Although called an algae eater, algae is not the favorite food of this
fish. The Chinese algae eater will eat algae when there is nothing else
for him to eat, and he will keep the tank clean as well, but if you want a
fish to eat algae there are better choices out there.
The Chinese algae eater will eat algae, fish food, insect larva and fish
eggs and fry. He will stop eating all together if the water temperature
drops below 70 degrees F (20 degrees C).
This fish does have the advantage that he will eat any fish food which
falls to the bottom before it has a chance to rot and spoil the water,
that is assuming there isn't too much extra food.
If you expect your fish to eat algae you should also provide some
driftwood in the tank. This will give your algae eater roughage to eat
besides just the algae off the glass. He will also eat any vegetable
matter you throw in the tank including cucumbers, peas and lettuce.