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36 Siamese Algae Eater




Description

This article is from the Aquaria: Disease, Algae and Snails FAQ, by Elaine Thompson, Thomas Sasala and George Booth

36 Siamese Algae Eater

Do not confuse this fish with the Chinese Algae Eater, which is very
aggressive and does not eat algae. The siamese algae eater,
Crossocheilus siamensis, is a very good algae consumer and is known to
eat black brush (red) algae. The only problem is that these fish are
hard to find in the United States (see the RESOURCES section of the
PLANT FAQ for sources and identification paper). There are several
fish in this family. The most commonly seen is Epalzeorhynchos
kallopterus, commonly known as the Flying Fox. The Flying Fox is the
more attractive of the two. It tends to have a brownish body with a
very distinct, sharp-edged black stripe with a distinct, thin gold or
bronze stripe above it. These tend to be very aggressive when they are
full grown and don't eat red algae (as far as one aquarium reference
is concerned).

The other member is the Siamese Algae Eater. It is the same shape as
the Flying Fox but tends toward a silverish body with a somewhat
ragged black stripe. There may be an indistinct gold or bronze stripe
above the black. These are definitely not aggressive; they are good
companions for discus and small tetras.

When they are young, the differences between E. kallopterus and C.
siamensis may not be very apparent, especially if you haven't seen
both types together. Unfortunately, most wholesalers don't sell fish
to stores by their scientific name and the common names that are used
sometimes get pretty silly (like "siamese flying fox"). If you really
can't tell which one the store has, buy it anyway, but be prepared to
sacrifice it if it turns out to be the wrong kind (unless your fish
aren't bothered by it, of course).

 

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