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Thread: Chinese Algae Eater (tips/info welcome)

  1. #1

    Chinese Algae Eater (tips/info welcome)

    I'm taking over care for my school's (where I teach, not attend) 20g tank. Pretty sure someone put a Chinese Algae Eater in there, which I definitely do not want to deal with once it gets bigger. Looking to rehome it, is this an impossible task? I would also love more information. First of all, can anyone confirm that's what this guy is? Also, how quickly do they grow/at what point will it likely become more problematic in the aquarium? It's about 3 inches at the moment, no idea how long it's been with us. Thanks!


  2. #2
    that looks more like a garra. at first glance. its not a bothersome fish and wont get all that big....its fine there

  3. #3
    if you keep him barbs or faster moving fish it will fine, they just like to suck on sides of slower fish, as they get bigger they are not really algae eaters only start liking other things. depends on what you keep with him if will be an issue.

  4. #4
    I would take him, but I live in Acworth.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the info everyone!

    Mountainman36, any distinguishing characteristics I could look out for to know for sure? I looked at photos of the garra and I don't think my fish has the mouth bristles that garra have, but I need to double check.

    Jimfur80, there was already a small pleco in the tank, I added white skirt tetras (already one in the tank that needed buddies), plan on adding a dwarf gourami for our 'star', and may add some black neon tetras as well since there's a single surviving one of those currently. If it definitely is a CAE I'm guessing it won't get along well with all of these fish, and won't it need a tank larger than 20 gallons eventually anyway?

    Garfieldnfish, let me know if you're ever in the Atlanta area and I'd be happy to bag this guy up and meet you somewhere!

  6. #6
    I dont know for sure, but the mottles pattern is certainly not a siamese algae eater or a flying fox. The downturned mouth, with slight sucker form is a dead give away that its some sort of algae eater. The chinese algae eaters are similar. As for garras - the base of the tail where it meets the body is not narrowrd like it is in a lot of fish. its still very thick, so thats most likely a garra species...but i dont know

  7. #7
    This is a Chinese Algae Eater. I have had one now for almost 15 years and he has reached 7 inches. But he is not a threat to anyone. Their reputation is not always justified. I like mine. However, he is in a 75 gal and I am sure yours will outgrow a 20 gal at some point but it will take a while. What does he share the tank with? Only slow moving large bodied fish are generally at risk of harassment from these guys. That said, mine shares the tank with a 6 inch silver dollar and I have never witnessed him going after it. They have been together for almost 10 years.
    Last edited by Garfieldnfish; 03-19-2018 at 05:04 PM.

  8. #8
    It's in the 20 with a rubbernose/bulldog pleco, 6 white tetras, 1 black neon (the lone survivor, I'll hopefully be adding buddies soon), and a new dwarf gourami I'll be moving in from quarantine in another few days.

    I haven't seen any aggressive behavior from it so far, so with that kind of growth rate it sounds like it's at least not a problem I'll have to worry about any time soon. The pleco never comes out of hiding, while the CAE is probably the most outgoing & fast moving in the tank and they are kinda competing for the same spaces & resources so I do wonder if rehoming it would at least make the pleco a little more brave and visible. Or maybe I just need to stop picking favorites and try to see past the bad rap CAE's get, hah!

  9. #9
    Since the CAE is a daytime feeder and the rubberlips is a nocturnal algae eater they should be ok together. I had a rubberlips before with the CAE and they never bothered each other. The rubberlips passed away a couple of years ago. But I keep L134 and L316 plecos as well as BNs in the tank with the CAE and all is well.


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