Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is sold under various names, including; Indian algae eater, Chinese algae eater and sucking loach. This fish is often sold under the banner of ‘great algae eater’ and to the beginner, this fish may seem to be the answer to all their problems. This fish grows at a rapid pace and can quickly reach a maximum length of 25 cm (10 inches) or more. Small specimens are fine in the community aquarium but as they grow they become more and more boisterous and aggressive. This fish is known to stick itself to the sides of larger fish and has been known to become addicted to eating the body mucus. This can cause severe damage to the victim’s protective mucus, creating a potential site for infection.
Note from Author
This fish can cause all sorts of problems in the home aquarium. Unfortunately, it is often the only cold water algae eater sold in local aquarium stores. Although initially this fish may solve your algae issue, as they grow they eat less and less algae. DO NOT be tempted to buy this fish. Although manually removing the algae requires a bit more effort, it will save you problems in the long run.
Soccer Playing Algae Eater…
Despite what I have just said, the one time I did keep an Algae Eater, it developed a very intriguing habit. The Algae Eater, which was housed alone due to it repeatedly injuring a goldfish, developed the habit of playing with marbles, which were originally placed in the aquarium as decoration. The Algae Eater used to throw the marbles, with considerable force, from one side of the aquarium to the other. This produced a ‘tapping’ sound on the glass, which could be heard from the next room. Predictably, the fish developed a reputation among friends and family.