The Siamese algae eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) is a small fish found in Thailand and into the Malaysian peninsula where it inhabits flowing streams and tributaries with substrates of boulders, pebbles, gravel and sand, often in areas with submerged driftwood or tree roots. This fish grows to an adult size of up to 6 inches long. Sexually mature females are normally thicker bodied than males but it is impossible to accurately sex young fish by external characteristics.
Siamese algae eaters do not have a well developed swim bladder, so they need to stay in constant motion or they begin to sink. For this reason, they appreciate having plants or driftwood to rest on when not active.
Siamese algae eaters are renowned for their willingness to eat pest algaes including black beard algae and green hair algae.
The Siamese algae eater should be maintained in an aquarium 29 gallons or larger. Smooth rocks, driftwood (ZM2000) and live or artificial plants may be used, as well as a sand substrate (CS7538).
The Siamese algae eater prefers a temperature of 72°F to 82°F, a pH of 6.5 to 8.00, and a hardness of 5 to 20°H. Be sure water is clean and well oxygenated with a moderate flow rate.
The Siamese algae eater is a generally a peaceful fish suitable for a community aquarium. Good tank mates include most livebearers, danios, rasboras, tetras and peaceful bottom dwellers such as Corydoras or smaller Loricariids. It can also be kept with most commonly available gouramis and dwarf cichlids. Siamese algae eaters are shoaling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6 individuals to discourage aggression between individuals. If a group is not possible, then only one should be maintained at a time.
The Siamese algae eater is easy to feed in the aquarium and will readily accept prepared foods such as sinking pellets (AL166) and algae wafers (HIK6789). For maximum color, growth, and health these fish will look their best when given probiotics (AL169) in addition to a balanced diet.