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Chinese algae eater - Gyrinocheilus aymonieri

Chinese algae eater - Gyrinocheilus aymonieri

Scientific name: Gyrinocheilus aymonieri

Common name: Chinese algae eater

Family: Gyrinocheilidae

Usual size in fish tanks: 20 - 28 cm (7.87 - 11.02 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: East Asia

Temperament to its own species: aggressive/territorial

Temperament toward other fish species: aggressive to smaller

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels

General information

The Chinese Algae eaters are often bought as juveniles to become tank cleaners as the will consume any algae present in the tank, as these fish mature they will become territorial and aggressive to other tank mates. If you wish to keep these fish long term it is recommended that they are housed in a species only tank to prevent injuries or loss of other fish.

When first added to the aquarium they may be a little skittish and hide away initially, this is perfectly normal, adding plants to the aquarium and various sized rocks to provide hiding places should make them feel more secure and gradually they will become confident enough to swim around most of the time.


As juveniles they are herbivorous fish but as they mature, their dietary requirements will change and they will need some meaty foods included into their diet. The vegetable content of the diet should consist of algae wafers if there is no algae present in the aquarium, peas, courgettes or spinach. Meaty foods can be offered by providing blood worms, daphnia or other frozen/live foods. Spirulina flake will also be accepted readily.


The general rule for sexing these fish is that females tend to have a rounder body shape compared to males but this is a general rule and as is often the case there can be some males mistaken for females.


You'll need patience and a lot of luck. These are not the easiest of species to breed and are generally left to experienced breeders for any results. In the Far east they are bred successfully but with the aid of hormone treatments. The mortality rate of the fry is expected to be high if you are lucky enough to have these breed in your own aquarium. Try to copy their natural habit; Lots of plants especially. They're egg-layers. The fry hatch in 2-3 days. Newborns like to eat algae and fallen food.


About 5 years. Sometimes more.


The following answers were moved here from due to merging.

Where do Chinese algae eaters lay their eggs?

Answer: Only accidental spawning has occurred in captivity, so at this point no one really knows, and the fish must continue to be caught in the wild.

What fish is commonly mistaken for the Siamese algae eater?

Answer: The Siamese algae eater is often mistaken for the Chinese algae eater because they are very similar in appearance and both mainly feed on algae. The difference is that the Chinese algae eater is very aggressive toward other fish and the Siamese algae eater is not. Another fish that the Siamese algae eater is often mistaken for is the flying fox. Both fish look strikingly similar except the flying fox’s black stripe stops just before the caudal fin while the Siamese algae eater stripe runs clear through to the end of its tail fin.


Bought by from Two pictures were provided by pitugo.

Chinese algae eater, picture 1 Chinese algae eater, picture 2 Chinese algae eater, picture 3 Chinese algae eater, picture 4 Chinese algae eater, picture 5 Chinese algae eater, picture 6 Chinese algae eater, picture 7 Chinese algae eater, picture 8 Chinese algae eater, picture 9 Chinese algae eater, picture 10

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