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chinese algae eater

Chinese Algae Eater

Chinese Algae Eater comes from Asia and has a narrow physique and is golden to brown in color. This is a freshwater fish. This is what we know from the theory, however, things are a bit different in the real life.

After being a tireless tank cleaner in its youth an adult CAE species changes its gustatory preferences and starts to fancy live food as well as it can even start to nip scales from its tankmates.

Quick stats

  • Care level: Easy
  • Temperament: Semi-aggressive
  • Color form: Tan, yellow
  • Diet: Herbivore
  • Water conditions: 74-79° F, KH 8-10, pH 6.8-7.4
  • Maximum size: 11″
  • Origin: Asia
  • Family: Gyrinocheilidae
  • Tank size: 50 gallons

Chinese algae eater habitat in the wild

chinese algae eater

Chinese algae eater inhabits mountain streams and lakes that drift over the giant sections of Thailand and some areas of Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam as nicely as in Borneo. Despite the fish name, it doesn’t inhabit in China.

Nowadays species caught in the wild are no longer exported, all Chinese language algae eaters you see on sale have been bred in fish hatcheries.

The fish dwells in quickly flowing streams and river tributaries with a rocky backside that incorporates subject stones, pebbles, gravel, and sand. Often these are areas with flooded timber and their roots.

This algae eater performs seasonal migration all through which they can be encountered in greater muddy waters and even in flooded coastal areas.


Best Chinese Algae Eater

The herbal coloring of the Chinese algae eater is pretty variable. The species encountered in the wild are light clay-colored with reticulate sample and lateral darkish stripe. Quite frequently the stripe breaks and types a line of spots.

Though, golden-colored species are extra regularly encountered in tanks. It has stable yellow coloring (Albino Algae Eater).

However, this coloring is the solely unique function that makes it extraordinary from its wild relative.

The fish is a giant one, in the wild, it may additionally develop up to eleven inches (28 cm) long, however in the tank dimension is about 5 inches (13 cm). Its common lifespan is about 10 years.

The fish has an elongated physique with an inferior sucker mouth due to which Chinese algae eater sticks to stones and scrapes algae fouling.

Gyrinocheilus aymonieri has a special physiological organ – two branchial apertures via which water receives in and washes its gills.

This characteristic approves to free the mouth from the necessity to breathe and it is used solely to reduce algae from a variety of surfaces. The mouth has reported lips and it acts as a sucker with inflexible coarse lamellas.

Keeping in a tank

Chinese algae eaters are an energetic fish that spends most of its time on the bottom.

For the juveniles, a tank of 26 US gallons (100 liters) is pretty enough, for grownup species a tank of fifty-two US gallons (200 liters) and greater is required, particularly if you have a team of fish in the tank.

Chinese algae eater will sense high-quality in any tank if it has countless shelters. You may also additionally put tank vegetation and some snags in it.

Bright lighting fixtures will make sure algae increase on plant life and decorations, the place the fish will continuously feed.

In such surroundings, the fish will show greater herbal conduct and it can be stored collectively with many different energetic and spry fishes.

Gyrinocheilus is a substitute robust and enduring fish, that can adapt to a huge vary of tank conditions. A huge vary of water parameters fits the fish.

Recommended water temperature is between 75°F-80°F (24 – 27˚C), acidity -pH 5.8-8.0. The fish prefers tank water attain with oxygen and robust water circulation.

Care and Handling

Chinese Algae Eater

In the wild Chinese algae eaters, like the siamese algae-eating cousins feed now not solely with algae and fouling on stones and vegetation however with small maggots as well. That’s why to preserve the fish in true structure you need to feed it with some stay or frozen meals from time to time.

Food such as bloodworm, daphnia, and brine shrimp will do as properly as exquisite dry flakes and pellets.

Keep in mind, that if the fish is now not hungry or overfed, it may also give up consuming algae and accordingly cleansing the tank.

Except for frequent stay meals and flakes, you can feed the fish with spinach, lettuce, and cabbage leaves after pouring boiling water on them.

Young species are peaceable and excellently easy algae in a tank. Adult species are much less hardworking in this recognize and may additionally exhibit some aggression.


It is challenging to outline sex, although grownup ladies are fatter, than adult males and they appear extra rounded. A reproductive Chinese algae eater develops breeding “horn” on its head.


Breeding in domestic aquariums is pretty complicated. Since 1955 younger species of the fish have been imported into Europe in massive numbers. This testifies that CAE is a as a substitute fertile fish.

Nowadays, the fish is bred in hatcheries the use of hormonal agents. One girl can lay up to three thousand eggs.

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