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FAQs on ""Chinese"" "Algae Eaters": Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

Related Articles: Algae Eaters, Algae Control in Freshwater Aquariums by Bob Fenner, Dealing With Algae in Freshwater Aquaria by Neale Monks, (some) Algae (in moderation) Can Be Your Friend, ppt presentation, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, by Bob Fenner, OtocinclusLoricariidsSiamese Algae Eaters/Crossocheilus

FAQs on: Chinese Algae Eaters (CAEs), Gyrinocheilus aymonieri 1, CAEs 2,
FAQs on: CAE Identification, CAE Behavior, CAE Compatibility, CAE Selection/Stkg., CAE Systems, CAE Disease, CAE Reproduction,
Related FAQs: Algae Control, Freshwater "Scavengers", Aquarium MaintenanceFreshwater Aquarium Water Quality, Treating Tap Water for Aquarium Use, pH, Alkalinity, Acidity, Freshwater Algae Control, Algae Control, Foods, Feeding, Aquatic Nutrition, Disease

Most any algal based material...

Chinese Algae Eater Woes - 07/21/2005 Thank you so much for your website; it's a Godsend! <And thank you very much for your kind words!> I found out - the hard way - that what I have is a Chinese Algae Eater (CAE). I have since separated him into a solitary 5 gal tank with cave - He was not thriving amongst my other fish in the 10 gal - or should we say, the other fish were not thriving due to his aggression. <Understood.> I have been feeding him wafers every couple of days - which from reading your site, seems like too much. I plan to feed him twice a week instead. <Likely a good plan.> My question is two-fold: (1) can I augment his twice a week wafers with a scrap of lettuce or something <Yes, absolutely.  Blanched spinach, zucchini, cucumber, or romaine lettuce would probably be best.  I would also urge you to supplement with a meaty food, like frozen bloodworms, occasionally.> and do I let is float or sink it somehow? <Tie it to a rock loosely with a rubber band, or use one of those lettuce clips they sell for marine aquarium use.> (2) he seems to be changing colour. He has faded significantly. Almost white. He otherwise appears healthy. Is he sick? <Possibly, or perhaps very stressed.  Provide him with more cover - live plants would be best.  Things like java moss, java fern, and Anubias would be good choices, as they tolerate most any light, and are very, very hardy.  See if improved cover makes him feel a little better.> Much thanks, Julianne in B.C. Canada <Glad to be of service.  -Sabrina, in California, formerly in north Idaho, and really missing the occasional dinner at ABC's in Creston, BC.>

Algae eater 7/7/05 I recently lost my black Molly Fish of 5 yrs, I only have the 5 yr old algae eater left in my tank, He is a pretty big guy 2 or so inches long I am not sure how much to feed him I have algae wafers but need to make sure I am not over feeding or under feeding him. Please advise Thanks Molly <A small algae wafer/tablet every other day should do. Bob Fenner>

Wants Algae! Why? Gyrinocheilus Hi all, I have a relatively new 10 gallon tank ~8 weeks. It is freshwater and has several types of plants, a pair of swordtails, 4 Neons, 1 golden algae eater, and 2 male guppies. I know this is a bit crowded, but everything seems to be going fine. The pH is at 7.5, nitrates are 0, ammonia is 0, and nitrates vary between 20 and 40. I do a 20% water change weekly and feed them Top Fin flakes twice a day (the amount they can eat in 2 min.s each time). Instead of a flake meal, they get frozen brine shrimp about twice a week and seem to enjoy that. I know swordtails and algae eaters like to eat algae and when we got the algae eater, the plants had a nice coat on them. S/he since ate ALL the algae in the tank. The plants look 1000% better, but I'm worried that he and the swordtails are going to be hungry. In real aquatic systems, elevated nitrates lead to algae blooms, so I'm somewhat surprised I can't seem to get any growing. I know this is a backwards question, but is this normal? Thanks, Catherine <Not a worry. Green algae takes a while to become established in a new tank. And the CAE may be holding it at bay. But no tank grows enough algae to feed your fish full time. Most will take there share of flake and many other foods. Some eat the slime coat off the other fish. For this reason they are not good community fish. Plus they get big and aggressive. I would look at replacing him with a few algae eating shrimp or snails. With him out of the picture your stocking level is very good. Nice readings on this new system. You seem to have cycled just fine. The nitrates are a little high, but not bad at all. An added water change per week would help keep them down. Also, in many well planted established tanks no algae control is needed. The plants will starve it out. Don>
Wants Algae! Why? pt 2
Thanks for the quick advice. I've noticed my GAE is somewhat aggressive, especially to the female swordtail, chasing her around the tank. The local fish store said he wouldn't be. Grrr. Anyway, right now the GAE is only about an inch and half long. How fast will s/he outgrow a 10 gallon tank? How big will s/he be when he needs new surroundings? I know that depends on water temperature and food and other conditions. But is that something like a year or only months? Finally, are there any fish that would be compatible with it? I'd rather have a "boring" tank than a stressed one, but having a couple of fish is fun. Could I put in 2 or 3 color morphs of Chinese algae eaters or will they just pick on each other? Thanks, Catherine <No, don't add any more. One is too many. Really, not a good fish. I strongly suggest you donate him back to the LFS. I had a pair of G/CAE in my 55 for a few months. They went from about two inches to over six very quickly. They did a poor job at algae control as they got larger. A true Siamese Algae Eater is a more peaceful fish and is one of a small group that will eat hair algae. But they also get big. My pair is less than a year old and are over five inches. A few shrimp or an Apple snail would add little to your bio load while controlling any algae outbreak. Or you could replace him with a pair of Corys to add action to the bottom of the tank. Catfish will add to the bio load, so keep testing if you go this route. Stay away from Plecos. They also get big, over a foot for a Common, and will add greatly to the waste produced in your system. Don>

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