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Siamese Algea Eater

By: Stacy Malbon

Siamese Algea Eater © Stacy Malbon

Siamese Algea Eater © Stacy Malbon
Common Name: Siamese Algea Eater
Latin Name: Crossocheilus siamensis
Origin: Thailand
Temperature: 70 - 80°F (21-26°C)
Ease Of Keeping: Easy
Aggressivness: Good Community Fish. Will chase members of their own species (and some other species), but rarely kill them.
Adult Size: Can get up to 6 inches (15cm)
Minimum Tank Size: 30 Gallons
Feeding: Red Algae!, Hair Algae, Flake food
Spawning Method: Very difficult. Not known to spawn in captivity.
Comments: This is the ultimate red/brush algae eater. This is also the ultimate misidentified fish. This fish is not commonly found in North American pet stores, and is more common in Europe. It is in high demand in the states due to its algae appetite, and there are some that will pass off imitations on the novice fish keeper. Want the real deal? First, look at the name. This fish is called the "Siamese Algae Eater" (SAE), and "Siamese Flying Fox". I bought it as a "True Flying Fox". Be wary of the term "Flying Fox", however, - there is another, similar looking barb also called the "Flying Fox". Next, look at the coloration on the fish. All SAEs and their imitations have a black stripe running down the sides of the fish. On the SAE, this line goes all the way to the fork in the tail fin. Also, many imitation SAEs will have black on their anal and pectoral fins. The true SAE does not. See the pictures for better reference. It is a common warning that these fish are jumpers, and I can confirm from personal experience that is true. Only keep these guys in an aquarium with a cover.
Frank, Neil and Sarakontu, Liisa. “Algae Eating Cyprinids from Thailand and Neighboring Areas.”
Aquatic Gardeners Association. 2005. 8 March 2005
Mills, Dick and Tullock, John. (2000) The Encyclopedia of Aquarium Fish. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.
Rhudy, Robyn. “Robyn’s Algae Eater Page.” Fishpondinfo. 2005. 8 March 2005

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