Algae eater is a common name for many bottom-dwelling fish that feed on algae. Algae eaters are important for the fishkeeping hobby and many are commonly kept by hobbyists. Some of the common and most popular freshwater algae eaters in aquariums include:
Many loricariid catfish of South America, such as genera Otocinclus, Ancistrus, and Plecostomus, constantly graze algae and biofilm, although many species of "plecos", which attain an adult length of over 10 inches, eat much less frequently as they near adulthood.
Some freshwater shrimp are also excellent algae eaters. One shrimp well known for its ability to clean an aquarium is the Amano Shrimp.
Most species of freshwater snails, discounting most adult specimens of species belonging to the family Ampullariidae, which primarily subsist on aquatic plants as adults.