Siamese Algae Eater – Crossocheilus langei

Siamese Algae Eater - Crossocheilus langei

  • pH: 6-7.5
  • gH: 1-15 dGh
  • Temperature: 20-26C
  • Maximum Size: 15cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 300 litres, 150x45x45cm

Crossocheilus langei is found in Thailand (formerly Siam), Malaysia, and Borneo in flowing shallow rivers and streams. There are several similar species’ known as “Siamese Algae Eater”, but they aren’t all good at that job. My six of this species, however, did a great job removing black beard algae from my 6-foot tank.


Crossocheilus langei is a peaceful species best kept as a group, as lone specimens can be nervous.  It mixes well with botiid loaches such as clown loach and yoyo loach and with many other peaceful aquarium fish that share its care needs.

Housing and Feeding

A tank at least 5ft long and 18 inches wide is needed as these grow quite large at 6 inches and swim very rapidly. Good flow and high levels of oxygen simulate their natural conditions. A sandy substrate and rocks, stones and roots to form hiding places is ideal, along with some hardy plants that can tolerate the flow.

In the wild, the Siamese algae eater feeds on aufwuchs (algae and the microscopic life-forms within it) on rocks and stones. In the aquarium they will eat algae, being famed for eating the black beard algae other fish reject, but do need to be given suitable food as well. As the fish realize there’s food in the tank on a daily basis that’s easier to obtain, they may reduce or give up clearing algae. They need a diet based around vegetable matter, so algae wafers, spirulina flake, fresh courgette, peas, romaine lettuce, spinach etc.,  are all good for them. Too much meaty protein is bad for them as they aren’t designed to handle a lot of protein and may grow obese quite rapidly as well as potentially suffering organ damage.


At the time of writing this species hasn’t been bred in home aquaria, but is being farmed abroad using hormone injections.

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