Chinese Algae Eater

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Gyrinocheilus aymonieri - (Tirant, 1883)
Chinese Algae Eater

A fish that loses its appeal as it grows in the aquarium.


Although the Chinese Algae Eater has been in the hobby for decades, these loners grow to about a foot (30 cm) in length and aren’t particularly good at eating algae.

They get more belligerent and unattractive with age and are a species to avoid.

Family: Gyrinocheilidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Stream and river bottoms, flooded areas. In swift currents, it clings to hard substrates with its sucker mouth.

Maximum length: 28 cm (11 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Freshwater 25 °C (77 °F) - 29 °C (84 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom.


Omnivore. Feeds heavily on vegetable matter, but will also ingest worms, insects, and plankton.

Aquarium Compatibility

Becomes too large and aggressive for most home aquariums.


In its native countries, it is cooked or made into prahoc, a pungent fish paste.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW