Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: Yes
General Description: The Siamese Algae Eater, or SAE for short, is native to flowing streams of Thailand, Borneo and Myanmar. Often confused with the Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus) which also inhabits similar streams, the Siamese algae eater is different in a few key ways. First, its body shape is a little more stocky than the Flying fox, which appears more streamline. Second, the Siamese algae eater’s dark brown lateral line that runs the length of its body appears jagged along the edge, while on the Flying fox it’s completely straight. Finally, the color of the Siamese algae eater is light beige to yellow with variable dark patches, whereas the Flying fox is more uniform in its color and much darker dorsally. Siamese algae eaters are very popular for planted aquariums because they are able to remove algae in unconventional places compared to standard sucker-mouthed algae eaters. Specifically, Siamese algae eaters are great at controlling nuisance blackbeard algae off the edges of plant leaves. While Siamese alge eaters are relatively easy to care for, they do best when above average water parameters are maintained. Siamese algae eaters can be kept in groups in larger aquariums. An adult Siamese algae eater can reach a size of approximately 5″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Siamese algae eaters are herbivores, feeding on various algae, phytoplankton and microfauna. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based flake foods containing Spirulina, sinking pellet foods and algae wafers (occasional) are ideal. Offering blanched pieces of zucchini and cucumber, or raw romaine lettuce and spinach, would be an excellent treat for these algae eaters. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Siamese algae eaters may scavenge on some protein based foods, however their intake should be limited to avoid prolonged health issues.
Care Requirements: An established minimum 20 gallon aquarium is ideal for a Siamese algae eater. A group will require a larger aquarium in order to ensure there is enough natural algae growth to support them. Siamese algae eaters are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm); Siamese algae eaters do not like an abundance of organic build up (i.e., nitrate) given their natural habitat. Additionally, Siamese algae eaters thrive best in more turbulent, well oxygenated water. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a fine substrate, larger pebble stones and driftwood. While Siamese algae eaters are herbivores, they will not harm or eat your live plants. You may notice Siamese algae eaters on your plants, but rest assured they are only cleaning algae off of them. Siamese algae eaters rarely conflict with tank mates, making them a very dynamic addition to a scheme of community-type aquariums. Recommended water conditions, 76-80° F, KH 5-10, pH 6.5-7.0.
Purchase Size: Medium: 1-1/4″ to 2″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.