False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis)
The False Siamese Algae Eater, also known as the False Flying Fox and the Cambodian logsucker, is a generally peaceful addition to the community aquarium. However, this fish is territorial with its own kind and similar-looking species, such as the True Flying Fox. Nevertheless, these fish can make a good member of the well-chosen community tank of stream-dwelling species.
False Siamese Algae eaters have been observed moving around in loose gatherings of their own species in their natural habitat. However, if you plan to maintain more than one of these fish in the aquarium, it is worth bearing in mind that these fish are better kept in groups of five or more individuals to disperse aggression. It is also advisable to include plenty of visual barriers in the decor; these can consist of plants, caves, bogwood and driftwood so that the fish can hide away and form their own territories.
If you keep the False Siamese Algae Eaters in smaller groups, they will fight more frequently amongst themselves. Therefore, it would be better to aim for a decent-sized group so that the dominant fish cannot overly harass a single individual in the aquarium.
For the best health of these fish, you should make sure that the water is well-oxygenated, and because they require stable water conditions and graze on biofilm, you should not keep this species in an immature set-up.
The False Siamese Algae Eater has an elongated body with a wide, dark mid-lateral stripe; above that stripe is a slimmer bar that is a golden colour. These fish also possess a transparent caudal fin with yellow hints and red edging. Their pectoral fins are clear with a red hue, and their dorsal fins are also transparent; however, they display some brown and yellow markings. Their abdomens are a silvery yellow colour.
|Scientific Name||Garra cambodgiensis|
|Other Names||Cambodian Logsucker, Stonelapping Minnow, False Flying Fox, Black Band Garra|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Pairs|
|Lifespan||up to 10 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||3 - 15|
|68 - 80℉|
20 - 26.7℃
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
What to feed the False Siamese Algae Eater
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.
How to Sex the False Siamese Algae Eater
It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between male and female False Siamese Algae Eaters. Sexually mature males exhibit bright red mouthparts when in spawning conditions and are generally more colourful than females. In contrast, females are noticeably fuller-bodied than males and are typically duller than males.
Both the males and the females develop tubercules on their heads and their snouts; however, these tend to be more evident in males.
How to Breed the False Siamese Algae Eater
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.