Guppies eat seaweed

Algae eaters in the aquarium

Even if certain animal species are repeatedly touted as algae eaters, one shouldn't expect too much from the supposed algae eaters. Some animal species do eat algae, but only to a limited extent. A real algae plague can only be avoided by establishing a permanent balance between nutrients and plant growth in the aquarium. As a rule, only young algae are eaten, while older algae are not touched.

When in doubt, the animals prefer to feed on the comfortably presented food than on the algae, no matter how proliferating. In no case should one purchase the animal species to be cared for only after such considerations of usefulness. The exaggerated hopes are quickly disappointed and the animals are no longer paid attention to. What should animals that really eat a lot of algae feed on when all the algae have been destroyed? By then at the latest, they quickly get a taste for other foods and algae are usually spurned at this point at the latest. If the actual causes of the algae infestation have not been eliminated, the next algae plague is inevitable.

The so-called algae eaters can, however, represent an interesting addition to the aquarium population if you do not want to keep them purely as farm animals.

Fish / ornamental fish

Antennae catfish

Antennae catfish (Ancistrus) are recommended as algae eaters. However, catfish also like to eat leaves of plants. In particular, the leaves of Amazon sword plants (Echinodorus) are often razed through. Shoots from young leaves are also eaten with pleasure. Often you have to feed catfish with vegetables and lettuce to protect the plants. Apparently they prefer to eat plants, vegetables and lettuce rather than algae.

Kissing Guramis

Kissing Guramis (Helostoma temmickii) need aquariums with more than 200 liters of water, as they can get very large and prefer to eat plankton and algae.


Some species of viviparous fish occasionally pluck and eat algae. So z. B. Guppies and Black Mollys. However, they prefer other foods, e.g. B. flake food, very clearly.

Ear lattice armor catfish

Of the various types of ear armor catfish (Otocinclus), it is mainly algae that are grazed on objects, panes and plants. Since these catfish only feel comfortable in small groups, they should be kept in groups of at least 6 animals.

Siamese trunk barbel

The Siamese trunk barbel (Crossocheilus siamensis) mainly eat thread algae, but other types of algae are not spurned either. Proboscis barbs are 10 to 15 cm long and should have about 100 liters of water available for each barbel. When buying it, care must be taken not to confuse it with the very similar looking beautiful fin elbow barb (Epalzeorhynchus kallopterus).

Prawns against algae

The Amano shrimp in particular has become known as an algae eater. But also with the Amano shrimp it is true that they cannot cope with a real algae plague and, like all other algae eaters, prefer to eat flake and tablet food in the long run. Certain species of dwarf shrimp also attack algae to a limited extent.

Snails against algae

The classic algae eaters in the aquarium are the different types of snails. However, among the various snail species there are also some species that like to eat plants.

Last update on April 27th, 2021 / * Affiliate links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API