Siamese Algae Eater

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The Siamese Algae Eater is an excellent fish for the community aquarium. These fish are active and social creatures that will do well in both large groups, and when kept alone. Since they are peaceful, these fish are ideal for the beginner's community aquarium.

The Siamese Algae Eaters prefer a planted aquarium with many broad-leaved plants on which it can rest. It also needs these plants and rocks for grazing algae. You can keep this species with a variety of tank mates including more passive community fish.

True Siamese Algae Eaters have an elongated slim body that is usually pale grey or gold and displays a thick black stripe that traverses from the nose to the tail. You may find that that stripe will sometimes begin to fade this is usually during a mating display, in times of stress, or a way to camouflage themselves. They also have a clear caudal fin with a moustache that some call Rostral barbels.

Quick Facts
Scientific Name Crossocheilus oblongus
Other Names None
Family Cyprinidae
Genus Crossocheilus
Origins Southeast Asia
Temperament Peaceful
Aquarium Level Bottom
Difficulty Beginner - Intermediate
Shoaling Yes
Diet Omnivore
Reproduction Egg-Layer
Lifespan up to 10 years


Water Parameters
Water Type Freshwater
Temperature 75 - 79 ℉ (23.9 - 26.1 ℃)
PH 6.5 - 8.0
GH 5 - 20
KH 5 - 10


The Siamese Algae Eater is found in the Chao Phraya and the Mekong Basins as well as the Malay Peninsula in mainland Southeast Asia. They inhabit densely planted streams and rivers as well as flooded forests during the rainy season. These waters are slightly acidic and have slow flowing currents, and under the surface, you will find a significant quantity of rocks, plants and logs, and these provide shelter for them.

The Siamese Algae Eater spends half their time hiding in these shelters and the other half searching the surfaces for food which is mainly algae, but also other stuff that sinks to the bottom of the river. However, they are not the best explorers, as they tend to stay around the shelters they are familiar with and infrequently venture up to the surface of the water.

Diet & Feeding

The Siamese Algae Eater is not incredibly fussy and is the ideal applicant for eating algae off of live plant leaves. The main portion of their diet is algae, plant matter, and vegetation but they're not just herbivores.

A perfect diet should consist of high-quality flake food, live, freeze-dried or frozen bloodworm, brine shrimp or tubifex, and pelleted foods, as well as algae wafers or vegetable-based foods.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is very tricky to differentiate males from females the only known differences are females tend to be relatively more extensive than the males, and the males are slightly slimmer


It's unlikely that you will be able to breed Siamese Algae Eaters yourself, even though they mate the same way as lots of other fish. They have only been recorded as successfully bred in farms with the aid of hormones.

Determining their sex is tricky enough and needs a keen eye. But Spawning could probably be triggered by changes in water conditions; however, currently little is known about how to breed them in home aquariums.

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