Max Size: up to 15 cm

True Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus)

The True Flying Fox is a peaceful, lively fish when kept singly and also relatively hardy. They also love to swim around in the aquarium. Flying Foxes are generally compatible with most types of fish, including Loaches, Barbs, Danios, Tetras, and Rasboras, making them excellent community aquarium members. Still, you should take care when choosing the correct tank mates for your fish.

You can keep these fish alone or in schools as long as you have a large enough aquarium; however, a group of flying foxes may display high territorial behaviour levels towards similarly looking species.

The True Flying Fox has an elongated body and a flat stomach. The lower part of its body has a yellowish-white hue, and its dorsal region has a colouration ranging from olive to a dark brown. A brownish-black stripe runs from its mouth to the caudal fin and on top of that is a gold-coloured stripe. The True Flying Fox's have a reddish iris, and its anal, dorsal and ventral fins consist of a translucent front with a thick black band along the edge.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameEpalzeorhynchos kalopterus
Other NamesFlying Fox
OriginsSoutheast Asia
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature68 - 79 ℉ (20 - 26.1 ℃)
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 12
TDS36 - 215
The True Flying Fox
Flying Fox
Flying Fox
Mature True Flying Fox
True Flying Fox


True Flying foxes are native to the Thai Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia in Southeast Asia. They inhabit fast-flowing rivers and streams and move into seasonally forested areas or floodplains during the wet season.

You can find them grazing on rocky or sandy substrates but have also frequently been seen underneath floating objects such as floating houses, boats and pockets of dense surface vegetation.

Other Sharks of interest

Bala Shark(Balantiocheilos Melanopterus)
Black Sharkminnow(Labeo chrysophekadion)
Chinese High Fin Banded Shark(Myxocyprinus Asiaticus)
Rainbow Shark(Epalzeorhynchos Frenatum)
Red Tail Black Shark(Epalzeorhynchos bicolor)
Siamese Algae Eater(Crossocheilus oblongus)
View All Sharks

Diet & Feeding

The True Flying fox is primarily an algae eater; however, they will also readily accept high quality dried food such as flakes and granules and algae wafers.

If you want your fish to develop its best condition and colours, you should offer them regular meals of small frozen or live food such as bloodworm, tubifex or chopped white worms.

It would be most beneficial if you also included some vegetable matter into their diet in the form of Zucchini, cucumber, broccoli and lettuce.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is incredibly challenging to differentiate males from female True Flying Fox's, especially juveniles. However, sexually mature females are noticeably deeper-bodied than slimmer males.


Unfortunately, there have been no reported cases of the True Flying Fox being bred in the home aquarium as far as we know. However, large quantities are farmed for the ornamental trade with the aid of hormones.

You may enjoy the following profiles

Giant Danio(Devario aequipinnatus)
American Flagfish(Jordanella floridae)
Siamese Dwarf Rasbora(Trigonostigma somphongsi)
Twosaddle Corydoras(Corydoras Weitzmani)
African Moon Tetra(Bathyaethiops caudomaculatus)
Pearl Gourami(Trichopodus Leerii)
View More Species
Date Added: 24/03/2021 - Updated: 26/03/2021 12:07:49