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If you’ve ever tried to deal with black brush algae you’ve probably heard of the siamese algae eater, one of the few fish that will happily eat BBA. The problem is that there are a few species that look very similar to a siamese algae eater that often get confused with each other and often mislabelled and sold as the wrong specie. After spending a great deal of time online to educate myself on the differences I wanted to compile an article to quickly and clearly help people tell the difference.
Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus langei)
Alse referred to as True siamese algae eaters (SAE), Crossocheilus siamensis, Siamese flying fox (using this name should be avoided to prevent confusion), Epalzeorhynchos siamensis.
- The black stripe extends to the end of the tail instead of cutting off at the end of the body
- Has 2 forward facing barbels next to the mouth
- Fins are primarily clear and do not have much colouration
False Siamese Algae Eater (Epalzeorhynchus sp.)
Also known as the Thailand Flying Fox, False Siamensis
- Black stripe stops at the end of the body
- No visible barbels
- There is a gold coloured stripe above the black lateral stripe
- Fins have a distinctive yellow tint.
Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterum)
- Black stripe extends to the end of the tail
- Has 2 forward facing barbels plus another 2 on the side
- Fins have a Yellow-red tint