Differences between Siamese Algae Eaters and Flying Foxes

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)

true_siamese_algae_eater_bw true_siamese_algae_eater

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.

Key differences:

  • 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

Key differences:

  • 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)


Key differences:

  • 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

Fish Keeping has been a hobby of mine for a number of years. My primary income comes from website design which I do from home which gives me lots of time to also look after my fish. For the interested my website agency is www.g-force.net