Do Loaches Eat Algae? Top Best Algae Eaters For Your Tank

Do Loaches eat algae? Should you put it in your aquarium?

Some people praise the uniqueness and attraction of this fish, while others find it quite confusing and scary because it resembles a snake. Despite receiving mixed reviews, Loaches is still favored by many aquarium hobbyists.

What is the best food for your loaches? Are there any algae eaters for freshening your aquarium? The next sections will show you the answers!

Do Loaches Eat Algae? 

Yes, Loaches eat algae!

Many Loaches, such as the Kuhli Loach, Clown Loach, etc., enjoy algae wafers as a type of food. These wafers are similar to other plant materials and can provide these fish with a nutritious and enjoyable snack.

Green algae are considered “good” ones, but their growth must be controlled so that they do not take nutrients from fish. Some aquarists allow this to grow to provide a dietary source for fish.

Loaches are diverse in varieties; of course, not all of them like this food. Fortunately, they are not picky eaters and will gladly eat anything available.

Algae is a common food for Loaches

What Food Is Suitable For Loaches? 

Loaches are quite easy to eat and easy to keep. You can feed them natural foods or packaged food.

Some other foods that these fish consume can include:

  • Krills: Krills should always be a small part of their diet since they improve your fish’s color. Furthermore, they will appreciate having this as a mealtime option.
  • Daphnia: Daphnia is excellent for smaller fish or feeding juveniles because the important vitamins and proteins in them will help your fish grow into large, healthy fish. It is possible to buy them live, but freeze-dried daphnia is far more convenient and cost-effective.
  • Cooked meat: You can try cooked salmon, chicken, or beef. Choose the parts with the least amount of fat. They must be washed and boiled before being cut into standard pellet sizes.
  • Blanched vegetables: Blanched vegetables provide vitamins, fiber, and minerals to loaches, and Zucchini and peas are excellent choices. Once a week, feed your loaches-blanched vegetables to keep them healthy and happy.
  • Plant-based pellets: Plant-based pellets offer more vitamins and vegetable minerals. At pet stores, herbivores and spirulina pellets are popular.

Packed food: You can find thousands of types of packed food on the market today. Pay attention to choosing organic varieties and high in nutrients with limited chemical flavorings or preservatives.

Packed food

Best Algae Eaters For Freshwater Aquariums 

Reticulated Hillstream Loach 

Their strong gripping abilities can clean large, flat surfaces such as vertical aquarium walls, broad plant leaves, and rocks. You can consider them as window washers for other flat types of this food.

Amano Shrimp 

While technically being a part of the “Dwarf Shrimp” family, it can grow up to 2 inches long. Their skin is gray and semi-transparent.

Amano Shrimp, like other shrimp species, thrive in large groups, so it is necessary to have a 10-gallon tank. Adding more than 2 gallons of tank space for each shrimp is advisable. However, due to the low biomass produced by these critters, pay attention not to overcrowding the tank.

Their best environment is their pH of 6.5 to 7.5, with temperatures ranging from 72 to 78 degrees.

Nerite Snails 

We shouldn’t miss Nerite Snail in the list of best eaters; they only grow to be about an inch long. However, they have stunning striped shells that you cannot overlook.

The amazing thing about it is that it can consume almost any type of algae. This includes the Green Spot one, which is difficult for other species to tolerate.

These snails are simple to care for, especially the water quality. We highly recommend a 10-gallon tank to keep them alive. They thrive in moderate temperatures ranging from 72 to 79 degrees, and the pH balance can span between 7.0 and 8.5.

Cherry Shrimp 

Cherry Shrimps, with their vibrant red coloration, stand out against the nature of the tank. The shrimps are naturally peaceful and live in harmony with groups of other species.

They are the best algae eaters and are relatively easy to care for. They don’t need special water conditions and can adapt to any environment.

The pH balance should be maintained between 6.5 and 8.0. In terms of space, a 2 to 4-shrimp group will be fine in a 10-gallon tank.

Cherry Shrimp 

Otocinclus Catfish 

Otocinclus catfish typically reach about 2 inches or 5 cm long. Because of their slender and smaller bodies, they can fit into smaller tanks than other algae-eaters.

Similar to hillstream loaches, their mouths are useful in eating algae on flat surfaces; you can usually find them hanging out on plant leaves or the tank glass.

The suitable pH for them is from 6.0-7.5 pH.

Siamese Algae Eater 

Siamese Algae Eaters are excellent tank cleaners since they take in all types of algae, which are beautiful and serve a practical purpose. They can fully grow to 6 inches in length.

These algae-eating ones are extremely calm. They can stay peaceful with other species in your tank.

It is recommended that 25 to 30 gallons should be used. Temperatures should be kept between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit, and you need to maintain the pH of the water from 6.5 to 7.0.


How Should I Feed My Loaches?

In most cases, feed your fish twice a day and only in proper amounts that they can consume in 2-3 minutes.

Too much will result in overfeeding, which will cause digestive issues in your fish. Overfeeding also leaves a lot of food waste, which wouldn’t be a problem if they weren’t already full.

How Should I Feed My Loaches?

Are Loaches Bottom Feeders? 

Yes, they are!

Loaches are well-known for being the ideal community tank fish, as they keep a low profile as bottom feeders and exhibit friendly, shy and cautious behavior. These fish are worth considering for your community tank containing similarly friendly and laid-back species.

Do Loaches Eat Plants? 

Yes. Regarding feeding, these fish are true omnivores, meaning they will eat almost anything. They will also survive in Spirulina wafers or with algae sheets. If you feed them soft-leaved, fast-growing live plants like Cabomba or Anacharis/Egeria, they will swallow them all the time.


Do Loaches eat algae? Yes!

That’s why you need to pay attention to the quality of the algae in your tank to ensure your fish get the healthiest growing environment. In addition, you can treat them to other foods of natural origin or canned foods, as mentioned above, to fully supplement the necessary nutrients for your fish.