Sucker Fish, Algae Eater Scientific Name: Gyrinocheilus aymonieri
Algae Eaters will spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank, sucking algae of the substrate and rocks. The Chinese Algae Eater has an average lifespan between 8 and 10 years.
The Chinese Algae Eater is not the most attractive fish. It is a dark fish, with body colors between dark green and black. At maturity, the Algae Eater will reach an average length of five inches, though some may grow significantly larger. Sucker Fish are tubular, with long narrow bodies. When they are eating algae of the glass, you can see their mouth, which is a round suction device.
Algae Eaters are pretty self-reliant. It is important not to clean the algae in your tank if you have a Sucker Fish, as the algae are their source of food. They like water between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a slightly acidic to neutral pH, ranging from 6.2 to 8. They only need to be fed when there are no algae in the tank. If this happens, large quantities of flakes, shrimp pellets and vegetables should be put into the tank. Algae Eaters should not be put into newly established tanks, as there will not be any algae present for them to eat.
This has to be one of the hardest fish to catch. If there are any rocks, plants or anything else in the tank they will find a way to dart behind them to hide. The easiest way to catch this fish is to leave a net in the water for about 15 minutes without moving it. Then, using another net, herd the fish into the original net.
The Chinese Algae eater has been bred in captivity, but it is considered difficult because little is known about their breeding patterns, and the two sexes are extremely difficult to distinguish.
Fresh water fish
The Chinese Algae Eater is a common aquarium fish. Juveniles are extremely useful, as they clean the surfaces in the tank of algae - but adults are not well suited to community tanks. The Chinese Algae Eater, or Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, is more commonly referred to as just an 'Algae Eater', or a 'Sucker Fish'.
Young Chinese Algae Eaters will fit into most community tanks. They are not overly aggressive. But this is not true for mature species. Mature Chinese algae eaters usually display aggressive behavior towards other species of fish. They are known to harass and terrorize tank mates. They can also attach themselves to the sides of other fish, which can seriously injure the other fish. If this occurs the algae sucker must be removed permanently. As these fish become older they become more and more aggressive. It has been reported that they stop eating algae as they get older, and this defeats the main purpose of having them in aquarium. Because they tend to grow rather large, they do much better in a large tank of at least 75-gallons. In addition to displaying aggression towards other species, the mature Algae Eaters will defend their territory - even against other Algae Eaters. Aquariums of a hundred gallons or less should only have one Algae Eater. As far as the aquarium setup, the Sucker Fish is not a fussy fish, but it prefers lots of hiding places, such as rock piles, vegetation and a dimly lit tank.
The Chinese Algae Eater is originally from southeast parts of Asia, including China, India and Thailand.
It has been reported that they stop eating algae as they get older, and this defeats the main purpose of having them in aquarium.