Animal Stories - Chinese Algae Eater
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Chinese Algae Eater
The Chinese Algae Eater is a workhorse when it comes to its job... eating algae!
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Be careful with Chinese Algae eaters. They will occasionally nibble algae, but once they discover the wonders of fallen flake food, they will prefer that over algae. Chinese Algae eaters also tend to nibble on other fish when they get bored. They are particularly fond of the slime coatings and trailing fins of my angelfish and betta. If you are looking for an interesting fish to eat your surplus of algae, you would be better off trying to find a Siamese Algae Eater. He looks similar, but not the same as the Chinese Algae Eater. My Siamese Algae Eater, Sludge, does a great job with all the algae that pops up in my planted tank.
This is a MUST HAVE for a tank!!! Just before my daughter was born we had two fish. A betta named Herbert and one of these. That thing was SO into algae that before long there was none left. It was like he was on SPEED!!! One day I caught him trying to "clean" the betta. I just KNEW it was coming. And sure enough, we got back from the hospital and Herbert (normally REALLY laid back) was swimming alone. I would NOT have a tank without this fish!!! They are a BLAST to watch!!!
I have 2 Chinese Algae eaters, they are very cool fish. They hide in the most unsuspecting places. Sometimes you think they just disappeared. It is ok though. At night tiptoe to your tank, you should see your "missing" fish right there in the tank. Because they like to hide in tiny crevices, when they go missing take out the filter and check between the body of the filter and the motor housing. That tiny gap is enough for a fish to sneak into. Also sometimes they swim right up into the filter when the motor housing becomes loose and they find their way in and get STUCK.
My Chinese Alga hardly noticable. He stays near the bottom most the time and feeds off the debris. I had two, but have not seen the other one in some time. Who knows what happened to him????????
I just wanted to add my comments to this - I had a Chinese Algae eater for forever - just died recently - I think of old age. It was at least 6 years old and it grew to be a lot bigger than normally seen (around 6.5-7.0 inches). It was a really cool fish, practically indestructible, but it was extremely territorial. I kept it with cichlids so they held their own. But it was a moody little SOB, would rearrange its tank if the plants and cave werent in the right spot, etc. I would suggest that you have some sort of cave or hiding place for them as mine liked to hide until nighttime.
I have a Chinese Algae Eater in my tank. He is cute and fun to watch! So far he hasnt climbed out even though there is a space big enough for him to try! He keeps the tank sparkling clean, and doesnt really bother with my other fish and they dont bother him either. (I have tiger barbs, gouramis, and a lg. angel).
The chinese algae eater will stop eating algae but eat old fish flakes at the bottom of your tank when older and will start gaining weight and slowing it down.
I have never had a problem with the algae eater actually crawling out of the tank, however it did eat my ghost shrimp, kill my neons, and then kill another rather large fish. I have no clue how this little guy has killed my fish. I am down to two fish, and the eater, and I am worried to buy more. I would not recommend this guy if you are rather attached to your fish. I hear they are either extremely good, or extremely bad. Watch out for these guys!
I have one and he is the most fun to watch. if you get one you should feed it par-boiled vegtables like lettuce and cucumbers. They will eat them all day long and they will also eat the algae when they get bored with the vegtables.
It sits under the filter and lets the food come to it rather than actualy cleaning the walls of the tank. It only moves if you try to look at it, upon walking up to the glass, it darts out from under the filter. Aside from a little obesity, its healthy and low maintenance.