Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri)06/02/2020
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is a freshwater fish native to large parts of Southeast Asia. It is of interest as a local food source and for the aquarium trade. Its common names include Honey Sucker, Sucking Loach, Chinese Algae Eater, and Siamese Algae Eater; the FAO-endorsed common name is Siamese Algae Eater.
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is found in the Chao Phraya basin, the northern Malay Peninsula, Mekong basin (in Cambodia, Yunnan Province in China, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam), Mae Klong basin and the Xe Bang Fai River. It is most often seen in large rivers, occasionally entering flooded fields. The fish spends most of its time on flat surfaces, such as rocks, in flowing water, using its unusually formed inferior mouth to attach itself to rocks in stronger flows. The fish are sold in local markets as a food source and small fish are used in preparation of prahok.
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri has been recorded as reaching at least 28 cm (11 in) SL and is the only species in the genus to have 9 branched dorsal rays and 36 – 40 lateral line scales. The mouth is inferior with a special «sucker» modification which allows the fish to attach itself to smooth surfaces. No barbels are present.
Wild type colour varies from pale grey to olive, with darker markings along the lateral line which vary from a solid stripe with alternating higher and lower extensions to uneven dots. The belly is usually paler than the base colour. Some darker markings may also be observed along the back and on the caudal fin, but no dark markings occur on the pelvic and anal fins.
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is similar in colouration to a number of other species that are commonly available in the aquarium trade, such as Crossocheilus oblongus, Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus, and Garra cambodgiensis, and is sometimes misidentified as one of these species. It is available in a number of colour morphs, including wild type, gold, marble, albino, and leucistic forms.
The species does not breed readily in home aquaria, although fry are occasionally reported as being found in overgrown aquaria. At this time, no definitive spawning triggers are known. Sexing is difficult, although mature males may develop breeding tubercles on their noses, while females become plumper.
Gyrinocheilus aymonieri fish are often bought as algae eaters because they will readily eat algae when young, but with age, their preference changes towards meatier foods, such as prepared aquarium foods, frozen crustaceans and small fish. This change is also reflected in behaviour, which becomes aggressive with age, especially so towards others of their own kind and fish with similar colors.
This fish prefers hiding places in wood, rocks and plants. Since they graze on algae most of the time when young, some sunlight on the aquarium to promote the algae growth is appreciated. Though they prefer algae, you can occasionally substitute crushed lettuce or spinach. The quality of the water needs to be maintained with regular changes, and as they are river fish, some water movement is needed as well. Also, they won’t work in the cold. If the temperature in the aquarium drops below 69° F (20° C) they will stop eating algae!
We supply the albino version of Gyrinocheilus aymonieri in two different sizes. The minimum order quantity (MOQ) rules are applied for this product. Just choose your preferred fish size and the indicating MOQ at this page.