Algae eater and scales

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hmenchin, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. hmenchinNew MemberMember


    I have always kept fish, when I was young I was a tropical fanatic. However, for the past three years I have taken what I saw as an easier route and have had goldfish.

    Three years ago I took a gamble and bought two tiny fantails (orange/red) and placed them in a large vase. I will be honest I wasn't sure how they would go but they did very well. So well in fact they had many intimate moments and laid many eggs, not many ever hatched and those that did didn't survive. Eventually, I decided I needed to upgrade and bought a 20 litre tank for the two of them, hoping they may still attempt to breed. I wanted to include other fish but was hesitant and noticed the algae was also a bit of a problem. So I bought an algae eater thinking I was doing the right thing. I think that was about last October and things were fine until I was on Christmas holidays I noticed he was chasing the two goldfish (mostly mid morning) when they came close to him. At first I thought he must have become territorial and it wouldn't be a problem, but it did appear he was 'connecting' as they would dart off quickly.

    So I started doing some research. I now know the algae eater is a chinese algae eater, based on images etc from the net. I found out with age they become territorial, they also need more than algae so I started putting cucumber in to help and he loved it, so did the fish. I went to my local petshop and I bought algae blocks for him, again the fish eat most of the block and then I went to the local pet store and was encourage to buy a real plant that grows on a block of driftwood, very pretty, under the impression he needed to hide etc but he hasn't paid any attention to it except for the occasional feed. He doesn't appear to want to hide at all actually.

    Anyway here is my dilemma - I am not sure if I should keep him or not. I would be horrified if it got to a point the goldfish were stressed and fell ill. They currently both have one scale each missing on their bellies and I believe it is probably because of the algae eater. He isn't chasing as much which is good and they have survived four months since I noticed he was doing it. At night, I often turn on the light to my living area and all three are asleep in the corner of the tank, the algae eater under the goldfish, its very sweet. Should I move him? I have a smaller tank he can have and I would happily put him in there or my mother has a large outdoor pond that has many fish in it that I could move him to, we do get very cold winters though. I do feel bad doing this if there is no chance anything will happen to the goldfish though.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to the Forum. I hope you find the information you receive here useful.

    Chinese Algae Eaters are very territorial and can be mean little "suckers". It can range up to 12 inches in length. It has a reputation for becoming increasingly jealous of its territory as it matures, and also can be aggressive to fish, especially slow, flat-bodied fish (like goldfish). In the home aquarium, the algae eater makes a poor tank mate. It is very aggressive and boisterous; they often attack other fish and rip off scales, causing infection. It rarely swims to the surface as it likes to be on the bottom of the tank. It is very hardy and can survive , plus a wide range of temperatures, 60 - 90F, allowing it to be sometimes kept in unheated aquariums indoors. Similar to the pleco, CAEs tend to hide in caves when they are not feeding. If a cave is not available for them to hide in, they will attempt to make one themselves by digging under large rocks or against the walls of the aquarium. Though in the wild they feed exclusively on algae, in the aquarium there is some controversy on the effectiveness of the algae eater. While they are young, they may be effective. But as they grow, they may develop more of a taste for processed foods and consume those instead. Some aquarists also report large specimens attacking and consuming smaller fish.
    If I were you I would rehome him and get him away from your Goldfish for I feel it is the CAE that is causing the loss of scales. It most likely will only get worse for your Goldfish.

    Also, if you are still interestred in Alage control, I as of late, have been using Ottos. They are small, cutle, and do a great job at curtailing algae. They like to be in groups, so put 4 or 5 of them in your tank and you will end up having to add to their diet. They are that good at getting rid of the Algae.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  3. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Take it out asap! I had to do the same as they suck the slime off goldfish. Please tell me you don't have goldfish still in vase.
  4. SharkdudeWell Known MemberMember

    +1 Wendy and Psalm!
  5. hmenchinNew MemberMember

    Thanks for all your advice. No I don't have them in a vase actually was a very large bowl one, not a cruel tiny one and they did very well but water circulation wasn't fair on them and I moved them. Strangely since they have been in a larger tank with water circulating they have not bred, which is bit of a shame.

    Anyway, I think I will move him in the next day or so. Ill take a large number of the rocks from the tank and one of the plants and set up a small tank. Or do you guys think I should just take him to the pond at my mothers and stick him in there. We do live at the Australian snow though and get to minus 12/15 celsius over night in winter...

  6. hmenchinNew MemberMember

    Mind you my mother's goldfish have survived in their perfectly fine over winters even when it is frozen over.
  7. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Goldfish are hardy unfortunately and can survive through much abuse, doesn't mean they like it or are happy. For a single fantail you want 29gallons, for 2 id say 30-40. CAE dont make good tank fish.
  8. psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    I'm not sure about fantails being in freezing temps. I know comet goldfish can handle the temps. What are you going to do with the CAE? Do you have a 40g or larger tank?

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