Siamese algae eater Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: December 17, 2022

The Siamese algae eater is a freshwater fish that’s popular in the aquarium scene. They’re known for their algae-eating habits and their peaceful nature.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about Siamese algae eater care. You’ll learn about their diet, size, lifespan, and more!

Species overview

The Siamese algae eater (scientific name: Crossocheilus siamensis) is a type of freshwater fish that’s native to Southeast Asia.

They are most heavily concentrated in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Siamese algae eaters are primarily found in slow-moving rivers and streams with a lot of vegetation. This is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to replicate their natural habitat in an aquarium.

These fish are known for their ability to eat algae, which is why they are such a popular choice for freshwater tanks. In addition to algae, they also eat small insects and other tiny invertebrates.

Siamese algae eaters are generally peaceful fish, but they can be somewhat territorial. This is something to keep in mind if you’re planning on keeping them with other fish species.


Siamese algae eater

The Siamese algae eater is a small, eel-like fish that is black with a white stripe running the length of its body. The stripe is widest at the fish’s head and tapers as it goes down the body.

The fins of the Siamese algae eater are clear with a black line running along the edge. The tail fin is forked.

The body of the Siamese algae eater is long and slender, and the head is small with a protruding lower jaw.

The eyes of the Siamese algae eater are red.


The typical lifespan for a Siamese algae eater is 5 to 8 years. This is a pretty long time for such a small fish!

As with any animal, there are a number of things that can impact the lifespan of a Siamese algae eater. Things like poor water quality, stress, or a suboptimal diet can all shorten their life expectancy.


The average size of a Siamese algae eater is about 6 inches long, but they can grow up to 12 inches in length.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for a school of Siamese algae eaters is 20 gallons. This is assuming you have a school of 5-6 fish which is the minimum we recommend.

If you have a larger tank you can of course keep more fish but we wouldn’t recommend going below 5 fish even in a larger tank. These fish are social creatures and do best when they have at least a few tank mates.

Water Parameters

The best way to keep your Siamese algae eaters healthy is by replicating their natural environment as closely as possible. That includes maintaining stable water conditions.

The native habitat of these fish is in slow-moving rivers and streams in Southeast Asia. The water is typically warm, slightly acidic, and well-oxygenated.

Here are a few water parameters to help you create a healthy environment for your Siamese algae eaters.

  • Water Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pH Levels: 6.0 to 7.5
  • Water Hardness: 2 to 12 dGH
  • Alkalinity Levels: 4 to 8 dKH

What To Put In Their Tank

When it comes to setting up the inside of an aquarium for Siamese Algae Eaters there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

The first is that these fish like to have some places to hide. This can be in the form of plants, rocks, or caves.

The second is that they prefer a bit of a current. This isn’t essential, but it’s something to consider if you want to make them feel as comfortable as possible.

Other than that, there isn’t much else to say. These fish aren’t very picky and can adapt to a wide range of conditions.

A good substrate to use is sand. This will help keep the inside of the tank clean and also provides a place for the algae to grow (which these fish love to eat).

As for plants, anything that can tolerate a bit of a current and isn’t too delicate will do. Hornwort, water wisteria, and java moss are all good choices.

Common Diseases

The Siamese algae eater is a very hearty fish. They are known for being quite resilient and able to withstand a lot of different water conditions.

With that being said, they are still susceptible to disease like any other fish. The most common ailment that these fish experience is ich.

Ich is a very common parasite that can become quite serious if it’s not dealt with. The most obvious sign of this disease is the series of white spots that will begin to cover the body of your fish.

There are plenty of other potential diseases that can affect this species as well, but they’re not as common.

Another thing to look out for is infection from cuts. The most common cause of this is keeping your Siamese algae eater in a tank with a rough substrate (or aggressive species that want to fight).

In general, the best way to prevent these fish from getting sick is to maintain the quality of the water in their tank. A tank with clean and stable water conditions always leads to healthier fish who are more resistant to disease.

Behavior & Temperament

The Siamese algae eater is a peaceful fish that is known for being an excellent addition to community tanks. These fish are social creatures that do best when they’re kept in groups.

While they are peaceful, they can be a little nippy. So, it’s best to keep them with fish that are the same size or larger.

These fish are lively and active. They enjoy swimming and will often play with each other. When they’re not swimming, they’re usually grazing on algae. In fact, they’re one of the best algae-eating fish around!

Although they’re not the most colorful fish, they more than make up for it with their personality. They’re fun to watch and are always up for a good time.

Tank Mates

The best tank mates for Siamese algae eaters are other peaceful fish that occupy different levels of the water column.

These fish are native to Thailand and prefer warm water. As a result, they’re compatible with most other tropical fish.

They’re also not picky eaters. In the wild, they feed on a variety of algae, detritus, and small insects. In the aquarium, they’ll accept most flake foods and frozen foods.

Some compatible tank mates include:

  • Guppies
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Tetras
  • Corydoras
  • Rasboras
  • Gouramis
  • Rainbowfish


The Siamese algae eater is a fairly easy fish to breed in captivity. They are egg-layers and will do all the work for you. The only thing you need to do is provide them with the right environment.

To start, you need a breeding tank. It should be at least 20 gallons and have plenty of hiding places. The water should be well-filtered and have a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. The temperature should be between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

When everything is ready, add two females for every male. These fish are not picky when it comes to mates, so you don’t have to worry about compatibility.

The male will build a bubble nest near the surface of the water. Once he’s done, the female will lay her eggs in the nest. The male will then fertilize them.

After that, it’s just a waiting game. The eggs will hatch in about 24 hours. The fry will be free-swimming and ready to eat within a week. Feed them live foods at first and then graduate to baby brine shrimp and other small foods.


The Siamese Algae Eater is an excellent choice for a beginner fish keeper. They are relatively easy to care for and are very peaceful fish that get along well with other fish in a community tank.

They are also very effective at eating algae, which can be a big plus in a tank with live plants.

Overall, we think the Siamese Algae Eater is a great choice for a beginner fish keeper and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a low-maintenance fish.