Care Level: Easy
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Chinese Algae Eater is native to flowing streams of Cambodia and Thailand, rather than China. With an elongated gray-beige body that has a black line running the length of it, the Chinese algae eater may be one of the most popularly selected fishes for community aquariums though they are generally unsuitable for this setting. Typically sold at juvenile sizes that do mind their own business, great consideration needs to be given for their size, lifespan and temperament potential as adults. Reaching an adult size of approximately 10″ that can live upwards of 12 years, Chinese algae eaters can become quite territorial, especially toward similarly shaped fish. A Chinese algae eater would do best in a very active aquarium of larger-sized tank mates, avoiding certain bottom dwelling species that could be subjected to being “grasped” onto by a Chinese algae eater to feed off of its slime coat. Keeping one Chinese algae eater per aquarium works out best long term.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Chinese algae eaters are primarily herbivores, feeding on various algae, film and microfauna. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based flake foods containing Spirulina, sinking pellet foods and algae wafers (occasional) are ideal. Offering blanched pieces of zucchini and cucumber, or raw romaine lettuce and peas, would be an excellent treat for these algae eaters. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Chinese algae eaters may scavenge on some protein based foods, however their intake should be limited to avoid prolonged health issues.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a small Chinese algae eater. A more mature specimen will require a larger aquarium. Chinese algae eaters are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes, and should not be added into a brand new aquarium given that their food source would be obsolete. Chinese algae eaters thrive best in more turbulent, well oxygenated water. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a fine substrate, larger pebble stones and driftwood to replicate a river or stream environment, however Chinese algae eaters are not very fussy when it comes to aquarium decor. Chinese algae eaters will not typically eat your live plants, though some accidential damage to soft-leaved plants has been observed. Recommended water conditions, 76-80° F, KH 8-10, pH 6.0-8.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-1/4” to 1-1/2”
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.