Algae eaters or algivores are a group of bottom-dwelling or algae-eating fish that help keep aquariums clean. Here are the different types of algae eater fish for freshwater aquariums:
Siamese Algae Eater
The Siamese algae eater is the perfect fish to keep your aquarium algae free. It’s the most recommend type of algae eater in the fishkeeping community.
These fish feed on several different types of algae and are known to eat algae that other species won’t.
Siamese algae eaters are peaceful fish and can be placed in community tanks with other non-aggressive tank mates.
The Bushymouth catfish is one of several types of catfish that eat algae as well as plants and roots.
They have also been shown to eat other dead fish that sink to the bottom of the fish tank (see references below).
The Bristlenose catfish or pleco grows up to 5 inches and is just as peaceful as the Bushymouth catfish (both belong to the same family).
Chinese Algae Eater
Chinese algae eaters are easy to care for but they become a bit aggressive toward other fish as they grow. They are known to reach lengths of up to 10 inches and you shouldn’t keep them with docile fish.
The Oto cat or otocinclus catfish is a small algae eater that grows to a maximum of 2 inches in length.
They look like Chinese algae eaters but smaller and more peaceful. Thus, they are more suited for community tanks with other types of bottom feeders and peaceful fish.
These fish are similar in appearance to the larger Chinese algae eater, but they are much more peaceful.
The American Flagfish will feed on algae in a fish tank but will need to be supplemented with other food if enough algae are not present.
They are known to eat live foods such as brine shrimp, white worms, tubifex but algae flake food or algae tablets will suffice.
Whiptail catfish are a type of armored catfish. They are peaceful fish and easy to care for.
Whiptail catfish are usually black or tan in color and grow up to about 6 inches in length. They are omnivorous and will eat leftover fish food in addition to algae.
Twig catfish have long, thin bodies and grow to about 4 inches in length. They are peaceful fish and are good tank mates for livebearers like guppies. However, larger fish can and probably will bully twig catfish so it’s best not to keep them with aggressive fish.
Dwarf Sucking Catfish
The Dwarf sucking catfish or Dwarf Oto is a bottom-feeder only grows to around 1.5 inches. They are peaceful fish and mainly graze on some soft algae. However, they do not eat hair algae or green spot algae.
the Zebra oto feeds on algae in the wild. In an aquarium, it should have enough of green and brown soft algae to graze on. These form a biofilm on plant decor and the tank glass. The Zebra oto then scrapes it off and eats it.
- How to get rid of algae in a planted tank! – Video – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nz4zNUZDBuk
- Algae eater – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_eater
- The Algae Eater Debate – INJAF – http://injaf.org/the-think-tank/the-algae-eater-debate/
- Aquarium Fish Bushymouth catfish (Ancistrus dolichopterus) is eating another fish – Shutterstock – https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-12727265-aquarium-fish-bushymouth-catfish-ancistrus-dolichopterus-eating