Siamese Algae Eater

Alternative Name(s): Siamese flying fox, Flying fox, Siamese fox 
Scientific Name(s): Crossocheilus siamensis
Category: Tropical
Difficulty: **
Maximum Size: 6 inches / 15 cm
Minimum Tank Volume: 100 litres
Water Temperature Range: 75-79˚F / 24-26˚C
Water pH Range: 6.5-7 (tolerates a much larger range span)
Water Hardness Range: 5-20 dGH

General Information:

The Siamese algae eater is also known as the Siamese flying fox, Flying fox and Siamese fox. It is common in aquarium stores and a very good algae eater. A very similar species, Garra taeniata aka Epalzeorhynchus sp, is sometimes sold as Siamese algae eater which have earned that species the common name False siamese algae eater. A majority the Siamese algae eaters that are (or at least used to be) sold in United States are in fact False Siamese algae eaters. It is also common for shipments of Siamese algae eater to contain both Siamese algae eaters and False Siamese algae eater. This is not surprising as the species live in the same areas and young specimens of the two species school together. You can tell the two species apart by the following facts:

- The black horizontal band doesn't go all the way to the tail fin on a False Siamese algae eater.
- There is a narrow lighter band above the black band in a False Siamese algae eater.
- The dorsum of the False Siamese algae eater is solid grayish brown
- All fins on a false Siamese algae eater are yellowish in color except for the pectorals.
- The mouth of a false Siamese algae eater resembles a pink ring.
- False Siamese algae eaters have two set of barbles.

Tank Requirements:

The Siamese algae eater is a hardy fish that can adapt to a wide variety of living conditions as long as extremes are avoided, but they do best in planted aquariums with densely planted areas as well as open areas. Siamese algae eaters wants to have at least a few broad leafed plants in the aquarium since they like to rest on top of such leafs. Young specimens also use narrow leaves for this. If not provided with suitable plants they rest on the bottom. Adult fish are more prone to rest on the bottom even if suitable plants are available.

Diet Requirements:

This species is as earlier mentioned a good algae eater, but in most aquariums they will need other food as well as there simply isn't enough algae to sustain a school of Siamese algae eaters. They willingly accept all types of live, frozen and flake food. Feed them a varied diet with a lot of vegetable matter. If given too little green food in the aquarium they might hurt the plants. Young specimens are better algae eaters while older specimens seem to like other food more.


Siamese algae eaters leave most plants alone but might eat Duckweed (Lemna minor) and the roots of the water hyacinth. They are best kept in schools. True Siamese algae eaters are peaceful and can be kept in community tanks with most other friendly fish. Avoid keeping them with long finned fish as they might bite the fins on long finned fish. The aquarium should be at least 25 gallon / 100 L.

Similar Species:

Garra taeniata aka Epalzeorhynchus sp


Siamese algae eaters are hard to sex but females are fatter than males and look more rounded when viewed from above. No other differences are known.


Nothing is known about breeding this species in aquariums without the aid of hormones. It is reasonable to assume that changes in the water (temperature, pH, hardness) and current conditions might trigger spawning in well conditioned fish.

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