15 Best Algae Eaters for Freshwater Aquariums

algae eater 1

If you want to minimize the presence of algae in your aquarium, there are a number of options at your disposal.

Certain organisms are better than others at consuming algae, so you’ll want to learn about some of them. An algae eater can help preserve the overall quality of the water in your tank.

15 Best Algae Eaters for Freshwater Aquariums

1. Chinese Algae Eater

Chinese Algae Eater

The Chinese Algae Eater is very low maintenance and only needs a 30 gallon tank to live comfortably. You will need to keep the water at a pH of 6.8 to 7.4 with a water hardness of 8 to 10. This is one of the best and most effective organisms for reducing algae growth in your aquarium.

2. Siamese Flying Fox

Siamese Flying

A Siamese Flying Fox is another excellent choice if you want to reduce algae growth in your tank. These fish grow up to about six inches and need a tank that is at least 20 gallons. They need to be kept in water that is between 75 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit with a pH of 6.5 to 7. The green and black coloration of these fish makes them quite beautiful.

3. Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus Catfish definitely has a reputation for eating up algae, and it has quite a unique look. This fish needs a minimum 30 gallon tank with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. It only grows up to about two inches, so a large tank is not needed. These fish are very well-suited to smaller aquariums.

  Celestial Pearl Danios Care Guide - Diet, Breeding

4. Twig Catfish

Twig Catfish

The Twig Catfish is a very slender fish that can grow to around four inches long. It has a reputation for being very docile and should be kept with its own kind. You only need a 12 gallon tank to keep these fish, and they eat algae like crazy. Make sure that the water in the tank is on the soft side with a pH that ranges from 6 to 8.

5. Mollies


Mollies are also excellent fish for taking care of algae growth in a tank. They are generally very calm fish that do well with many other species. You will need to have at least a 20 gallon tank to keep these fish, as they can grow up to four inches. Make sure the water has a pH level of 7.5 to 8.5 for the best living conditions.

6. Nerite Snails

Nerite Snail

The Nerite Snail makes for a great addition to just about any tank. It is capable of eating a tremendous amount of algae in a short period of time. These snails eat all different types of algae, and they grow up to about three centimeters.

7. Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn Snail

Ramshorn Snails are fast workers when it comes to sucking up algae in an aquarium. They are extremely low maintenance and can help keep your tank clean. Keep in mind that these snails sometimes eat fish eggs.

8. Rabbit Snail

Rabbit Snail

The Rabbit Snail can grow to nearly five inches and needs to be kept in a tank with a pH of 4 to 8.5. These snails are very peaceful and tend to get along well with any fish you might put in the aquarium.

  Convict Cichlid Care Guide - Diet, Breeding & More

9. Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp

The Amano Shrimp is an often overlooked aquatic pet, but it is a very adept algae eater. These shrimp can be kept in a tank as small as five gallons with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. They are very peaceful and will clean your tank until it is spotless.

10. Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp are also voracious algae eaters, and they require very little care. You can put them in with just about any other marine creatures. They will definitely help keep the algae growth in your tank under control.

11. Mystery Apple Snail

Mystery Apple Snail

The Mystery Apple Snail can be a variety of colors, and it feeds on glass algae, substrate algae, and plant algae.

12. Malaysian Trumpet Snail

Malaysian Trumpet Snail

The Malaysian Trumpet Snail needs to be kept in a tank that is at least 10 gallons with a pH of 7.0 to 7.5. While these snails get along easily with most fish, they do tend to reproduce fast.

13. Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos

If you want to limit algae growth in your tank, Bristlenose Plecos have a lot to offer as well. These fish have a very interesting look to say the least, and they are fairly low maintenance. You will need to have a tank that is at least 25 gallons with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.

14. Bamboo Shrimp

Bamboo Shrimp

Bamboo Shrimp are rapid algae eaters that can definitely be useful for small to medium size tanks. These shrimp need a minimum 20 gallon aquarium with a pH of 7.0 to 75. They tend to get along pretty well with most types of fish.

  Shubunkin Goldfish Care Guide - Types, Breeding & More

15. Cherry Shrimp

Cherry Shrimp

The Cherry Shrimp is a bright and vibrant aquatic creature that will clean the algae inside your tank all day long. It is fairly small, so you don’t need a huge tank to keep them. Their small size also comes in handy when it comes to evading predatory fish.


  • The Chinese Algae Eater doesn’t require much care and can mitigate algae growth in your tank quite effectively.
  • The Siamese Flying Fox grows to about six inches, so it needs a minimum 20 gallon tank.
  • The Otocinclus Catfish is also a great algae eater and has a peaceful demeanor.
  • The Twig Catfish is very slim and has a peaceful temperament.
  • Mollies are also great for limiting algae growth, and they get along well with most other species.
  • Nerite Snails are very small and extremely low maintenance.
  • Ramshorn Snails can devour lots of algae within a very short period of time.
  • Rabbit Snails grow to about five inches and are also peaceful aquatic creatures.
  • The Amano Shrimp is a hard worker when it comes to eating algae, and it can be kept in a very small tank.
  • Ghost Shrimp will eat algae in your tank all day long without taking a break.
  • The Mystery Apple Snail has an interesting look and comes in a wide range of colors.
  • The Malaysian Trumpet Snail requires a minimum 10 gallon tank and reproduces quickly.
  • Bristlenose Plecos are great for taking care of algae and don’t require much maintennace.
  • Bamboo Shrimp are ideal for small to medium size tanks.
  • Cherry Shrimp will keep your tank clean and are incredibly small.