algea removal, community tank
adult size, slime coatings, boring algae eaters, aggression, bad idea, large tank
Golden variety, little sucker mouths, suction, glass, dull appearance