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Chinese Algae Eater

Discussion in 'Cyprinids' started by KeddyPie, Jul 9, 2005.

  1. KeddyPie

    KeddyPie Member

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    Location:
    United States
    Scientific name: Gyrinocheilus aymonieri

    Common name: Chinese Algae Eater, Sucker Loach, Indian Algae Eater (often wrongly classified under other names)

    Family: Cyprinds

    Origin:Streams of South-East Asia

    Max size: 15 cm (6 inches) in aquarium, 25cm in the wild

    Min tank size:US 20 gallons

    Description: A long slender loach, ranging in color from brown to grey, with a darker back and a lighter underside, Black or brown stripe down both of it's sides.

    Care: Prefers a pH of 6.5-8, and a temperature of 75-82, these fish are not picky and very adaptable. They are timid, and needs lots of plants and rocks and things to hide behind and under. Some of them like to burrow, so large rock gravel is not recommended.

    Feeding: Thrives in tanks with high algae, is also happy eating flake food and sinking pellets; Not a very picky eater

    Sexing: Very little difference between genders

    Breeding: Rarely documented in captivity

    Comments: I own 2 of these, and they seem to be very timid, even after being in our possession for over 2 years. They are very peaceful for the most part, but are community egg layers, so often get territorial against other ground-dwelling fish if not given enough space. Some say these fish can get aggressive with time, though I have not seen this with mine. Also, these fish are very frequently incorrectly classified at local pet stores, and since they are also most often sold at a very small size, many people believe upon purchase that these fish are SMALL, at 1-2 inches. When we first purchased ours, we were told by an uneducated employee that they would not get bigger than 2-3 inches. Please be aware of their potential size upon purchase, because they can get up to 6-7 inches in length.

    Photos of the 2 in my mothers tank. They are the same age, despite one being twice the size of the other -

    chinese1.jpg

    chinese2.jpg

    *** Mod edit ***

    This species gets more aggressive and bad tempered as it gets older/larger. It loses interest in eating algae and becomes more interested in protein. If kept with slow moving flat bodied fish, (gouramies, Angelfish etc.), it has been known to stick to their sides and eat their slime coats. It also has a, sadly often, documented habit of taking eyes out of other fish, particulaly Corys. I do not believe these should be sold as community fish. In suitable accomodation, this fish can easily reach 250mm/10" in a tank.

     
  2. Bloo

    Bloo ~ I learn something new ~ ~~~~ every day ~~~~

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    Here is my Golden Variety. It was bright yellow as a 1" youngster, but over the past few years, has become more of a blotchy cream / yellow.
    Mine is in a 47.5 US gallon community and around the 3.5" mark. So very slow growing over almost 3 years.

    As said, these fish can certainly be aggressive and territorial - and especially when larger 5" + but this depends somewhat on the tank set-up and other fish. If kept in a community tank, exercise care and caution and monitor behaviour - especially when adding new bottom dwellers to the tank.

    On the plus side, they are great characters indeed and fantastic algae eaters. Though it's also said that the eat far less algae (or stop entirely) when they reach 5" +

    Shops are always very reluctant to take these fish back at that size, so think very carefully before getting one !

    [​IMG]
     
  3. PlecMama

    PlecMama Member

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    We were sold these as dwarf loaches.....we had 5 but since they don't appear to be picky who they eat, only the biggest two are left.

    Along with 3 small CAE's, we believe them to be responsible for the strange disappearance of 1 albino red finned shark (seen chasing it shortly before it vanished), 4 neon tetras, 1 red platy, 1 small gourami, several cory-cats and a partridge in a pear tree.

    They are in isolation now. Chinese Face Huggers.

    Mod Comment: Will post this as one more caution that these fish may become aggressive as they get older and larger.
     
  4. RandomWiktor

    RandomWiktor Rabid Betta Activist

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    Article on Chinese Algae Eaters that I wrote for the Friends of Fish network at Bestfriends.org. It isn't a forum, so I think it would be OK to link to. It has some decent info on care, but more importantly is a cautionary note to fishkeepers who think they can be a "peaceful community fish," which pet stores often advertise them as. It also has a strong pro-adoption message, since so many of these guys are given up by people who bought them not knowing what they were getting in to. There is one bit of incorrect info though - it says on the page that these guys are wild caught, and while everything I read out there says this is true for the overwhelming majority of standard colored ones, the golden/piebald variety is bred on fish farms. Its a little opinionated overall, since the article is animal-welfare focused, but I think it has some valuable info. :good:
     
  5. aconnoll

    aconnoll Member

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    Here are my two CAEs - very young and small.. one is like a hybrid golden brown one and the other is a plain brown one. Id love to see a pic of one that is 6-10 inches..

    brownie2.jpg

    post_27875_1174016704.jpg
     
  6. pinkdolphin_113

    pinkdolphin_113 Sinclair Aquatic Systems

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    took me about an hour to get these pictures because my CAE was very skittish for some reason.
    he was about 5/6 inches in these pictures
     
  7. sunpirate2u

    sunpirate2u Member

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  8. superman1

    superman1 Member

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    My CAE.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. CoinOperatedGirl

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    This is Percy, my CAE. Like lots of people I was mis-sold him (or her - anyone know how to sex these?) as a 'Golden Sucking Loach' He's still young, so not violent yet, but if he becomes so then I'm going to set up a tank for him on his own as I couldn't bear to part with him :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Rex740

    Rex740 Fish Addict

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    Here is my 4 inch CAE in isolation.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. mikekingpin

    mikekingpin Member

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    Is there enough room for him to swim in there?!



     
  12. mcdaphnia

    mcdaphnia Member

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    Golden Sucking Loach is a much better name for these fish, because the name Chinese Algae Eater is deliberately deceptive. They are from Southeast Asia, not China. Young fry of these fish superficially resemble the Siamese Algae Eater so the CAE name is intended to fool the buyer. They are from rapidly flowing streams and their sucker mouth on used to hold on, and not so much to eat algae, although they readily eat enough of it to get a good grip on a rock or aquarium glass. You bought them under a better and much more honest common name. SAE's really do eat algae for life and stay small. Unlike the Sucking Loach they are peaceful community fish. Common names are unofficial, and people often invent new common or trade names when the fish is not selling.

    They have to get much larger before being sexable. They are bred in fish farms primarily as food fish. Excess fry are sold to the tropical fish industry.

    http://eol.org/pages/994400/details
     

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