What Fish eat Brown Algae? (Answer with List)

Fish, recognized as aquatic animals, is the largest group of vertebrates worldwide. So far, scientists have described more than 34,300 distinct species, and according to the National Geographic Society, more than 80 percent of the Earth’s Ocean is yet to explore by humans. Like their species, fish have extreme diversity in their diet. Some are classified as carnivores, while the remaining are either herbivores or omnivores. But here in this post, we will talk about only fish that eat Brown Algae. So, let’s begin the article with the most common question, “what is Brown Algae“?

What is Brown Algae?

Brown Algae is a simple term for a group of multicellular algae that contains photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a, c, and fucoxanthin, providing them olive, brown, or brownish-green color. These algae can be found in seawater, brackish water, freshwater, and sometimes in aquariums.

What is Brown Algae

Most of the time, the case of getting Brown Algae in aquariums is entirely normal. Nitrate and silicates are the minerals that promote the growth of Brown Algae as they love to feed these minerals in the water.

We know many people that have aquariums desires to get rid of these Brown Algae; that’s why they are searching for various fish or marine creatures that eat them.

However, there are plenty of methods to remove Brown Algae from aquariums. But here, in this post, we will only list fish that mainly feed on Brown Algae.

Note: Brown Algae is a species of Macroalgal. So, here we focus on fish that primarily feed on macroalgae instead of micro. 

What Fish eat Brown Algae?

Otocinclus catfish, Bristlenose Pleco, Siamese Algae Eater, Twig Catfish, Swordtails, and Blue Gourami are the most common freshwater fish that primarily feed Brown Algae along with other macroalgae including red and green. Below we have discussed the list of some fresh and saltwater fish that have macroalgae in their diet.

1) Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish is from the Catfish family, and there are more than 22 known species of this freshwater catfish. They are widely popular as freshwater aquarium fish because they are very tranquil.

Otocinclus catfish are herbivores, so they primarily feed on nearly all types of algae, including Brown Algae and other phytoplankton. They are also considered to be the best algae-eating nano fish.

In a nutshell, having a sufficient source of algae in their surroundings is best for the fish’s diet, whether in the wild or captivity.

Scientific name: Otocinclus sp.

Size: 1-2 inches

2) Foxface Rabbitfish

Foxface Rabbitfish

Foxface Rabbitfish is a beautiful with bright yellow and white in color found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The other names of this fish are black-face rabbitfish or common foxface.

These fish are very popular as aquarium fish and can be bought at a price range of $120-140 (according to various sites). Foxface Rabbitfish eat both micro and macro algae as they are herbivores.

However, among macroalgae, they prefer more fleshy green macroalgae and fleshy red macroalgae instead of brown.

Scientific name: Siganus vulpinus

Size: 20-25cm

3) Bristlenose Pleco

Britlesnose Pleco, also called Bushy Nose Pleco, is also one of the most common aquarium fish. There are five types of Bristlenose Pleco with distinct appearances.

These are Albino Bristlenose Pleco, Longfin Bristlenose Pleco, Super Red Bristlenose Pleco, Starlight Bristlenose Pleco, and Calico Bristlenose Pleco. But their diet is common.

These fish are omnivores and love to feed on algae and insect larvae. Bristlenose Plecos do eat brown algae, but it is not their favorite type. They have a likeability towards green algae.

Scientific name: Ancistrus cirrhosus

Size: 3-5 inches

4) Siamese Algae Eater

The next fish on the list is an omnivore called Siamese Algae Eater. These fish have black horizontal stripes extending from nose to tail, so don’t confuse them with the flying fox or the false siamensis.

As its name suggests, Siamese Algae Eater mainly eats nearly all types of algae. It’s a part of their regular diet. Siamese Algae Eaters are also known to eat Brown algae, but it is valued more for its ability to feed red algae efficiently. Siamese Algae Eaters have a lifespan of up to 10 years.

Scientific name: Crossocheilus oblongus

Size: 12-16cm

5) Blue Caribbean Tang

Blue Caribbean Tang are herbivores and mainly feed on benthic algae. They are in two colors: bright yellow with blue boundaries and brownish-blue hue with light blue boundaries.

According to various platforms, these aquarium fish can be priced at nearly $64 to $70. The primary diet of these fish is macroalgae, including blue-green algae, brown algae, green algae, and red algae.

It’s a large aquarium fish that can grow up to 39cm in length. Blue Caribbean Tang is also called Surgeonfish.

Scientific name: Acanthurus coeruleus

Size: 30-39cm

Other Fish that eat Brown Algae

  • Twig Catfish
  • Powder Blue Tang
  • Guppies
  • Desjardini Sailfin Tang (Indian Ocean)/ Sailfin Tang (Pacific)
  • Scribbled Rabbitfish
  • Mollies
  • Tailspot Blenny – Ecsenius stigmatura
  • Blue Gourami
  • Parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum)
  • Swordtails
  • Platies
  • Florida Flagfish

Most Common Marine Creatures that feed on Brown Algae

  • Amano Shrimp (will also eat young plants)
  • Nerite Snails
  • Sea Urchins
  • Mexican Turbo snails
  • Trochus snails
  • Banded Trochus Snail
  • Hillstream Loach
  • Mystery Snail
  • Ramshorn Snail
  • Malaysian Trumpet Snail
  • Rabbit Snail
  • Cherry Shrimp
  • Ghost Shrimp

Here, we conclude our article. We hope this post is informational to you. This article provides you brief information on what fish eat brown algae. So you can purchase them for your tank.

Here, we recommend you to research more on a particular fish from the list before purchasing. We will be back with another post. Till then, stay tuned with us and read the other informative articles below.

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