False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis)
The False Siamese Algae Eater is peaceful towards other fish but somewhat territorial with its kind and similar-looking species. These fish make a good member of the well-chosen community tank of stream-dwelling species.
In their natural habitat, they have been observed moving around in loose gatherings of their own species, so if you are planning on maintaining more than one they are better kept in groups of five or more individuals in an aquarium with plenty of visual barriers amongst the decor. If you keep these fish in smaller groups, they may fight amongst themselves now and then, so always aim for a decent-sized group so that no single fish has to deal with the continual brunt of any aggression.
It is essential that you keep the water well oxygenated and clean, and because they require stable water conditions and graze on biofilm, you should not keep this species in an immature set-up. It is also advised that you have a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium as it can climb up the glass.
The False Siamese Algae Eater has a wide mid-lateral stripe with a diameter equal to around two scale rows. It also possesses two black bands on the dorsal fin, and the caudal fin can have dark margins or be plain.
|Scientific Name||Garra cambodgiensis|
|Other Names||Cambodian Logsucker, Stonelapping Minnow, False Flying Fox|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 10 years|
|Temperature||68 - 80 ℉ (20 - 26.7 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||3 - 15|
The False Siamese Algae Eaters are endemic to the Mekong River basin's central and lower parts in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, the Mae Klong and Chao Phraya drainages in the west and central Thailand, and several smaller river systems in northern Peninsular Malaysia and peninsular Thailand.
These fish inhabit clear, fast-flowing sections of streams and tributaries rather than more considerable, lowland river channels. The most favourable habitats contain oxygen-saturated water with rocky substrates in hill regions covered in plant-rich biofilms.
Other Garras of interest
Diet & Feeding
Although these fish will graze on algae if available in the aquarium, it is not a herbivore.
It would be more beneficial if you offered your fish meaty foods such as live or frozen artemia, bloodworm, chopped prawn and Tubifex alongside high quality sinking dried products such as pellets and wafers, making sure they contain a significant proportion of vegetable matter such as Spirulina or suchlike. You can also occasionally offer your fish fresh fruit and vegetables such as melon, cucumber, courgette, or blanched spinach.
It is somewhat straightforward to differentiate male from female False Siamese Algae Eaters. Sexually mature males exhibit bright red mouthparts when in spawning condition. In contrast, females have noticeably fuller-bodied than males. Both male and females develop tubercules on their heads and snouts; however, these tend to be more evident in males.
Unfortunately, there have been no reports of the False Siamese Algae Eater being bred in the home aquarium. Instead, they are induced into spawning by hormone injection.
In their natural habitat, this species has been observed migrating into rice paddy fields and flood plains at the beginning of the rainy season in order to produce.