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Maximum size : 17 cm

Silver Flying Fox - Crossocheilus reticulatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Silver Flying Fox (Crossocheilus reticulatus) is a striking and active fish that is renowned for its elongated, slender shark-like appearance and love of devouring nuisance algae, particularly beard algae. These characteristics make it a popular addition to many aquariums. While the Silver Flying Fox is relatively easy to care for, it does require some specific conditions to thrive. These fish are peaceful, but they may eat small invertebrates such as dwarf shrimp, so it's best to keep them with snails and other compatible fish. A group of at least five of their own kind is recommended to minimize territorial disputes. These fish are adaptable and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters. However, they do best in subtropical temperatures and well-filtered water with a decent flow rate to simulate their natural environment of clear, fast-flowing, highly oxygenated waters. Additional powerheads can also be useful in creating a suitable environment. Most plants can be kept safely with these fish, so the tank can be well-planted along the sides and back with hardy species that can handle current. A substrate of fine-grain, rounded gravel, driftwood, and flat stones will help to create a natural river bed effect. Strong lighting should be used to encourage algae growth, which these fish love to munch on. It's important to note that these fish are known to jump, so secure lids are a must. The Silver Flying Fox has silver bodies with dark-edged scales that add a soft texture. They also have a black spot at the base of the tail and lack the horizontal stripe found in most other algae eaters. Their fins are translucent with yellow shading, adding to their unique appearance.

Silver Flying Fox Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Silver Flying Fox can be a challenging task visually. However, mature females tend to exhibit a more extensive abdomen and thicker body structure than males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameCrossocheilus reticulatus
Year Described1934
Other NamesReticulated Siamese Algae Eater, Fishnet Flying Fox, Reticulated Flying Fox
OriginsChina Laos Vietnam Cambodia Thailand
Max Size17 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan5 - 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH1 - 12
TDS18 -215
61 - 75
16.1 - 23.9

Natural Habitat

The Silver Flying Fox can be found in the Mekong River Basin in Yunnan, China, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, as well as the Chao Phraya River and the Mae Klong River in Thailand in Southeast Asia. In their natural habitat, the Silver Flying Fox inhabits clear, shallow-flowing streams with a strong current and a substrate of boulders, gravel, pebbles, and sand. These serene waters are often found in areas with tree roots or sunken driftwood, providing the perfect environment for these remarkable fish to explore their surroundings. The shallow waters allow sunlight to hit the surface, creating a rich biofilm that the Silver Flying Fox happily grazes on. These fish serve as a reminder of the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems and the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources. Prepare to be entranced by the stunning beauty of the Silver Flying Fox and the wonders of the natural world. With their unique natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour, these fish are a true marvel of nature and a captivating addition to any aquarist's collection. As you observe these fish in their natural habitat, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve our planet's precious ecosystems.
 Mae Klong - Thailand
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Although some species in the same genus have been artificially induced to spawn using hormone treatments, there is no evidence to suggest that the Silver Flying Fox has been successfully bred in the aquarium hobby. In the wild, these fish undergo seasonal reproductive migrations, moving upstream during dry weather and downstream when water levels rise.

Diet & feeding

It is recommended to avoid high protein foods when feeding the Silver Flying Fox as they cannot metabolize them efficiently. While these fish are primarily algae eaters, they will also readily accept high-quality dry foods such as flakes and pellets that contain added Spirulina. Including boiled vegetables like shelled peas, blanched courgette, spinach, as well as algae wafers, and frozen foods in their diet is also crucial for their health and wellbeing.

5 tank mate ideas for the Silver Flying Fox

Looking for some awesome tank mate ideas for your Silver Flying Fox? Look no further! Here are 5 of the most captivating and fascinating options that will liven up your aquarium!

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