Spawning Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri)

Spawning Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri)

Gyrinocheilus aymonieri
Common name:
Chinese algae-eater
Family: Gyrinocheilidae (Algae eaters)
Order: Cypriniformes (carps)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Max size: 30 cm/ 12 inches
Water conditions: pH range: 6.0 - 8.0, temperature 25 - 28°C/ 77-82°F

I would like to say a few words about one of the bigger surprises I’ve had as an aquarist. A few years ago I was cleaning out a 50 gallon holding tank that I used to keep fishes that was going to a new aquarium in until the new aquarium was ready. I also used it for keeping fish I didn’t know where else to put. At this time this aquarium was home too 12 blue discus which where about 10 cm and 4 albino Chinese algae-eaters that where about 20 cm. The aquarium was very heavily planted with lots of C. Demersum since the aquarium had been neglected a little bit too much during the last months. Now the time had come to clean this aquarium and try to weed out the jungle that had formed. To my big surprise I found one small 1.5-2 cm fry of Chinese algae-eater. After looking around a little bit more I found a total of 7 fry. I stopped the cleaning and left the aquarium as it was, since the water quality was good and I didn’t want change too much. I didn’t see any reason to move the fry since they seemed to be big enough to be safe from the discuses which I was moving to a 120 gallon Amazon tank in a few days anyway.

The fry survived and grow relatively fast on a diet on what they could find in the well planted aquarium and boiled lettuce. However I never got the parents to spawn again and neither did the fry. However I would like to say a few words about how the Chinese algae-eaters had been kept before the spawning and which waters they spawned in, to see if I can help anyone else to successes where I failed. To breed Chinese algae-eaters and figure out what triggers them to breed.

When I found the fry their parents had been in the holding tank for about 2-3 months. Before that I kept them in a 50 gallon tank which was heavily circulated and contained very few plants. Temperature was kept at 25°C/ 77°F. They where kept with clown loaches and different barbs. I’ve been wondering if the fact that they where kept in a heavily circulated aquarium and then moved to a aquarium with close to no circulation and warmer water, 28°C/ 82°F, may have simulated a migration that precedes spawning.

The breeding tank was as I said before heavily planted and had little or no circulation at all, due to the vegetation. The water was old and clean. Dh about 4. I can’t say the exact water conditions as I don’t know exactly when the spawning took place. However the water conditions had been relatively stable and it is relatively secure to assume that the stated water conditions are correct.

The Chinese algae-eaters had been feed a varied diet that mainly consisted of boiled lettuce and broccoli, Hikary sinking algy-wafers and shrimps. They also ate the leftovers from the food I gave the barbs and loaches which mainly consisted off different frozen food.

Sexing the fishes I assume is simple. I believe it’s done in the same ways as Corydoras catfishes. Some fishes have a much broader body and are by me assumed to be females; males are more slender especially if well feed.

Getting the fish in spawning condition seems to be quite simple if they are feed a good diet, however the problem seems to be triggering them to spawn. As I said, I never got them to spawn again. Maybe you will have better luck!

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