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Siamese Algae Eating Fish - (Crossocheilus siamensis)


Scientific name: Crossocheilus siamensis

The Siamese algae-eater has a black horizontal stripe extending from opercle to tail. The stripe can fade to camouflage the fish against its surroundings. Genuine Crossocheilus siamensis, without maxillary barbels and with deeply fringed V-shaped upper lip are rarely encountered in the aquarium trade.

Closely related is the red algae-eater Crossocheilus langei, a species that is widely sold as the Siamese algae-eater. It has a bright brownish elongate body with a slightly flat belly. It has a prominent brown-black horizontal stripe extending from nose to tail.  It possesses small maxillary barbels and an unfringed shallowly arcuate upper lip. Two other similar species are traded as Siamese algae-eaters, namely Crossocheilus atrilimes, a species that prefers Java Moss to red algae, and an undescribed species of Crossocheilus.

Average Adult Size: Up to  6.3 inches (16 cm)

Place of Origin:  his bottom-dwelling tropical fish is found in mainland Southeast Asia, including the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins as well as the Malay Peninsula. Its natural habitats are streams and rivers as well as flooded forests during the rainy season.

Compatibility:  They are active and fast swimmers that will school together if kept in a group, but some individuals may display aggression to their own kind or related fish. In general, the red algae-eater can be kept in most community tanks and is reportedly much less aggressive than similar fish such as the Chinese Algae Eater or the Red tailed Black Shark.

Environment: Since they cannot stay in mid water, they love driftwood/rocks and some plants that can support their weight to rest on.

Temperature:  24 to 26 °C (75 to 79°F)

Water chemistry:  6.5 - 8.0 pH , 5° to 20° dH

Feeding:  Unlike other aquarium algae eater fishes, the red algae-eater is valued for its ability to eat red algae (particularly Audouinella). The fish, however, is an opportunistic feeder and will eat pellets and most other food, a tendency that strengthens with age


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