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Algae eater, also called an algivore, is a common name for many bottom-dwelling or algae-eating species 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.
- The Siamese algae eater, Crossocheilus oblongus, is a more gregarious and tolerant cyprinid that ranges up to 15 cm. It is the only fish that will graze on "black brush algae" (freshwater Rhodophyta, or red algae), but even so will eat anything else in preference.
- Fishes of the genus Gyrinocheilus, family Gyrinocheilidae. There are three species in this genus with the Chinese algae eater, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, the most common. Small specimens make good community fish but may become territorial when older.
- American-flag fish, Jordanella floridae, are also dependable algae-eating fish.
Some freshwater shrimp are also excellent algae eaters:
- Almost all of them belong to the family Atyidae (the only family in the superfamily Atyoidea) including many genera:
- Some of them belong to the genus Palaemonetes (grass shrimp)
- Surgeon fish or tangs are also known for their appetite for algae.
- Rabbitfish which eat most algae, including cyanobacteria, diatoms, and hair algae.
- Fishes in the suborder blennioidei are blennies.
- Crabs of the genera Mithraculus and Mithrax.
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Some snail species such as the Turbo, Astraea, Turban and Nerite snails.
- "Best Algae Eaters For The Freshwater Aquarium". Aquariumslife.com. 2009-05-27. Archived from the original on 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2015-03-27.
- "saltwater algae eater". Aquariumslife.com. 2010-02-01. Archived from the original on 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2015-03-27.
- "Snails". Aquariumslife.com. Retrieved 2015-03-27.
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