Golden Algae Eater - too big?

  1. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    My golden algae eater is about 5-6 inches long, but I have read that it can grow up to 10 inches (25 centimeters)! Though I also read that in aquaria it's often smaller. My tank measures 30 gallons. If my algae eater actually grows to be 10 inches long (or say, even 8 inches), isn't this tank going to be too small for a fish this size?
     
  2. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Which algae eaters don't grow to be this big?
     

  3. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Is your golden algae eater a plecostomus? If you are looking for a smaller pleco, then check out the bristlenose which are of the ancistrus variety. These usually don't get bigger than 6 inches depending on the species. A great place to learn about the different plecos is www.planetcatfish.com. ;) And yes, a 10 inch fish in a 30 gallon aquarium sounds like your fish would basically be living in a closet.
     
  4. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi Gunnie. To tell you the truth, I don't even know what this fish is exactly. When I was buying it a year ago I wasn't very informed about fish-keeping. Now I regret not inquiring about everyting about every fish I then bought. Only recently did I discover that the kind I have grows to be 10 inches long. I have found an article about it and here is what it says about this fish: its common name is algae eater / sucking loach; its scientific name is "gyrinocheilus aymonieri"; and its synonyms are Chinese algae eater or Indian algae eater (it really is bright orange in color). Does that classify it as plecostomus? I really am not very informed on algae eaters and similar fish. But I do know I don't want mine to be as big as 10 inches. I only have a 30 gallon tank. So what do you suggest I do with my present algae eater? Just get rid of it (because I won't be getting any larger tank anytime soon)? I really got used to it. It seems to keep the tank very clean! I am attaching to this post the picture of this algae eater. Maybe you know what it is and what to do with it!
     

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  5. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    I am sorry to be this rude Gunnie, but if you don't mind, I will go back to another post of mine "Aquarium Setup Change." I'd like to ask you about these beneficial bacteria. I said that I want to remove the old decor (which is not rocks) for new rocks and the old gravel for new gravel. The bacteria will be on the walls and in the filter, but will it be enough if they won't be on the new rocks and gravel? Should I, after all, put the 30 gallons of water back into the tank?
     
  6. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    And here I go again! So if I get a smaller algae eater (say, at most 6 inches long when grown; but I'd prefer even smaller) - how many of such algae eaters would be recommended per 30 gallons of water? Is one enough?
     
  7. Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    I don't have an answer for you except to see if you can trade him in at your lfs

    It's perfectly okay to add the tank water back into your tank once you are ready, but I doubt it will help with the bio bugs.  Since it won't have the constant flow of water like it had in the tank, any bio bugs in that water will probably die anyway for lack of oxygen.  I think they say that when your filter stops, that the good bacteria starts to die off after 30 minutes. 

    Just start with one after you get everything settled back in the tank, and your ammonia and nitrites are at zero.  If he doesn't get the job done, get a second one.   
     

  8. Craig Well Known Member Member

    get a bristlenose the ancistrus r great characters!! lol my ancistrus has actually become really territorial but my other fish keep him goin cause there like u cant hurt us!!!!!! then he just headbutts them!! great suckerfish!!
     
  9. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Going back to your original two posts... Golden Algae Eaters do get large and can be rather boisterous. What other fish do you have in the tank? Also, as they get bigger, they somewhat lose their taste for algae. These are actually not plecos or any type of catfish--they are more closely related to loaches. They are a color morph of the Chinese Algae Eater or Sucking Loach (though they're not from China and they're not true loaches!), which is dark tan with brown spots. The Dwarf Otocinclus catfish never tops 2 inches, but does a great job eating algae and is very peaceful, too. If you decide to return your algae eater, several dwarf ottos would be a much better replacement. If you really like catfish, you could also get a shoal of Corydoras catfish, which are usually 2-3 inches depending on the species and are active but peaceful. Note, however, that these are scavengers, not algae eaters, and also that they don't like salt in the water (if you add any). I hope this helps!
     
  10. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Thanks 0morrokh. I have 12 neons, 2 angelfish, and this one golden algae eater in my 30 gallon tank (which description you can also see under each of my posts). It looks like I will really have to give it back to the store :( I really like it though. I will wait until it grows to a size that wil be too large for a 30 gallon tank. What size would you say it is? I think 6-7 inches, right? But from what I read, in aquaria they don't grow to be 10 inches. So I will wait and time will tell. Maybe it won't reach this size at all. And if it really gets that big, I'll have to say good bye to it :( Do you think they'll take a big algae eater in my local pet store? (It's very healthy and seems a hardy fish.) Thanks for the pleco suggestions - will definitely be useful when giving my poor goldie back :(
     

  11. 0morrokh Fishlore VIP Member

    Okay, now I feel dumb about asking what fish you have... :p It might be a good idea to give him back to the store while he's still small--they might not take a big one. Also, once he get's bigger, he will probably will get territorial and boisterous, and will annoy your slow-moving Angels. Besides, the longer you wait, the harder it will be :'( Those Dwarf Ottos are really cute--their shape is kind of like algae eaters. I think you'll like them--but if you don't, there's planty of other "cats" to choose from. Sorry your Goldie didn't work out :( I don't suppose you could set up a bigger tank for him...although even if you could, they tend to be a nuisance to other fish, so you'd be pretty limited on what else you could get.
     
  12. Jason Well Known Member Member

    Ive got the same chinese algae eater only the original darkish coloured with brown spots. He's only small now and hasn't really grown much in the 7months Ive had him and isn't much of a nuisance mainly due to my Red-tail Shark who keeps him in order
     
  13. Isabella Fishlore VIP Member

    Thanks again 0morrokh. And so it is ... I'll have to give it back after all :( And indeed it moves like a rocket compared to my slow angels! But so far it hasn't "terrorized" any of my fish. I'll wait a bit and see how much bigger it will get. I'll be measuring its length from now on. And eventually ... yup, give it back :(