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Maximum size : 15 cm

False Siamese Algae Eater - Garra cambodgiensis : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis), also known as the False Flying Fox and the Cambodian logsucker, is a fascinating and peaceful addition to any community aquarium. These fish can be territorial with their own kind and similar-looking species, such as the True Flying Fox. However, they can make excellent members of well-chosen community tanks consisting of stream-dwelling species. In their natural habitat, False Siamese Algae Eaters have been observed moving around in loose gatherings of their own species. To disperse aggression in the aquarium, it is best to keep these fish in groups of five or more individuals and include plenty of visual barriers in the decor, such as plants, caves, bogwood, and driftwood. This way, the fish can establish their own territories and hide away when needed. Keeping the False Siamese Algae Eaters in smaller groups can lead to frequent fighting among themselves, making it essential to aim for a decent-sized group to prevent a single individual from being overly harassed. To ensure optimal health, it is crucial to maintain stable water conditions and provide a well-oxygenated environment for these fascinating creatures. In addition, they graze on biofilm, making it necessary to avoid keeping them in an immature setup. With an elongated body featuring a wide, dark mid-lateral stripe and a slimmer golden-coloured bar above it, the False Siamese Algae Eater possesses a transparent caudal fin with yellow hints and red edging. Its pectoral fins are transparent with a red hue, and the dorsal fins display some brown and yellow markings. These captivating creatures have silvery-yellow abdomens, enhancing the beauty and vitality of any aquarium they inhabit.

False Siamese Algae Eater Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Discerning the sex of the False Siamese Algae Eaters is relatively simple. Sexually mature males display vibrant red mouthparts during spawning conditions and generally exhibit a more vivid colouration than their female counterparts. In contrast, females are fuller-bodied than males and typically display a less striking colouration. Both males and females develop tubercles on their heads and snouts, although these structures are typically more pronounced in males. The apparent differences between the sexes highlight the fascinating and intricate aspects of this species ' biology and are essential considerations for aquarists interested in breeding these fish.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameGarra cambodgiensis
Year Described1883
Other NamesCambodian Logsucker, Stonelapping Minnow, False Flying Fox, Black Band Garra
OriginsThailand Cambodia Vietnam Laos Malaysia
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asPairs
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 15
TDS18 -215
68 - 80
20 - 26.7

Natural Habitat

The False Siamese Algae Eaters are fascinating fish that are native to the Mekong River basin 's central and lower parts in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos. They can also be found in the Mae Klong and Chao Phraya drainages in the west and central regions of Thailand, as well as several smaller river systems in northern Peninsular Malaysia and peninsular Thailand. These fish typically inhabit clear, fast-flowing sections of streams and tributaries rather than the more extensive, lowland river channels. Consequently, the most favourable habitats for False Siamese Algae Eaters are those that contain oxygen-saturated water with rocky substrates in hilly regions covered in plant-rich biofilms. As these fish are adapted to such a specific environment, replicating these conditions in their aquarium is crucial to their health and well-being. By providing a suitable habitat, you can observe their natural behaviours and appreciate the unique features that make them such a sought-after species in the aquarium hobby.


Regrettably, there is a lack of documented cases of successful breeding of the False Siamese Algae Eater in the home aquarium setting. Therefore, the current method used to induce spawning is through hormone injection. Interestingly, in their natural habitat, these fish have been observed migrating into rice paddy fields and flood plains at the onset of the rainy season, likely to initiate their reproductive cycle. This behaviour highlights the intricate and unique relationship between this species and their environment, making them a truly remarkable and intriguing subject of study for aquarists and biologists alike.

Diet & feeding

While False Siamese Algae Eaters will graze on algae if it is available in the aquarium, it is important to note that they are not herbivores. To ensure optimal health and nutrition, offering your fish a varied diet that includes meaty foods such as live or frozen artemia, bloodworm, chopped prawn, and Tubifex is recommended. High-quality sinking dried products such as pellets and wafers that contain a significant proportion of vegetable matter, such as Spirulina or similar, should also be included. Additionally, you can occasionally provide your fish with fresh fruit and vegetables such as melon, cucumber, courgette, or blanched spinach. By offering a diverse diet, you can help maintain the health and well-being of your False Siamese Algae Eaters and ensure they thrive in their aquarium environment.


False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis) Aquarium Garra Fish Species Profile & Care Guide Thumbnail

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