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Crossocheilus spp. “True Siamese Algae Eater”


“True” Siamese Algae Eaters, aka. Siamese Flying Fox Fish, are generally considered peaceful shoaling algae eaters, and over the years have seen an uptick in popularity due to their utilitarian role in planted aquariums. The Siamese Algae Eater is often sought for its willingness to consume problem algae that other herbivores ignore.

Siamese Flying Foxes, aka. Siamese Algae Eaters, suffer from a bit of an identity crisis in the trade. While many websites list them as Crossocheilus siamensis, the current suggestions are that C. siamensis isn’t even collected for the trade and according to Fishbase, isn’t even a valid name! Multiple species are all imported as “Siamese Algae Eaters”, each having it’s own peculiarities. After thorough investigation, it sounds like Crossocheilus langei is perhaps the most desired species (as it’s reportedly the most gung-ho about consuming pest algae), and that Crossocheilus atrilimes might be the most frequently encountered. Either way, they completely denuded a bunch of algae-covered driftwood in about an hour! Looking at the large group I have here, it’s possible that I have both species mixed together. Therefore I have refrained from applying a species name; know that the exact species you’re getting may not be truly apparent until the fish have reached maturity.

My own experience keeping these strongly reinforces that they prefer to live in groups. If you can house 6 or more, that is ideal.

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