Algae eater

adamharbeck(WA Aust)July 9, 2007

I have a 20 gallon coolwater tropical tank which currently houses a pair of paradise fish as well as a small shoal of Chinese barbs and some white cloud mountainfish. I am considering purchasing a gold Chinese algae eater to control algal growth. Is this a suitable fish for this setup or should I opt for something like a mystery snail?


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I would go with a Plecostomus. One snail can easily turn into many and be a nuisance.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 6:48PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Golden Chineese Algae eaters will only eat algae while in juvenile stage. They then eat anything but algae and become aggressive and down right nasty towards other fish. They are classified as semi-aggressive fish. My personal favorites for algae "control" are Oto cats and TRUE Siamese Algae Eaters. I only keep the oto's now though, even SAE's and Pleco's get lazy eating algae when they grow bigger.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:28PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Once we had our 10 gallon sitting behind our couch in the living room. The algae became so bad you could not see in. My friend happened to have a spare plecostomus which she gave us. We put it in the tank and the next morning it was clean as a whistle. We were amazed.
I have found Chinese Algae Eaters to be extremely nasty fish, chasing and terrorizing others.
Mind you, while we were recently on holidays our Silver Dollar went belly up as a result of being chased by our very large pleco. It was a long time coming and the poor guy's nose wash bashed all to heck from running into things while escaping his tormentor. I recently traded this pleco in for one much smaller so hopefully that will put this problem on hold for a couple more years.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 12:54AM
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I agree with Woe's opinion of both plecos and SAE's. If you want a pleco that won't outgrow your tank and/or terrorize your silver dollar, get one that will stay small, such as a dwarf BN. The common plecos sold in pet shops can get quite large and are not really suitable for most home tanks.

I also like the little Oto's, but for my tanks that house only very small fish, I have found cherry red shrimp the best algae contollers yet. They will even eat hair algae. I expect that the fish are eating newly hatched shrimp, but that's okay. It keeps the constantly breeding shrimp from overrunning the tank and and assures the fish a near continual supply of natural live food.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Our response to Chinese algae eaters is .... RUN!! We had bought one from Petco (in ignorance) for algae control and not long after we found our beautiful gourami floating with a large hole just behind his head. We had noticed he had started chasing him but were not alarmed thinking the gourame was so much bigger, he would be OK. Afterwards we read CAE's could become aggressive, so now we just use cory cats, shrimp, and red claw crabs for algae control/cleanup. Works great for us. Hope this helps, good luck to you.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:41PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

I will give this guy a couple years and if he tries anything he will make a fine tomato fertilizer.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 3:11PM
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