What Do Algae Eaters Eat? (& What To Feed Them)

Algae eaters have been an important part of aquarium keeping for a long time. They help keep the natural ecosystem that we are all trying to copy in our tanks in balance. They are wonderful additions to your aquatic family because they are good at getting rid of algae and have interesting looks and habits. In this article, you’ll find out what other things algae eaters eat. You’ll also find other helpful information about common algae eaters like Chinese, siamese, and golden algae eaters. We also included wayn on how to stop your betta fish from eating algae wafers. So, read on!

Do Algae Eater Fish Need Food?

If you’re wondering whether algae eater fish need food, the answer is both yes and no. These fish are known as “opportunistic feeders,” meaning that they will eat just about anything they can find. This includes algae, of course, but also small invertebrates, detritus, and other organic matter. In the wild, these fish are constantly grazing on whatever they can find, and in captivity, they should be offered a similar diet.

21 Best algae-eating saltwater fish...
21 Best algae-eating saltwater fish for a reef tank

That said, algae eater fish don’t actually need to eat food all that often. In fact, if there’s plenty of algae in their tank for them to graze on, they may not eat anything else at all. It’s important to offer them a varied diet, however, as this will ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need. 

Do Algae Eaters Eat Fish?

One of the most common questions people have about algae eaters is whether or not they eat fish. The answer to this question is a bit complicated. In general, algae eaters are not interested in eating fish and will even leave them alone if they’re well-fed. 

However, there are always exceptions to the rule, and some algae eaters may decide to nibble on fish if they’re feeling particularly hungry.  This is more likely to happen if there aren’t enough algae in the tank for them to graze on. So it’s important to make sure that there’s plenty of food available for them.

In addition, some algae eaters may view fish as competitors for food and may become aggressive toward them as a result. This is more likely to happen if the tank is overcrowded, so it’s important to make sure that there’s enough space for everyone.

Do Chinese Algae Eaters Eat Plants?

Chinese algae eaters are a type of fish that’s particularly known for eating plants and are used in aquariums to control algae growth. However, Chinese algae eaters will only eat plants if there’s no other food available.  So if you have plants in your aquarium, you shouldn’t worry about them being eaten.

The only time you need to worry about Chinese algae eaters eating plants is if the plants are dying. In this case, the algae eaters may view the plants as a food source and start to nibble on them.  To prevent this from happening, it’s important to make sure that the plants in your aquarium are healthy and that there’s plenty of food available.

chinese algae eater with anubias plant in freshwater planted aquarium

What Do Chinese Algae Eaters Eat?

Algae eaters are known to consume a variety of food items, including algae, small invertebrates, detritus, and other organic matter. Chinese algae eaters are a subspecies of algae eater that is known to consume plants as well. Here are 7 things Chinese algae eaters eat:

1. Algae

As their name suggests, algae eaters are known to consume large quantities of algae. In the wild, these fish graze on algae all day long, and in captivity, they should be offered a similar diet.

2. Small Invertebrates

In addition to algae, Chinese algae eaters are also known to consume small invertebrates. This includes things like worms, bugs, and other small creatures.

3. Detritus

Chinese algae eaters are also known to consume detritus, which is organic matter that has broken down. This includes things like leaves, twigs, and other plant matter.

4. Other Organic Matter

In addition to the items mentioned above, Chinese algae eaters are also known to consume other organic matter. This includes things like small fish, crustaceans, and even other algae eaters.

5. Plants

As mentioned above, Chinese algae eaters are also known to consume plants. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view plants as a food source.

6. Fish

In addition to the items mentioned above, Chinese algae eaters are also known to consume fish. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view fish as a food source.

7. Algae Wafers

Algae wafers are a type of food that’s specifically designed for algae eaters. They’re made from a variety of ingredients, including algae, and are a good way to provide these fish with the nutrients they need.

What Do Siamese Algae Eaters Eat?

Siamese algae eaters are a type of fish that’s known for eating algae. However, there are also other things that siamese algae eaters eat. Here are 7 of them:

1. Algae

Siamese algae eaters are known to consume a variety of algae, including green algae, brown algae, and red algae. In the wild, these fish graze on algae all day long, and in captivity, they should be offered a similar diet.

2. Small Invertebrates

In addition to algae, Siamese algae eaters are also known to consume small invertebrates. This includes things like worms, bugs, and other small creatures.

3. Detritus

Siamese algae eaters are also known to consume detritus, which is organic matter that has broken down. This includes things like leaves, twigs, and other plant matter.

4. Other Organic Matter

In addition to the items mentioned above, Siamese algae eaters are also known to consume other organic matter. This includes things like small fish, crustaceans, and even other algae eaters.

5. Plants

As mentioned above, Siamese algae eaters are also known to consume plants. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view plants as a food source.

6. Fish

In addition to the items mentioned above, Siamese algae eaters are also known to consume fish. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view fish as a food source.

7. Algae Wafers

Algae wafers are a type of food that’s specifically designed for algae eaters. They’re made from a variety of ingredients, including algae, and are a good way to provide these fish with the nutrients they need.

What Do Golden Algae Eaters Eat?

Algae eaters are a type of fish that’s known for eating algae. However, there are also other things that algae eaters eat. Here are 7 of them:

1. Algae

Golden algae eaters are known to consume a variety of algae, including green algae, brown algae, and red algae. In the wild, these fish graze on algae all day long, and in captivity, they should be offered a similar diet.

2. Small Invertebrates

In addition to algae, golden algae eaters are also known to consume small invertebrates. This includes things like worms, bugs, and other small creatures.

3. Detritus

Golden algae eaters are also known to consume detritus, which is organic matter that has broken down. This includes things like leaves, twigs, and other plant matter.

4. Other Organic Matter

In addition to the items mentioned above, golden algae eaters are also known to consume other organic matter. This includes things like small fish, crustaceans, and even other algae eaters.

5. Plants

As mentioned above, golden algae eaters are also known to consume plants. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view plants as a food source.

6. Fish

In addition to the items mentioned above, golden algae eaters are also known to consume fish. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view fish as a food source.

7. Algae Wafers

Algae wafers are a type of food that’s specifically designed for algae eaters. They’re made from a variety of ingredients, including algae, and are a good way to provide these fish with the nutrients they need.

What Do Algae Eaters Eat When There Is No Algae?

While algae are the primary food source for most algae eaters, there are other things that these fish will eat when there are no algae available. Here are 7 of them:

1. Small Invertebrates

In the absence of algae, most algae eaters will turn to small invertebrates as a food source. This includes things like worms, bugs, and other small creatures.

2. Detritus

Detritus is another food source that algae eaters will consume when there is no algae available. This includes things like leaves, twigs, and other plant matter that has broken down.

3. Other Organic Matter

In addition to the items mentioned above, algae eaters are also known to consume other organic matter. This includes things like small fish, crustaceans, and even other algae eaters.

4. Plants

As mentioned above, algae eaters are also known to consume plants. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view plants as a food source.

5. Fish

In addition to the items mentioned above, algae eaters are also known to consume fish. This is usually only done if there’s no other food available, but in some cases, these fish may view fish as a food source.

6. Algae Wafers

Algae wafers are a type of food that’s specifically designed for algae eaters. They’re made from a variety of ingredients, including algae, and are a good way to provide these fish with the nutrients they need.

7. Supplemental Foods

In addition to the items mentioned above, there are also a variety of supplemental foods that can be given to algae eaters. This includes things like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other freeze-dried foods.

What Vegetables Can Algae Eaters Eat?

As mentioned above, algae eaters are known to consume a variety of different foods, including plants. While most algae eaters prefer to eat algae, there are a variety of vegetables that these fish will also consume. Here are 7 of them:

1. Zucchini

Many algae-eaters, like the Oto catfish, like a slice of zucchini every now and then. Leave the zucchini in the tank for at least one day, but no more than two, so your fish can get the most out of their algae-eating food supplement. If you leave it in the tank for more than two days, it will start to go bad.

2. Cucumber

Cucumber is another vegetable that’s loved by algae eaters. Like zucchini, cucumber should be left in the tank for one to two days before being removed. You can also cut the cucumber into small pieces and leave it in the tank as an algae-eating food supplement.

3. Lettuce 

Many kinds of fish, not just ones that eat algae, like to eat lettuce as well. Lettuce is a cheap vegetable, and most grocery stores sell a lot of different kinds. But keep in mind that some types, like iceberg lettuce, have less nutrients than romaine or green leaf lettuce.

4. Spinach

Algae eaters are also known to consume spinach. This leafy green vegetable is a good source of vitamins and minerals and can be a healthy addition to their diet. To feed your fish spinach, simply blanch it in boiling water for a few seconds, then chop it up and add it to the tank.

5. Carrots

Finally, carrots are another type of vegetable that algae eaters will consume. Carrots can be grated and added to the tank, or cut into small pieces and left as a food supplement. Do not overfeed your fish carrots, as they are high in sugar and can cause health problems if consumed in large quantities.

6. Broccoli

Many algae-eating fish, especially the common pleco, love cooked broccoli. Prepare fresh broccoli by boiling it until it is soft but not mushy, then straining it and letting it cool completely. Cut up the broccoli stems and put them in the tank for your algae-eating fish to eat.

7. Green Peas and Fish Beans 

Green peas are a great vegetable to add to the food of your fish that eat algae, and they can also help your other fish digest their food. The fiber in green peas is very good for fish, especially goldfish. Before you give your fish peas, boil them in water and let them cool down.

How To Stop Betta From Eating Algae Wafers

As mentioned above, algae wafers are a type of food that’s specifically designed for algae eaters. However, some bettas may view algae wafers as a food source, and this can be a problem because bettas are not algae eaters. If your betta is eating algae wafers, there are 7 things you can do to.

1. Remove The Algae Wafers

The most obvious thing you can do is remove the algae wafers from your betta’s tank. If there’s no food available, your betta will be less likely to eat it.

2. Feed Your Betta More Often

Another thing you can do is to feed your betta more often. If your betta is getting enough food, it’ll be less likely to view algae wafers as a food source.

3. Give Your Betta Vegetables

You can also try giving your betta vegetables. Algae eaters are known to consume a variety of vegetables, so this may be a good way to provide your betta with the nutrients they need.

4. Give Your Betta Supplemental Foods

In addition to the items mentioned above, there are also a variety of supplemental foods that can be given to betta fish, if they stop eating algae wafers. This includes things like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other freeze-dried foods.

5. Change The Water In Your Betta’s Tank

Another thing you can do is to change the water in your betta’s tank. If the water is dirty, your betta may be more likely to mistake algae wafers for food.

6. Use A Wafer Made Of Algae That Has Less Fish Meal

If you can, try to find algae wafers that don’t have fish meals in them at a store near you. This way, your betta is much less likely to decide it wants to eat them. The best choice is Tetra Algae Wafers.

7. Feed Bettas And Other Tank Mates At The Same Time

If you have other fish in your tank, try feeding them at the same time. This way, your betta will see that there’s other food available and be less likely to eat algae wafers.

FAQ

Do Chinese Algae Eaters Eat Black Beard Algae?

One of the best black algae eaters are chinese algae eaters, says Tiny Under Water. Nerite snails and amano shrimp will consume black beard or black brush algae.

Will Chinese Algae Eaters Eat Mosquito Larvae?

The Chinese Algae Eater is an unusual fish that you wouldn’t think would be a favorite among fish keepers. In the wild, they often eat mosquito larvae as mentioned by Aquarium Source.

Do Chinese Algae Eaters Eat Fish Food?

Chinese algae eaters usually only eat what’s on the bottom or in the middle of their tank, so it’s important to give them foods that sink, says Aquarium Tidings. Live or frozen foods, like bloodworms, blackworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp, can also be added to the tank for these fish.

Will Betta Fish Eat Algae Eaters?

Algae eaters can get along with bettas because they don’t bother their territory or food, according to Pets Overload. However, since betta fish are very aggressive, it can be hard to get them to get along with other fish, but it’s not impossible. 

Will Turtles Eat Algae Eaters?

No, turtles won’t eat algae eaters says, The Turtle Expert. They can live together. Just make sure to find an algae eater that is at least two inches long as long as your turtle.

Do Golden Algae Eaters Eat Red Algae?

The golden algae eater predominantly eats any algae that naturally accumulates within an aquarium, says Fish Time Marine Keeper. However, they are not as good at keeping your tank clean as some of the more commonly found sucker fish, such as Plecs.

Will Siamese Algae Eaters Eat Cherry Shrimp?

Siamese algae eaters eat whatever they can find, which makes them a great addition to your cleanup crew, says Aquarium Gravel. Even though they are good at cleaning, they will eat almost anything, including cherry shrimp if they can fit in in their mouths.

Do Siamese Algae Eaters Eat Black Beard Algae?

The Siamese algae eater is one of the freshwater aquarium fish, that will eat black beard algae. But they can’t promise that they will clean your tank of BBA, says Smart Aquarium Guide.

Do Siamese Algae Eaters Eat Brown Algae?

The Siamese algae eater eats different kinds of algae, even brown algae, which makes it a great addition to any freshwater aquarium. They are one of the best at eating algae according to Tiny Under Water

Do Siamese Algae Eaters Eat Shrimp?

Yes, the Siamese algae eaters will eat shrimp and baby shrimp if they can fit them in their mouths. But, larger types of shrimp can live with SAEs, and they do, so you don’t have to worry about their safety says, Aquarium Gravel.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Fish Food?

According to Nulagi Aquarium, some algae eaters eat leftover fish food, including mystery snail, cherry shrimp and amano shrimp. But mostly, you will see them feeding on algae found on your aquarium,

Do Algae Eaters Eat Fish Poop?

Fishy business says, you might see a few fish chewing on small pieces of poop, but that’s only because they think it’s food.However, algae eaters don’t like fish poop all that much.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Dead Fish?

According to Help Us Fish, yes, if they can get to it, an algae eater will happily eat a dead fish. People have seen them eat live fish as well. 

Will Algae Eaters Eat Blood Worms?

Almost all fish, except those that only eat plants, will eat bloodworms, says Fish Tank Advisor. Bloodworms are used by people who keep fish in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. 

Do Algae Eaters Eat Old Food From Tank Floor?

Algae eater like Plecos  are by far the most common bottom-feeding fish that people like to keep in their tanks. They are good at eating algae and old food from the tank floor, says Aqueon.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Brine Shrimp?

Some algae eaters eat shrimp and baby shrimp if they can fit them in their mouths. But, larger types of shrimp can live with algae eaters, so you don’t have to worry about their safety says Aquarium Gravel.

Will Algae Eaters Eat Brown Algae?

Algae eaterss, like otocinclus catfish, amano shrimp, and nerite snails, eat brown algae and some other types of algae. But don’t put them in your new tank too soon or they might start eating the plants as mentioned by Web MD.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Snails?

An algae eater like Plecos will eat anything they can get their mouths on. They will also eat dead snails and fish says Smart Aquarium Guide.

Can Algae Eaters Eat Cucumber?

Some algae eaters like Fish Keeping World eat cucumbers. Even though they eat algae, they also eat other things, such as cucumbers according to Fish Keeping World.

Will Algae Eaters Eat Marimo Moss Ball?

Marimo moss balls are not, in fact, made of moss. They are called Aegagropila linnaei, and they are a type of green algae. Therefore, any algae eaters will hurt this plant, says Pet Helpful.

Will Algae Eaters Eat Baby Fish?

According to Guppy Expert, some algae eaters like Siamese algae are primarily herbivorous but will consume protein sources occasionally when given the opportunity. These protein sources include guppy fry and other small fish babies, if any wander in their vicinity.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Kuhli Loaches?

Loaches live peacefully on the bottom and eat a lot of algae, says Everything Fishkeeping. However, there’s no record that other algae eaters will eat loaches like Kuhli.

Do Algae Eaters Eat Guppies?

Algae eaters like Siamese are mostly herbivores, but they will sometimes eat protein sources if they get the chance. Some of these sources of protein are guppy fry and other small fish babies that happen to be nearby, according to Guppy Expert

Recap 

Algae eaters are fishes that primarily consume algae. Some types of algae eaters will also consume other things, such as leftover fish food, dead fish, or bloodworms. Most algae eaters are peaceful fish that live peacefully on the bottom of the tank. However, some might eat small baby fish if they get the chance. It is best to research what kind of algae eater you want before getting one for your tank. We hope you enjoyed learning about algae eaters! Thanks for reading.