by Robert Paul Hudson
The Siamese Algae eater is adventitious for most any type of tank because of it’s uncanny ability to devour hair or thread algae, the most dreaded form of algae that is left alone by most other fish.
Crossocheilus siamensis , looking very similar to Epaizeorhynchus kallopterus, (flying fox) is very even tempered and peaceful to any other specie, and eats all types of live food, planarian worms, frozen, flake, lettuce, and does not eat live plants. It will eat the scum and algae from plant leaves, so donít be alarmed if it appears to be eating your plants!
Availability of this little wonder seems to be in spurts, becoming more available lately in stores for brief periods of time. This is due in part to the fact that they have never been successfully spawned in captivity. Nobody has even been able to sex them yet! Indigenous to Southeast Asia, Thailand, and the Malayan peninsula, ideal conditions are warm, soft, slightly acidic waterÖ5 dGH, ph 6.5, but reportedly they can tolerate up to 20 dGH and and a pH of 8.0. They do need well oxygenated water, making them ideal for heavily planted aquariums.
Flying foxes do not share the appetite of its look alike for hair algae. There are a few ways to tell these species apart: SAEs have transparent fins and a single pair of barbels, while the foxes have colored fins and two sets of barbels.
I have observed them schooling to some extent, and not shy about beating out a full grown angel, or other fish of equal size to a tasty morsel floating at the surface. I have kept five to eight in one tank without them showing any signs of territorial aggression to each other, and they are fairly active fish who are not the least bit nervous to stay in the open under bright light or with aggressive fish. Give them a try and make them part of your tank maintenance program!