Siamese Algae Eater: Care, Tank Setup, Tank Mates, Diet, Breeding, etc.

Siamese Algae Eater is another breed of peace-loving freshwater fish. Most of the people look for a breed of non-aggressive fishes to add in their community tank. Some fishes just add vividness with their colorful appearances, while others play a role in maintaining the tank.

Siamese Algae Eater, as the name suggests, is one of the species of fishes that feed on the algae. The Algae Eaters look busy in scavenging for food in the tank. Their active movements are another reason for their popularity.

These fishes are quite hardy and easy to feed. Their appearance matches to another species, that is, Siamese Flying Fox. People often get confused with them.

If you also get confused and want to know more about them, then keep reading this article till the end. Because we are going to cover everything in detail. Before that, let us take a look at the table given below –

Category Rating
Family Cyprinidae
Scientific Name Crossocheilus Oblongus
Diet Omnivore
Temperament Peaceful
Care Level Easy
Color Form Gold/Grey with Black Stripe
Size 6 inches
Lifespan Up to 10 Years
Compatibility Peaceful Community Fish

Siamese Algae Eater Overview

Siamese Algae Eater

Siamese Algae Eater, the native of Southeast Asia, are mainly found in freshwaters of Thailand and Malaysia. But with the aquarium trade, they are now available around the globe. Talking about their family, they are closely related to carps.

They are quite active and considered as the best Algae Eaters. Their active movement makes them interesting to look at. With these active movements, they can quickly cover the whole tank.

They are quite popular, and you can find them in any store. You can easily purchase them in $3-5 per fish, which makes them affordable as well. All these qualities make them perfect for beginners.

Siamese Algae Eater is easy to fed as well. You can add variety in their diet, which makes them produce waste like other fishes. They can be kept with both large group and a small group but overcrowding them isn’t a good idea. They will create a mess instead of keeping the tank clean.

Siamese Algae Eater Behavior

Siamese Algae Eaters are peaceful but are quite active. They are bottom dwellers and would be seen scavenging for algae. When found, they will sit there and feed on it until its completely gone.

If they are in a group, they will move and feed together. Their movements can disturb other calmer fishes.

They aren’t aggressive but still, if you see them show aggression, keep an eye on them. Separate them from the rest for a few days if there isn’t any change in their behavior.

Siamese Algae Eater Appearance

Siamese Algae Eater Appearance

Siamese Algae Eaters don’t have any vivid or colorful appearance, but they still look attractive in their shiny steel-like body. The true breed of Siamese Algae Eaters has a pale grey or gold coloration on its long narrow body.

They also have black strips that fade away when they feel threatened or during mating. The fading strips can also be the result of stress. The juvenile male and female cannot be distinguished.

Their appearance changes when they are 3-4 years old. The female Siamese Algae Eater grows bigger than the male Siamese Algae Eater in mass. They can be easily distinguished from this.

Siamese Algae Eater vs Flying Fox

Silver flying fox fish
Siamese Flying fox

Both Siamese Algae Eater and Siamese Flying fox have a bold black stripe on their body that runs from head to tail. This is what makes them look similar, and people easily get confused with them.

But the flaps in the corner of their mouth is what makes them different. Siamese Algae Eaters don’t have them, whereas Siamese flying fox has. It is the easiest way to distinguish them, but it is not easy to check with their active movements in the tank.

Another thing you can do to find out the difference is to check the coloration and pattern. Siamese flying fox has a smooth black strip on the back of their body stretching till the start of their tail fin. In contrast, the black strips on Algae Eaters are not uniform and reach till the end of the tail fin.

Siamese Algae Eater Tank Conditions and Habitat

As we always say, tank set up of the tank should be similar to the fish’s natural habitat. It will make them comfortable, and they will thrive. Siamese Algae Eaters, as we already mentioned, belongs to the rivers and streams of South East Asia.

In these waters, the flow is light, and the water is slightly acidic. The bottom surface of these water bodies is covered in heavy plantation, logs, and rocks. They provide food and shelter to them. These conditions match the preferences of their close relative, Asian Carp.

They are bottom dwellers, so they spend most of their time either in hiding or in searching for food in their known corners. The water conditions needed for them to make the tank comfortable for them are as follows:

Conditions Parameter
Tank Setup Heavily planted freshwater aquarium
Minimum Tank Size 20 Gallons per fish
Temperature 75-79°F
pH 6.5 and 7.0
Hardness 5-20 dH

The tank capacity for these Algae Eaters should be at least 20 gallons, and you can add 10 gallons per addition of fish. Make sure to cover the bottom of the tank with heavy plantation, driftwood, rocks, and caves to replicate their natural habitat.

They can be seen nibbling the plants if they can’t find anything to eat, so the fast-growing and hardy plant like Hornworts will be perfect. The substrate should be sand, or they will get scratched everywhere while searching for food.

You can attach a heater to maintain the given temperature and a filter to keep the water cycling. The filter will make the water moving slowly, which is preferred by them.

Another thing to keep in mind is to close the tank lid firmly. Siamese fishes are bottom dwellers but are quite active as well. Jumping out of water in excitement is not something that will surprise you.

Siamese Algae Eater Tank Mates

Siamese Algae Eater Tank

Siamese Algae Eater is non-aggressive fishes that can easily be kept in any community tank. You can find a long list of fishes that you can add to your tank with these Algae Eaters.

Danios, tetras, and guppies are other examples of non-aggressive community fishes. They are especially famous for their small size. Talking about size, you should avoid any bigger size fish to avoid Algae Eater to become their lunch.

But there are some fishes like gourami and barbs that are big but are quite peaceful and won’t hurt your Siamese Algae Eater. In contrast, aggressive fishes like Cichlids are not at all recommended. They will not only attack your Algae Eater but will bite them or swallow them if given a chance except for Angelfish.

Bottom dwellers are usually territorial, like a Red Shark but still, some species can live peacefully without fighting for territory. It includes the Corydoras genus. It has a variety of fishes, all bottom dwellers, and none of them are territorial.

You can also add the fishes that live on different levels to make the tank look active and won’t cross anyone’s way. To add variety and activity, you can also add non-fish creatures like snails and shrimps.

You can add different specie of shrimps like Cherry, Amano, And Ghost Shrimps, and for snails, you can add Nerite Snails. They, too, are Algae Eaters, but their behavior and quite different from Siamese Algae Eaters. So, their presence will add variety to the tank.

How to Keep Siamese Algae Eaters Together?

The Siamese Algae Eaters are at their best when kept in a school of 4-6 fishes. You will see different behaviors among them. But this should not encourage you to overstock your tank.

Keeping the single or pairs of Siamese Algae Eater will not affect their growth or behavior much. So, stock only the limited number of fishes and according to your tank capacity.

Siamese Algae Eater Diet

Feeding Siamese Algae Eaters is not a huge task, just like other Algae Eaters. They scavenge for food and would eat anything from plant debris to dead fish. So, you can feed them with a variety of food from premade or homemade to live or frozen food.

Siamese Algae Eater Diet

You can feed them vegetables and sinking pellets or flakes from the store as the base diet of these Algae Eaters is not meat. But you should feed them brine shrimps or bloodworms to maintain variety and to avoid nutrient deficiency.

They feed on algae, so it is easy to overfeed them. They can eat the whole day if given a chance, but it is not a good thing. It can risk their health, and they will stop eating algae as well. So, make sure to feed only a small amount of food that they can finish in a couple of minutes and not more than that.

Siamese Algae Eater Care

Siamese Algae Eaters don’t have any species-specific disease, but they can still catch commonly found diseases of freshwater fishes. Ichthyophthirius multifiliis or ‘ich’ parasite is very common among these fishes.

This parasite gets into their body and infects them. The common symptom includes white dots around the fish’s body.

Most of the diseases can be cured by medication but only if diagnosed at the right time. So, it is important to keep an eye on them and look for any changed behavior or activity, and if you see anything, then isolate them to save other fishes.

Precaution is another way to keep your Siamese Algae Eater safe from any disease. The precaution includes –

  • Properly clean the tank every two weeks.
  • Maintaining water conditions and changing only 25% of water.
  • Only purchase high-quality food from a certified store.
  • Check the ingredients before adding anything to the tank.
  • Wash and sanitize any decorative material or equipment before adding them to the tank.
  • Check for symptoms before adding a new fish to the tank.

Siamese Algae Eater Breeding

Siamese Algae Eaters breed in the same way as other fishes do but breeding these fishes takes a lot of effort. There are ways to breed them in farms using hormones. It can only be done by or in the presence of an expert.

The gender of the fishes can be easily known by looking at their size but a beginner or even an expert cannot mate them in the aquarium. Spawning may need a change in water conditions, but no one can tell it accurately. There is very little known about breeding them in the aquarium.


Siamese Algae Eaters are quite active and clean the tank efficiently. They are peaceful and have many other qualities which make them perfect for beginners to start their hobby in fish keeping.

Healthy food and accurate tank set up is all they need to thrive in the tank. They are easy to feed and care but not as easy to breed. So, you can do everything effortlessly except breeding them in the aquarium. The simplicity and active movements will keep your tank interesting.

Did you keep Siamese Algae Eaters in your tank? or planning to have one? What do you think about them? Let us know everything in the comment.