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FAQs on ""Chinese"" "Algae Eaters": Behavior

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, Otocinclus, Loricariids, Siamese Algae Eaters/Crossocheilus,

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

I have what appears to be a Gyrinocheilus aymonieri that is heavily egg laden or so I think. 11/6/11
<Possibly, but honestly, bloating, constipation, or even dropsy are much more probable. You should elect to treat with Epsom salt as per constipation simply because such treatment is harmless and will eliminate one possibility; the method is described here:
As these animals are somewhat herbivorous, you might also want to review diet, as here:
Dropsy is characterised by a distinctive "pine cone" appearance when viewed from above because the scales on the abdomen rise outwards. It's difficult to treat unless antibiotics are used.>
What does this fish require in terms of changes or additions to the tank in order to birth the eggs?
<If egg-laden or egg-bound, the Epsom salt should help.>
Any advice on this would be much appreciated. Cheers Doug
<Hope this helps, Neale.>

Orange Algae Eater - changed color 7/2/10
I have a reasonably large freshwater tank (120cm x 40cm x 50cm) I keep it around 24degrees (Celsius). I have two golden algae eaters about one year old.
<Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, I take it? The so-called Chinese Algae Eater that neither comes from China nor eats much algae?>
They both have been identical up until now but recently one of them has starting changing color. A brown color started on the tail and quickly spread over most of the body and tail of the fish (not the head). The overall effect is similar to the appearance of my golden barbs.
<Yes. This happens. The "golden" leucistic morph often develops dark blotches with age.>
Also in the tank is a 10 cm long Bristlenose catfish, a school of harlequin tetras, a school of Neons, a school of golden barbs and several zebra Danios. I realize after reading some of the advice on your website that perhaps the golden algae eaters are not the best tank mates for my peaceful fish (perhaps I need to find them a separate tank when they get bigger).
<Indeed not. One of the least useful fish in the hobby! While some remain peaceful even when mature, most do not, and they can be quite nasty and aggressive fish. I doubt two specimens will coexist in your aquarium for long, but stranger things have happened. Much depends on gender I'm sure, and they only become aggressive above a certain size, typically 15 cm/6 inches.>
I am still concerned at the change of color and wonder if it is normal or if it is sick. The other has not changed in appearance at all.
<If there are no signs of skin damage, bloodiness, fungus or bacterial infection, then I wouldn't worry. A photo would help me be sure, but for now, I'd assume it's just changing colour, as they often do. But do be aware that they "fight" by scratching at each other with their mouths, and they can create nasty bruises on one another. So be on the look out for suspiciously round, mouth-shaped "love bites".>
Thanks for your advice and help
Kiri from New Zealand
<And likewise cheers from England! Neale.>
Re: Orange Algae Eater - changed color 7/20/10

Thanks so much for your help.
<Happy to help.>
I have finally managed to take some photos.
<Yes, I see. Looks like a common colour change in this species. Will get darker with age. Nothing to worry about, except of course that this fish will also become increasingly psychopathic with age. Please do also remember not to send 8.5 MB of images next time! We do specifically ask for images under 500 KB, because attachments clog up our e-mail allowance, forcing other messages to be bounced back. Less kind people that me simply send messages with big attachments right back without answering them.>
The changed colour fish lives under the sunken ship and the unchanged one lives mostly between the rock and the driftwood.
<They are territorial, and will very likely try to kill each other unless this tank is huge, 200 gallons upwards.>
Could as you say below be love bites or just age blotches. I have attached photos. The unchanged colour fish looks orange and white in the photo but is actually all orange.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Gold Algae Eater Changing Color 3/14/11
I am fairly certain from reading your answers to previous questions that the color change on this fish is normal. But, I wanted to send you a picture just so that you could see and give me your opinion. We went away on vacation for a week and when we returned, we found him like this.
Previously, he was solid gold. My children are quite attached to "Monster Fish" and I would hate for anything ill to happen to him. He lives in a 120 g tank that is heavily planted and stays at about 75 degrees F.
<This is quite normal. Do be sure you understand that Gyrinocheilus aymonieri becomes rather nasty as it matures. It's not a good community fish. Cheers, Neale.>

CAE gone My algae eater was in my tank just the other day and last night when I went 2 feed my fish he wasn't no where 2 find in the tank but my other 2 fish was there and the only that takes care of them is me. I clean out my fish tank and he still wasn't in there. He no where 2 be find. Kayla <Look on the floor, perhaps a smiling cat... RMF>

New Golden Algae Eater Inactive 12/1/05 Hi, I have a new tank (3 weeks old). <Check your water parameters, nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, pH, etc.> I bought a golden algae eater which has been very active. However, as of yesterday, he goes into hibernation like behavior, sitting on the gravel, only changing its position once a while. <This is somewhat normal..> He looks sick and doesn't want to eat algae all around him. <Well if he looks sick, check the water parameters first, I would not treat with any medication because it does not sound like he has parasites or an infection. Is his gill movement fast or normal? Good luck, IanB> Please advice. Thanks Hsu

My Golden algae eater, is acting weird 8/9/05 Hey, Steph here, I have a golden algae eater, which I think is related or the same species as the Chinese algae eater, I got my golden algae eater a few days ago, and recently I have noticed, it has been by the glass looking at its reflection then swimming up the glass and poking it's head out of the water then coming back down, I know that there is enough oxygen in the water because all my fish seem fine even my gouramis. It has been doing this for hours now, and wont even stop even when flakes and algae was all around it. I want to know if this is normal behaviour or if there is something wrong with it, your help is greatly appreciated. <Just a very active species... actually a cooler water fish that is even more rambunctious in tropical settings. Bob Fenner>

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