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Algae eater

algae eaters
(image here)
Scientific classification
G. aymonieri
G. pennocki
G. pustulosus

The true algae eaters are a single-genus family (Gyrinocheilidae, Gyrinocheilus) of small Southeast Asian fish that live in fast-flowing water, hold on to fixed objects using a sucker-like mouth, and feed primarily on algae.

The Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) is sometimes kept in aquaria to control algae. It can range up to 28 cm in length, but aquarium residents tend to be under 10 cm. It has a reputation for becoming increasingly jealous of its territory as it matures.

Two other Gyrinocheilus species, rarely seen in the aquarium trade, are the Spotted Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus pennocki) and the Borneo Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus pustulosus).

The Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) is a more gregarious and tolerant Cyprinid that ranges up to 15 cm. It is the only fish that will also graze on 'Black Brush Algae,' which are freshwater Rhodophyta, or Red algae.

American-Flag Fish (Jordaniella floridae) are also dependable algae eating fish. Many Loricariid catfish of South America constantly graze algae and biofilm.

(mention other species also called algae eaters)


An algae eater is a type of freshwater fish that feeds on algae, but can eat other foods as well. It makes a great tank mate if you have a fish tank. It not only keeps an aquarium free of algae, but it also leaves other fishes alone. It is very timid and shy. It rarely swims to the surface as it likes to be on the bottom of the tank--bottom-dweller. It is very hardy and can survive in a wide range of temperatures, 60 - 90F.