Animal Stories - Chinese Algae Eater

Animal-World Information about: Chinese Algae Eater

The Chinese Algae Eater is a workhorse when it comes to its job... eating algae!
Latest Animal Stories
Allis - 2011-01-16
Here's what I know of CAEs: We had a golden one in a 10 gal with a goldfish. Bad Idea. He attacked that poor goldfish everyday for months until I couldn't watch it anymore and fed the CAE to my turtle. At the same time, I had another in my 25gal. After seven years, he still resides there and is my favorite fish. He is five inches long now, and I expect him to get bigger. He chases the other fish away and sometimes attacks my angelfish, so I will have to move him to a bigger tank, but so far, so good. Be aware, CAEs need lots of plants, places to hide, and gravel to dig in. They need a big space (55gal or more) so they can have the territory they need to be happy. Mine is in a 25 now and is clearly too big to swim comfortably.

Model - 2010-11-27
Okay, so I was a little ditzy, and I bought 2 CAE, and put them in with my 2 goldfish in my 10 gallon tank. Both my goldfish know how to hold their own, and one of them I have had for 5 1/2 years. They have lived through a lot, but from what I am hearing, I am worried that they might get killed or something by my CAEs. Will that happen? Are my goldfish safe?

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  • Jenifer - 2010-12-10
    I would say they are not safe. I had one in my tank with two Black moors. Needless to say I had to put the CAE by himself because he was eating the scales off my moors and caused one of the eyes of my moor to be "pop-eye". Apparently slower swimming fish do not do well with CAE because when the CAE defends its territory, the slower swimming fish cannot get away fast enough. So if your CAE minds his own business then you should be good, but if starts chasing your other fish them ground him like I did. (I grounded him to a fish bowl until I find someone who wants him).
Crazy Fish Lady - 2010-10-08
I originally had three CAEs under the idea that they would eat all of the algae in my cichlid tank (Jack Dempseys) and trusted my cichlids to not eat them because of their extreme lack of aggression. One did not make it, for unknown reasons after a few days of being home from the pet store, but the other became very healthy and active and would play together almost constantly. They shared a cave with each other and with either of my cichlids when they would let them. I transferred them into a tank of shubunkins and comets to rid that tank of some algae problems and they were about 4-5 inches at that point. I never saw them show any aggression to them or even to my african dwarf frog. If anything, they were scared to death of the frog. They were eventually killed by a parasite infection about a month ago. I do know that these were CAE and not SAE, but I guess I have had a problem getting actual aggressive fish. Even my cichlids that I have had showed very little aggression unless provoked.

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  • Crazy Available Fish Woman - 2010-11-27
    Love the name, Crazy Fish Lady. I know what you mean!
Rick - 2010-05-15
I used to have 3 of these in a 125 gallon tank along with Silver Dollars, Flagfish, a Blue Severum, and rainbow fish. 2 passed on, but the one(wht. w/ orange smiley face pattern on face) lived very hardy. It grew to at least 10 inches. Yes, 10 inches. A lot of character and held his own. Called him "Mr.Ed". Fed him spir.duraflakes, mainly to all fish, and occasionally treats like bloodworm, and other little goodies.

Lady - 2010-02-19
SAE's and CAE's are not the same.
SAE's are Crossocheilus siamensis and CAE's are Gyrinocheilus aymonieri.

CAE become very aggressive and lazy. SAE's is what you want to eat blackbeard algae and other stubborn algaes. Beware of buying the false Siamese. Look for the black strip to run the full length of the tail on the true Siamese. The false Siamese black strip ends where the tail begans.

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  • Editor's Note - 2010-02-19
    Great information. People often confuse these two fish. We hope that by reading the description of these two different species (under the distribution section), people will understand the differences and get the one they want. This comment should also help!
leo - 2009-12-20
i just bought two of these fish for my 250L aquarium he's about 10 cm and is happy with his 6 cm friend, 3 mountain minnows, 3 neon tetras, a hopplo catfish, a black ghost knife, a bristle nose, a molly, 6 phantom glass catfish, and a 12 cm peppermint pleco. They are realy great fish and they eat black algae which almost every other fish won't touch.

mcdaphnia - 2009-12-11
Chinese Algae Eaters are commercially produced in the Far East, and are available in a few different colors. The suckermouth is for attachment to the substrate, not feeding on algae. Their mouth coincidentally resembles the suckermouth of many true algae eaters, but the Chinese Algae Eater does not earn the name. It is a very ineffective algae eater, even at its best when small, and becomes more and more interested in attacking its tank mates for a mouthful of scales or fin than accepting a veggie diet.

This fish is apparently easy to propagate in huge numbers and so has a profitable mark up compared to fish that actually are algae eaters.

GlendaR - 2009-09-08
Fish have been mysteriously missing from my tank. My CAE was growing at an alarming rate. Last week a tetra came up missing, last night 2 of my large black neons went missing.... I kept noticing the CAE was getting very very aggressive chasing and biting at the other fish in my 55 gallong aquarium. Well, guess who I found belly up at the btm of the tank this morning.... CAE himself. Guess he over done it this time. Am really glad everyone shared the info on this one time algae eater gone cannibal!

tonisha hart - 2009-08-31
This is a good page. Needs more details on the fish.

eric - 2009-05-25
I work in a pet store and currently we have one CAE that someone bought into us because it was to aggressive for their tank. He is about 8 inches long and is currently housed in a tank with a few piranha and is doing fine. At first he used to actually chase the piranha, but now both have settled down and he stays in a cave mostly. This fish is NOT for a community tank.