Tank mates for Chinese Algae Eater? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-11-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Tank mates for Chinese Algae Eater?

Am new to this site, would like to say Hi!

Recently I wanted to set up a 10 gallon community tank and was looking for a fish to cycle it with. Went to a fish shop and was sold a fish that the shop said was suitable and would help with clearing algae. Unfortunately, some research later, the fish i had bought turned out to be a Chinese algae eater, which doesnt seem to have a good reputation for being a community fish.

Fortunately though, I have only the CAE as yet. To make the best of a bad situation, I've decided to abandon my original plan (guppies) and plan the tank around the CAE instead.

The CAE is a baby, slightly more than 1 inch. I am prepared to keep it as a solitary fish if necessary, and to upgrade the tank when the fish outgrows it.

However, I'm not sure if its just me, but the CAE seems kind of lonely, and usually swims around the tank observing the movements of everyone in the room (it's quite cute, really). Are there any fishes that are suitable as tankmates for a CAE in a 10 gallon tank? I'm not planning to keep a huge number of fish in that tank so schooling fish may not be suitable.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-13-2011, 12:31 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad you found us and joined.

A 10g is not much space, but there are lots of options for suitable small fish. Sadly though, not with a Chinese Algae Eater.

If it were me, I would return the CAE, notwithstanding you may be attached to it. Down the road this fish will almost certainly be troublesome, and it will outgrow a 10g very fast. Left in too small a space, fish develop internal problems, sometimes stunting, and will be stressed and this leads to even worse aggression and poor health. Even in large tanks, the suitable fish that will work with a CAE are limited, as noted in our profile.

With the CAE gone, you can have a beautiful display of small fish. Ember Tetra, Celestial Pearl Danio, Mosquito Rasbora, Scarlet Badis...and many, many more similar. These are all in our fish profiles, click on the shade names to see the specific profile, or use the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-15-2011, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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thanks Bryon for the reply.

unfortunately, returning the CAE is not a straightforward matter, i dont think the shop will accept a return especially as it has been with me for quite a while already. for now i think i'll just use it to cycle the tank for a month, and then try to trade it in when shopping for new fish to fill the cycled tank.

if the shop doesnt accept it, i think i will probably have to rehome it.

lesson learnt: most fish shops dont even know what fish they are selling and will just sell you any fish (or plant) so long as you look like you will buy it... sigh. where i live, the shops dont even label the tanks, so i guess i will have to do quite a bit of research into how to identify different types of fishes.

with the CAE gone, are there any suitable "cleaner" type fish (e.g. CAE, pleco) that i can keep in my 10 gallon tank? i have been looking at a few in my local fish shop, but it seems like they all grow quite large

i will probably be keeping guppies as tankmates for the cleaner fish
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-15-2011, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by fishless View Post

lesson learnt: most fish shops dont even know what fish they are selling and will just sell you any fish (or plant) so long as you look like you will buy it... sigh.
This. Most dont care and dont know. I have one person near me that cares but, more often than not, is wrong.
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-15-2011, 09:37 AM
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If you can't return the CEA, just tell them to take it back. Most good fish stores will understand that you are trying to do the best you can for the wellbeing of the fish.

- Christine
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