Siamese Algae Eater: Everything You Need To Know

If you happen to own a tank, you’ll know dealing with algae gets pretty hard! And if you are in search of a freshwater fish that can help you clean your tank nicely and effectively, then it’s time to get a hold of a few Siamese Algae Eater!

Yes, these fishes have been the go-to solution for many professional aquarists for decades! Want to know why?

Siamese Algae Eater

It’s because these Siamese algae eaters are pretty social and full of fun! These can get along with any type of fish in your aquarium! Again, these are very easy to handle, require less maintenance, and do not need royal treatment to live peacefully in your tank!

Again, these fishes look stunning, dwelling at the bottom of your tank. However, you cannot expect them to show off colors vividly, and it is one major draw for many aquarists, but these fishes are unique in their way! 

But when it comes to scarfing down all the algae in your tank, they have skyrocketing popularity. 

Read the article until the end; you will know everything about this fish! When you know how to handle and take care of these fishes properly, they’ll not only add to the aesthetic beauty of your tank; instead, they’ll also help you keep your tank clean and tidy!

Siamese Algae Eater Overview

The Crossocheilus siamensis or crossocheilus oblongus, which also goes by the name of Siamese Algae eater, is one of the freshwater dwellers belonging to the fish family of carps, often called Cyprinidae!

This tropical fish species is native to the mainland and shores of Southeast Asia in places like Thailand. You can locate this fish species in the Mekong and Chao Phraya, and the Malay Peninsula!

Information ChartSiamese Algae Eater
Scientific Name: Crossocheilus oblongus
Family: Cyprinidae
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful
Color: Gold/Grey with Black Stripe
Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Size: 6 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 20 Gallons
Temperature: 75°F to 79°F
Water: Freshwater, Heavily Planted
Tank Mate Compatibility: Peaceful Community Fish

Like most fish prefer to live their natural habits, you cannot count the Siamese Algae Eaters out of it. After all, who does not like to live in their natural habitats?

Again, you can find these fishes in local streams and forests during the monsoon season!

How Do Siamese Algae Eaters Help?

In many tanks, algae are the biggest problem. No matter how much you try to control the algae, they keep appearing and bothering your tank. They constantly approach and explore the substrate, new plants, decorations, and even the wall of your tank. Even more so, sometimes you cannot even maintain good lighting in your tank because algae will fill it.

Get rid of Algae

To get rid of algae without all the chemicals and without cleaning your tank daily, you can get an algae eater like the Siamese fish. This fish will feed on algae and keep your tank clean and clear.

The Siamese Algae Eater is a freshwater fish found in every pet store. Although they have unique features, they are often confused with other fish so pay great attention when buying one.

The Siamese fish is considered one of the best algae eaters, as it is highly active and energetic. If you have more than one, you will be happy to see them swimming around in a group and feeding in the same place until no algae are left in your tank. Some Siamese might be aggressive with other fish, thus observing them for a few days to ensure they don’t hurt other creatures in the tank. It might be a good idea to keep them away from minor or very calm fish, as they can be disturbed by this active species.

Although this fish will eat algae, mainly red algae, it will not miss the chance to “steal” the food of other fish. The older they are, the more they will eat other food. This means feeding them less often; otherwise, they will no longer be interested in eating plants. A good way would be to limit the amount of food in a part of the tank that the Siamese does not frequent often.

Siamese Algae Eater Care & Tank Setup

Water Parameters for Siamese Algae Eater

Water Temperature

The recommended temperature for this fish is around 75-79° Fahrenheit, but they will survive if only a few degrees difference. On the other hand, some aquarists claim warmer water will cause it to eat less and increase the algae, so it is better to keep them in tanks with cooler water.

Siamese Algae Eaters Tank Setup

As small and cute as this fish might seem, they will live longer than most fish; they have a lifespan of almost ten years. Also, once they form a couple, they will establish their territory and react aggressively towards anyone who tries to come around them.

In general, most aquarists choose to keep this fish in heavily planted tanks where they will have plenty of places to hide, a prominent place to swim, and a lot of algae to eat. A vital fact is that this fish can jump out of the tank at any opportunity. It means you should cover your tank with a lid. And also, make sure to have lighting your fish cannot touch and get burned.

When you put them in the tank for the first time, you will be surprised to see they start eating algae right away. They rarely need accommodations and can live in any tank, no matter the size. However, consider putting them in a large tank after a few months because they grow to more than 5-7 inches. The older they get, the more they refuse to eat algae, and so you will have to bring a few young ones in to keep your tank clean.

You would roughly need a tank of 20 gallons to 30 gallons, which will give them a pretty large area to move about and explore. 

pH Level

Again, you need to satisfy specific parameters such as the pH level, hardness, etc.! You need to have a pH of 6.5 to 7.0, replicating specific acidic water conditions. And water hardness should range between 5 to 20 dH.

Siamese Algae Eaters Temperament and Behavior

One of the most popular traits people know about algae eaters is their peaceful and tranquil temperament!

This trait is the one thing that makes them a great candidate for some high-class community tanks. 

Siamese Algae Eaters Behavior and Temperament

These fishes constantly roam around the tank and can easily blend in with other fish types, especially those from a warmer environment!

However, if you are new to this hobby, there are some factors that you should keep in check before you decide to add this fish to your tank! These fishes love to move around, as they lack a swim bladder. Also, these fish need some hiding spots right at the bottom of the aquarium, where they can enjoy being alone and rest!

To keep this fish healthy, you need to replicate its actual habitat. You can provide some cave holes and plains or even driftwoods as these spots give them the place to rest and hide from other notorious fishes in the tank!

These fish are pretty active and can move around the tank for hours! So, if you want some entertainment, go and sit in front of your tank and watch them moving around, looking for something to eat!

Also, one more factor you need to watch is that these fish can also be a reason for stress for other peaceful fish species due to their constant movements. Although these are known for their peaceful and tranquil nature, constant movement can disrupt other fish’s peace!

And what if your algae do not appear normal? Then it is likely because of any other fish that is causing your algae eater to behave differently. In such cases, consider putting them in a different tank!

Feeding Siamese Alge Eater

If you are wondering about what to feed to your Siamese algae eater, then you can get it pretty much from its name! Again, this fish species is not herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore!

They would eat anything and everything they get in the wild, as these fish are purely scavengers! Although, in the wild, their diet mainly includes algae, plants, and other forms of vegetation! Again, as these are scavengers, they will also feed on dead insects and fish.

It is relatively easy to keep them in your tank, as they will feed them on a majority of the things that you add to your tank! These mainly include pellets and flake foods, live foods, and algae wafers. Yes, they can easily feed on live foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, and frozen varieties work out pretty well. 

One thing that you need to keep in check is overfeeding. Overfeeding can cause problems, as they will primarily feed on algae present in the tank before you provide them food. Sometimes, you can see your Siamese algae eaters not munching on food! Do not panic; this is mainly because you have added a lot of food. 

Furthermore, they love to eat! And you can spend an entire day feeding them. But, you should limit the feeding to twice a day! Provide them with an amount of food to finish off within minutes!

Siamese Algae Eater Tank Mates

Let me tell you that these fishes are very peaceful; they show no aggression, which makes them good tank mates!

When it comes to the Siamese algae eater, you will have a long list of fishes to keep with them! And they are one of the best candidates, to begin with while making a community aquarium.

Before you put these algae eaters with random species, it is crucial to consider what type of fish you will keep them with. Algae eaters are bottom dwellers, which means they can be very territorial and berserk if any other fish gets in their way! For instance, the Red Tail Sharks are a good example, and these fishes can fight with other fishes trying to intrude on their territory. And here, unfortunately, your innocent algae eaters’ won’t win!

Keep yourself from adding some fish that are notoriously aggressive, as they can harass or even eat your Siamese algae eaters!

Now, if you are willing to keep cichlids, strictly stay away from them! Cichlids are not for community tanks. However, you can keep your algae eaters with Angelfish. They are probably the only peaceful fish coming from the Cichlid group!

However, there is a broader selection when choosing peaceful bottom-dweller fish! It’s a notable species, and this fish is Corydoras!

You can keep your algae eater with Danio Rerios, Tetras, and Guppies as these fishes are not aggressive. Also, you can keep barbs and gouramis as well. These are very peaceful, no matter their size!

Siamese Algae Eater Common Diseases and their Treatment

Another factor that makes these Siamese algae eaters a great candidate for aquascaping is that they are not prone to any disease! However, this does not infer that they will not fall sick!

Most diseases show some signs, and some are asymptomatic than others. Say, when your fish gets infected with the Ichthyophthirius multifiliis parasite, you can see small-small white dots all over its body!

The good news is that many diseases are treatable and curable. Also, if you provide them with the prescribed medication, it can work pretty well. Also, you can opt-in for quarantining your fish during their medication days. 

If you wish to take some preventive measures to protect your algae eaters from any sort of infection, here is what you can do –

  1. Provide them with great-quality foods, as they can help your fish to develop its organs and prevent organ problems. Keep your fish away from cheap fish foods, as they can result in constipation. And constipation comes with a lot of side effects as well. 
  2. Another factor that you should keep in check is your tank’s water! Dirty water is the gateway to the world of aquatic diseases!

Dirty water is the same as polluted air, so you should always keep the water in check! Or just simply change the water twice a month! Constantly changing the water reduces the chances of pollutant build-up!

  1. Last but certainly not least, you should keep yourself in check regarding what you are adding to your tank! Be cautious; all the ornamentals you are using carry toxins. Do not let the waters of other tanks come in contact with yours!

Keeping fish comes with a massive load of responsibilities, and keeping your fish well is of utmost importance!

Other Tips

Now that you plan of keeping algae eaters, there are some extra factors that you need to pay attention to –

It is essential to include some live plants in your tank, as they can elevate the homeliness of your tank. Again, try to use some fast-growing live plants, as they will help your fish to feed on them. And if they do feed on those plants, they can get back to their sizes pretty quick!

Also, ensure that you have a sandy base to your tank to safeguard your fish from rough surfaces of reefs and rocks!

Also, provide good hiding spots and shades to keep your fish at a stress-free level!

Last but not least, keep your tank well-covered as it will prevent the active and energetic fish from jumping out of your tank!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will my Siamese algae eaters live?

Compared to other exotic ornamental fish species, the Siamese algae eater lives a long life comparatively! Siamese algae eaters can survive up to ten long years, and what makes them an excellent choice is that they are not fussy! It helps them to survive through a vast range of living conditions. 

Can I keep Betta with my Siamese Algae Eaters?

If you are thinking of keeping betta with your algae eaters, I must say you have a good choice!

Bettas are known for their aggressive and territorial nature, but comparatively, Siamese Algae Eaters can survive pretty well! Want to know why?

It’s because Siamese algae eaters are most likely to move around at the bottom of your tank, while the betta is most likely to spend its entire day dwelling at the top of the tank prone to predator attacks. 

Not only betta, but you can also keep your algae eaters with Tetras, Danios, Guppies, Gouramis, Cory Catfish, Barbs, Angelfish, Nerite snails, cherry shrimps, and many more! The list goes on!

How Many Siamese Algae Eaters Should I Keep?

If you are running tight on space, consider keeping a single Siamese algae eater! Also, it is highly recommended to keep only one Siamese algae eater, as this alone can get as big as six inches, and this species is always total energy. Hence, you need to provide them with a lot of space to let them move freely and live peacefully!

This fish is a schooling species, and it is pretty unnecessary to keep them in a pack. However, it is also a fact that they express themselves more when kept in a pack of five algae eaters. 

Now, if you happen to have a community tank, you can consider keeping just one of these fish! These fish species are very gentle and can live with many tank mates!


Since you have the perfect cleaners in your tank, you can eliminate chemical substances and other tricks. Also, you can increase your lighting without algae conquering the substrate. Keeping the water parameters balanced all the time. However, they are pretty resistant, they do not live well in hard water, and their lifespan will be reduced dramatically.

Make sure they have the minimum conditions, and you will be able to enjoy a cleaner, algae-free beautiful tank populated with active fish.

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