Chinese algae eaters, also known as sucking loaches, are semi-aggressive freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. Typically, Chinese algae eaters are kept in freshwater aquariums to control the spread of algae. At minimum, Chinese algae eaters require 30 gallons of fresh water. It’s also recommended to include plants, water and rocks in the tank because these fish love to hide in tank décor.
Chinese Algae Eaters Love to Rock
Rock piles make a great hiding spot for the Chinese algae eater. They will burrow under stones or hide behind rock piles. They generally spend their time along the bottom of the aquarium. This is due to the creature’s original habitat. In the wild, Chinese algae eaters are found in freshwater lakes and rivers, most often near or on a mountain range. Rivers, nearby mountains, are known for a hard, rocky bottom which is why Chinese algae eaters have a proclivity to burrow into rock piles.
Rocks Are a Great Source of Food
While they are young, Chinese algae eaters feed on a diet of algae veggie matter. Once they hit maturity, these fish prefer a more carnivorous diet, but while they’re young it’s algae that’s most appetizing. Algae forms on the surface of rocks before it forms in other places. Oftentimes, if you see a Chinese algae eater burrowing under rocks, it’s searching for food.
Chinese Algae Eaters Prefer Life at the Bottom
You may find your Chinese algae eaters have an appetite for what’s hanging out along the bottom of the tank. Chinese algae eaters almost always swim along the bottom of a tank, preferring it to the middle and top. Sometimes, you may see them on plant leaves or along the tank’s walls, but for the most part Chinese algae eaters are bottom feeders. Because they love the bottom so much, you may see them burrowing in rocks as an attempt to get even lower.
A Hiding Chinese Algae Eater May be Poised to Attack
Chinese algae eaters are considered semi-aggressive, but only during maturity. While an algae eater is still a juvenile, it can co-exist peacefully in a community tank because at that stage it’s a simple herbivore, hungry only for algae. With a lifespan of 5-10 years, it’s a good idea to remove your Chinese algae eater when you begin to notice it’s becoming aggressive. Sometimes, a Chinese algae eater may attack from the tank’s bottom, even from under a pile of rocks. Ensure your tank’s other inhabitants are protected by removing the Chinese algae eater when maturity is reached.