Siamese Algae Eater Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

Siamese Algae Eater portrait

The Siamese Algae Eater can help to keep your aquarium clean while serving as a very endearing slippery pet. 

These fish are great for those who don’t have a lot of experience, and they are quite nice to look at as well.

Siamese Algae Eater Appearance

A majority of Siamese Algae Eaters grow up to six inches and live for about 10 years on average. They have a mostly silver body with a gold hue and a black stripe going down either side of their body. These fish also have green dorsal and pectoral fins.

You won’t see any observable physical differences between males and females until they reach about three years. Females tend to be noticeably bigger than the males. Once these fish reach full maturity, it is pretty easy to distinguish between the two sexes.

The black stripe that goes down the side of this fish can begin to fade if they are feeling very stressed or going into mating mode. It could also just be their way of disguising themselves if they feel threatened for any reason.


These fish tend to swim along the bottom of the aquarium looking for algae to eat. They feed together when kept with their own kind, so that is something to consider. If you want to ensure that your tank gets cleaned as quickly as possible, it is a good idea to keep at least a few of these fish together.

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Sometimes aggressive behavior can occur when multiple Siamese Algae Eaters are kept in the same habitat. If this is the case, you’ll need to take one of them out and put them in another tank for at least a day or two.

Natural Habitat

The Siamese algae eater is naturally found in rivers, streams and other fast-moving bodies of water. They also tend to occupy flooded forests when the rainy season comes around.

Siamese Algae Eater in a grass e1580847017945

Siamese Algae Eater Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

If you are planning to keep any Siamese Algae Eaters, you’ll need to have a minimum 20-gallon tank. It is also recommended that you use soft small grain sand for the substrate. This will closely mimic their natural habitat, which is definitely a good thing.

Make sure that you put a number of plants in your fish’s habitat to keep the water as clean as possible. These plants will also help to raise oxygen levels in the water, which is necessary for keeping your fish healthy over the long term.

It is a good idea to have caves that your fish can use to hide away when they are feeling reclusive, which will happen from time to time. Since these fish are known for jumping fairly high, you’ll want to keep the lid securely on the tank at all times.

2. Water Conditions

You’ll want to make sure that the water in your fish’s tank stays within the 75 to 79 degree Fahrenheit range at all times. It should have a water hardness rating of 5 to 20 dH, as well as a pH of 6.5 to 7.

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You don’t need any special or ultra-powerful filter when keeping these fish. Moderate water flow is just fine.

3. Siamese Algae Eater Tank Mates

Because these fish are known for being very calm and docile, you will be able to put a lot of different species in with them. Red Tail Sharks make for good tank mates, as well as Corydoras. You’ll ideally want to keep bottom dwellers with this fish.

You should avoid keeping your Siamese Algae Eater with any Cichlids or other fish that have a reputation for being tough or aggressive. Tetras and guppies are two other options that you should consider for tank mates.

There are other types of aquatic creatures that your Algae Eater will be sure to get along with, such as snails and shrimp.

Siamese Algae Eater in an aquarium

4. Siamese Algae Eater Food

Pellets make for good food to give your Siamese Algae Eater, but you should take your time to find the right ones. You’ll want to get a pellet food that is specially formulated for bottom-dwelling fish so their nutritional needs are met.

Algae wafers are another good food that you can give these fish, and they will definitely gobble them up quickly. Bloodworms and brine shrimp make for delicious live foods, so you’ll need to consider that as well.

Common Health Problems

Siamese Algae Eaters can develop Ich, which is a disease that comes from parasites. You will be able to tell if your fish has this condition if you suddenly see white spots form on their body. There are medicated solutions that you can put in the water to treat this type of infection. It can be quite serious if you don’t deal with it right away.

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Siamese Algae Eater Breeding

The fact is that breeding these fish is next to impossible for most individuals. A lot of the commercial facilities that breed them use hormones, which can be difficult to get your hands on. While sexing these fish is fairly easy, breeding is something else entirely. These fish only start spawning under very specific conditions in terms of pH level and temperature.


  • The Siamese Algae Eater lives for about 10 years and grows to around six inches in length.
  • Fully matured females are noticeably larger than males with a rounder abdomen, which makes sexing them pretty easy.
  • These fish are bottom dwellers, but they can get aggressive, especially when kept with others of their own kind.
  • A lot of people keep these fish in their tanks as a way of keeping them clean.
  • The Red Tail Shark makes for an excellent tank mate.
  • You’ll want to avoid putting in any Cichlids or other fish that are known for displaying aggressive behavior.
  • A high-quality pellet food can keep your fish healthy, but you should also give them live wood-like bloodworms and brine shrimp.
  • These fish can develop Ich, which is a parasitic infection that required immediate treatment.
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