Are Chinese Algae Eaters Aggressive? The Correct Answer Is Here!

Chinese algae eaters aren’t the most vivid, lively, or brightest fish species. Yet, many aquarists and fish keepers enjoy their presence in their aquariums.

These species prefer to feed on algae, making them helpful for keeping aquariums clear and nice.

Like any other species, you need to know “are Chinese algae eaters aggressive” before adding them to your aquarium. It is also the topic that this article covers.

Let’s check it out!

Are Chinese Algae Eaters Aggressive?

chinese algae eater

The Chinese algae eater can be aggressive

The short answer is Yes. These algae eaters are said to be semi-aggressive towards their kind or other fish.

They are usually more aggressive towards small fish, especially if they are underfed or don’t get a proper living environment.

These fishes can attack and harm other fish in your tank. However, there is no evidence for these algae eaters to eat other fish, despite their aggression.

This species prefers to live independently and will not form part of a school.  They do not even prefer their fish species and will lash others if they are closer together.

Breeding with them is also a significant challenge as it is difficult to distinguish between males and females, and they tend to attack their kind.

Chinese Algae Eater Care

Overview of the Chinese Algae Eater

Scientific Name Gyrinocheilus Aymonieri
Average Fish Size From 10 to 11 Inches
Food Sources Algae, plant matter (vegetables), small insects, and brine shrimp.
Life Expectancy About 10 Years
Water Conditions ●       Temperature: From 72 to 82 °F.

●       pH level: From 6.0 to 8.0.

Temperament Semi aggressive

Tank Size

At the least, your tank needs to be 30 gallons per fish. If you want to add more, just add 30 gallons for each added individual.

Since this species can get pretty big when fully grown, we recommend using a tank of 50 gallons or more.

Water Parameters

  • Water hardness: From 8 to 10 RED
  • Water temperature: From 74°F to 80°F
  • pH levels: From 8 to 8.0 (From 6.5 to 7.5 is ideal)

Many aquarists do not pay attention to water conditions because they think it is unimportant. However, these fishes will not nest in poor water conditions.

It’s best to maintain clean water with some algae under control so they can snack throughout the day.

One of the crucial things you need to do is maintain the proper water parameters to ensure everything is alright. So it is worth the investment in water analysis and testing equipment.

What to Include?

chinese algae eater at bottom

This species is mainly active at the bottom of the tank

This species is primarily active at the bottom of your aquarium to scavenge for food. So it is essential to pay attention to the bottom.

We recommend covering the bottom of the aquarium with a fine sand substrate.

Small gravel will also work well. But sharp gravel can harm these fishes when they swim. Using artificial caves to form hide places for your fish is okay.

Standard lighting is ideal for them as they love plenty of light. Standard lighting can also promote algae growth, so they have plenty of food.

They are mainly at the bottom of your tanks, but it is unnecessary to use strong lights to keep them happy.

Regarding filtration, you should invest in high-powered equipment. This species is very sensitive to nitrates, so you must ensure your filter is efficient enough to keep the level of nitrates low. It is alright to change the tank water regularly to avoid stress.


There are no serious diseases to the Chinese algae eater. But it does not mean that this species is immune to health issues.

Your Chinese algae eater can deal with common freshwater fish issues, such as Ich, which is usually caused by stress or poor water conditions. That’s why maintaining the proper water parameters is essential.

This species is also prone to bloating, which is not just a cosmetic issue. Bloating from overfeeding can cause digestive problems if not addressed promptly.


What Are the Ideal Tank Mates for The Chinese Algae Eater?

Here are our recommendations for tank mates for the Chinese algae eater:

  • Platies
  • Molly Fish
  • Tiger Barbs
  • Zebra Danios
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Emperor Tetra

You must avoid overcrowding your tank as this species needs plenty of space to act.

What Are Food & Diet Recommendations for Chinese Algae Eaters?

As their name suggests, Chinese algae eaters prefer to feed on algae that grow in aquariums.

You can also feed them healthy vegetables about twice weekly or whenever you notice very little algae in the tank. Vegetables like leafy greens will be excellent food for this species.

You can also provide these fishes with protein from frozen bloodworms, insect larvae, or frozen shrimp to keep them healthy. This way, you can minimize the chance of them attacking their mates in your tank.

How Big Does The Chinese Algae Eater Get?

This species usually reaches ten to eleven inches in length when fully grown. In captivity or small aquariums, they tend to be smaller, about 6 inches long.

In larger ponds or tanks, they can be more than 11 inches long, even larger than 11 inches, but are rare.

Will Chinese Algae Eaters Eat Other Fish

No exact information about this species eating other fishes is available, although they may be aggressive towards other species or their kind.

How Long Is the Lifespan of Chinese Algae Eaters?

Chinese Algae Eaters usually live around ten years. Their lifespan will depend on various factors, such as diet and water conditions.

The Bottom Line

Are Chinese algae eaters aggressive? Yes, they can be aggressive towards other species or even their kind.

We recommend keeping this species with suitable tank mates to minimize aggression. Thanks for stopping by!