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The Bottom Feeders That Should Be At the Top of Your List – The Siamese Algae Eater

The algae eater is the quintessential addition to any aquarium tank. Whilst you might end up getting caught up within the sheer quantity and selections out there to you as you start your fishkeeping journey, one factor is apparent: you want a option to maintain your aquarium clear and wholesome for years to return.

The straightforward resolution? An algae eater. These pleasant creatures fill an vital function in your tank’s setting, serving to to tidy up tanks by munching on algae wherever they occur to identify it.

These fish are energetic and social, performing properly in giant teams in addition to when housed by themselves. They’re straightforward to feed and can eat absolutely anything that you simply put in your tank – however they particularly love algae of every kind!

Algae eaters are peaceable and can get together with most fish in a neighborhood aquarium. The Siamese algae eater particularly is straightforward to take care of and is a good selection for newbie and skilled aquarium hobbyists alike.


Siamese Algae Eater Background

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The Siamese algae eater, also referred to as Crossocheilus oblongus, is a freshwater fish species from the Cyprinidae household. This household additionally incorporates carp, and so they’re shut kin of one another.

These fish originated in southeast Asia, hailing from the wilds of Malaysia and Thailand. Nevertheless, now you can discover Siamese algae eaters in nearly each nation on this planet as they’re bred prolifically for the aquarium commerce. These fish are a few of the finest algae eaters you could find. They transfer round ceaselessly and might clear your whole tank in a matter of minutes.

Within the wild, Siamese algae eaters are present in densely vegetated streams and enormous rivers. They reside close by and in the identical vogue as Asian carp. The tropical waters by which they’re discovered are normally considerably acidic, and have a tendency to have a really slow-moving present. They hang around amongst rocks, logs, and crops. They may spend their time amongst these shelters, alternately hiding and scouring the surfaces for meals.

Of their native environments, Siamese algae eaters will largely devour algae, however they may eat something that sinks to the river backside. They don’t wish to roam and as an alternative will keep round acquainted shelters, not often venturing as much as the floor of the water.

Yow will discover Siamese algae eaters at nearly any pet retailer. They’re so well-liked that they’re very straightforward to seek out. They’re additionally extremely reasonably priced, with costs beginning at simply $3 to $5 per fish. The Siamese algae eater is a wonderful selection for a newbie, as it might maintain your tank clear and presents minimal disruptive behaviors to your tank setting. Take into accout, although, that like different fish, Siamese algae eaters do produce a big quantity of waste. You’ll wish to keep away from overcrowding for this very purpose.

These fish are sometimes confused with the same species, the Siamese flying fox. Though they appear related, they’re totally different species with totally different care necessities. The Siamese algae eater could have an extended black stripe that stretches to the tip of its tail fin. Whereas the Siamese flying fox additionally has a black stripe, it’s smoother and ends proper earlier than the beginning of the tail fin. The Siamese flying fox may even have flaps close to the nook of its mouth.

Siamese Algae Eater Look And Habits

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This species of fish has a singular look that distinguishes it from different algae eaters. It has a protracted, slender physique that may span as much as six inches in size. They are often both a light-weight gold or grey shade, however all fish could have a thick black stripe that reaches from the pinnacle to the tail.

This stripe typically fades. More often than not, it’s nothing to fret about, because it may merely be a mating show of courting. Nevertheless, these stripes typically fade because of stress or sickness, which you will want to attenuate within the tank. Very not often, the stripe will fade because the fish tries to camouflage itself – this isn’t quite common within the aquarium setting however occurs ceaselessly within the wild.

There may be little sexual dimorphism (or distinction) between men and women. You normally is not going to discover these variations till they’re about three or 4 years of age. Then, the one distinction exists within the distinction between the sizes of the fish – females might be considerably bigger than the males and may have abdomens which can be barely extra rounded.

Siamese algae eaters are backside feeders, and they also will spend most of their time hanging out on the backside of your tank. Very not often will they rise to the center or the highest of the water column. As an alternative, they may swim round close to the underside sections of your tank till they occur upon a spot coated in algae. They may keep there till the algae is usually gone.

In case you maintain a number of Siamese algae eaters collectively, they may type dense, shut knit teams. They may feed collectively in the identical space, even when there isn’t precisely sufficient algae to maintain all of them!

These fish are very not often aggressive, however they’re extraordinarily energetic. They wish to dart across the tank in fast, speedy actions, and so whereas they will not essentially assault different fish, their presence might be disturbing to some calmer species.

Siamese Algae Eater Tank And Water Necessities

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Photo by Andrew

You need to do your finest to imitate the pure setting of the Siamese algae eater when you’re establishing your tank. Keep in mind that the water must be barely acidic, and that you must embody loads of crops to maintain the water clear and oxygenated.

Attempt to use a substrate that’s effective and delicate, equivalent to sand, as this can make it safer to swim round close to the underside of the tank. As a result of Siamese algae eaters spend a lot of their time on the backside of the tank, there’s a good likelihood that they will scratch their delicate our bodies or harm their barbels in the event you use a harsher, sharper substrate.

The water of your tank must be stored pretty heat. You will have a heater to maintain temperatures inside the splendid vary, which is between 75 and 79 levels Fahrenheit. The water hardness must be between 5 and 20 dH. These fish want barely acidic waters, with a pH between 6.5 and seven.0, however they will tolerate a spread. Attempt to maintain it between 6.0 and eight.0 to make sure the well being of your fish.

There aren’t any particular necessities of this fish with reference to water circulation or present, which can be astonishing as they’re naturally present in rivers. Whereas they like slower transferring waters (the weaker the higher), Siamese algae eaters actually can adapt to most ranges of circulation inside your tank.

The larger the tank, the higher in terms of your Siamese algae eater. You possibly can maintain one fish per 20 gallon tank, however you must add an additional 10 gallons of area per each fish that you simply add.

Adorning A Siamese Algae Eater  Tank

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Vegetation and different decorations are essential in a Siamese algae eater tank for a number of causes. The primary is that they assist to maintain the water clear, however the second (and arguably most vital) is that crops and different buildings present your fish with locations to cover. It will assist your fish really feel secure and at residence in your aquarium tank.

Your fish might begin nibbling at crops if they’re hungry. You possibly can stop them from doing this by sustaining an sufficient feeding schedule, however you can even select wholesome and hardy reside crops that can be capable of maintain as much as the fixed stress of the nibbling. Think about species which can be fast to develop and rejuvenate, like hornwort, anacharis, or Java fern.

Offering loads of buildings by which your Siamese algae eaters can conceal can be vital. They want locations to flee their tank mates, notably if there are different backside dwellers or considerably aggressive fish. You possibly can create caves across the tank, which can give your fish someplace to flee. The Siamese algae eater shouldn’t be territorial, so that you shouldn’t have to fret about any fights associated to those hiding locations.

Siamese algae eaters can leap and are very energetic. Whilst you won’t discover or observe this habits frequently, there’s at all times the potential to your Siamese algae eater to leap out of the tank. Because of this, you must at all times maintain a tight-fitting lid on the tank. It will make sure that you don’t should take care of an escape artist – which might be probably deadly to your fish.

What Do Siamese Algae Eaters  Eat?

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Photo by Vitamin G

Because the identify implies, Siamese algae eaters largely eat – you guessed it – algae! Nevertheless, within the wild these creatures eat a wide range of meals. You would possibly discover Siamese algae eaters consuming vegetation, plant matter, and algae, in addition to different gadgets they discover, like useless fish and bugs. They’re true omnivores, consuming something they arrive throughout or are capable of scavenge.

Because of this, they’re straightforward to deal with within the aquarium. They aren’t choosy eaters and can eat absolutely anything you select to offer them. Good selections embody flake and pellet meals, as properly reside meals and algae wafers. Whereas they will tolerate most reside meals choices, good selections embody brine shrimp and bloodworms. Along with contemporary reside meals, you can even feed frozen meals.

When you’re feeding your Siamese algae eaters, keep in mind that sinking meals are likely to work finest. They may fall previous different fish which can be hanging out nearer to the highest of the tank and can be capable of make their method all the way down to your bottom-dwelling algae eaters.

It may be robust to discover a steadiness between over- and underfeeding your Siamese algae eaters. They may already be consuming algae and crops within the tank earlier than feeding time, and it may be robust to inform how a lot they’ve truly consuming. In case you feed your fish an excessive amount of, they may cease consuming algae in favor of the meals you are giving them.

These fish will gladly eat all day in the event you permit them, so attempt to restrict feeding to only the quantity that they will end in a few minutes. You solely must feed them as soon as a day, however you might must feed your different fish extra usually than that. Hold that in thoughts as you develop a feeding schedule that can hopefully work for everyone in your aquarium.

Siamese Algae Eater Tank Mates

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Photo by David Midgley

Siamese algae eaters are pleasant fish that get together with most different neighborhood fish. Since they spend most of their time on the backside of a tank, you have to contemplate who else might be dwelling there. Some backside dwellers might be aggressive or downright imply, so you’ll want to keep away from fish like purple tail sharks. These fish are likely to harass and bully others in an effort to shield their territory – even members of their very own species. As a result of algae eaters are extra shy and never susceptible to battle, they may spend most of their time swimming away and hiding from these aggressive species.

In any other case, Siamese algae eaters are nice candidates for neighborhood tanks as a result of they’re so peaceable and easygoing. You possibly can select peaceable bottom-dwellers just like the Corydoras catfish, or you’ll be able to choose fish species that want to swim within the different areas of the tank. It will cut back the potential for any territorial disputes or issues.

Attempt to keep away from including fish which have a status for being aggressive, as they may assault and even attempt to eat your algae eaters. That is very true in terms of Siamese algae eaters which can be younger or are new to the tank. Keep away from cichlids, who actually must be stored in species-only tanks as it’s, in addition to different aggressive species like oscars.

Some fish species which have good potential for being members of a Siamese algae eater-friendly neighborhood embody guppies, tetras, and danios. These fish are small and never aggressive. Different good selections embody barbs and gouramis, who’re giant however don’t behave aggressively.

You possibly can even embody non-fish species like cherry, amano, or ghost shrimp. You would even check out nerite snails. These organisms all eat algae, too, so you might have the chance to witness varied algae consuming behaviors because the animals work together with one another. They may add variety and curiosity to your tank, whereas on the identical time serving to to maintain it clear.

You possibly can maintain a number of Siamese algae eaters within the tank. These fish are distinctive in that they have an inclination to highschool, so teams of 4 to 6 are finest if you wish to witness this education habits. Simply keep in mind to extend the dimensions of your tank if you add extra fish, nevertheless, or you would have a problem of overcrowding in your fingers.

That being unhappy, Siamese algae eaters don’t have to be stored with different members of their species. You possibly can maintain them in pairs or as singles, which provides you loads of choices in terms of the way you wish to populate your fish tank.

Needless to say one mistake folks ceaselessly make when elevating Siamese algae eaters (notably in multiples or within the presence of different algae eater) is that they assume that they don’t want to wash the tank – ever. Bear in mind, simply because you have got algae-eating species within the tank doesn’t imply they will deal with your complete bioload themselves! They’re nonetheless contributing waste and you’ll nonetheless must put in an effort to maintain your fish tank clear.

Widespread Siamese Algae Eater  Ailments

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Photo by Sato KGY

There are few illnesses to which Siamese algae eaters alone are susceptible, however they are often affected by the identical illnesses that habitually have an effect on freshwater tank species. Most illnesses will give off clear signs so that you could deal with them rapidly, however others might current extra hidden signs that may be tougher to detect. Checking your fish every day may help you catch any issues early on – earlier than they grow to be life-threatening.

Ich is likely one of the most typical illness in freshwater aquariums. This sickness is attributable to a parasite that creates small white dots across the physique. You might discover  your fish rubbing itself towards gadgets in your tank because it makes an attempt to “itch” itself. This may be prevented by performed common water modifications. Soiled water is to fish as polluted air is to humans-  it does their well being no good. Clear your tank as soon as each two weeks to cut back the chance of poisons build up within the water and making your fish sick.

Whereas you should purchase remedies to heal circumstances like ich in addition to different widespread bacterial, viral, and parasitic circumstances, there’s usually no purpose to – preventative care might be simpler than the costliest drugs. Hold your tank clear and solely feed high-quality meals. Low cost meals – or meals which can be fed at irregular intervals – could cause constipation and bloating. These points can result in organ dysfunction, too.

Watch out what (or who!) you add to your tank. Some decorations can carry toxins, and in the event you introduce water from different tanks (together with the water from if you buy new fish), this can be harmful. Everytime you add new fish to your tank, ensure you quarantine them first. It will aid you to find out whether or not they’re wholesome earlier than probably introducing new illnesses to your tank.

Breeding And Life Spans Of Siamese Algae Eaters

Siamese algae eater might be bred within the residence aquarium, but it surely’s extremely tough to do. So as to achieve success, you will want to make use of hormones, which is what the business farms do in an effort to provide pet shops with a gradual provide of those fish.

Sexing the fish is especially laborious, as variations within the genders usually don’t seem till later in life. Though females are bigger than males, they’re solely barely bigger, and this takes a eager eye to detect.

You possibly can encourage spawning by altering water circumstances to these they’d expertise within the wild throughout their breeding season. Apart from this, there’s little you are able to do to encourage breeding  – and there’s little info out there about people who’ve been profitable on this try previously.

Is A Siamese Algae Eater For You?

You probably have a fish tank that’s continually crammed with algae, don’t spend all of your spare time cleansing it up. As an alternative, contemplate including a Siamese algae eater to your tank. Whereas these fish gained’t take all of the work out of caring for fish, they will definitely assist lighten your duties and add some magnificence and exercise to your tank on the identical time.

Whereas they do require some consideration and devotion to boost – you will want to ensure you present a tank with a light-weight substrate and loads of crops – these hardy fish are a terrific selection for newbie and skilled aquarium hobbyists alike.

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