Profile Photo

Maximum size : 15 cm

True Flying Fox - Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

Table of contents


The True Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus) is a stunning fish that any hobbyist would love to keep. With its unique body shape and striking colours, this fish is sure to grab attention in any aquarium. However, it is important to keep in mind that these fish are best kept as solitary individuals due to their territorial nature. They can become aggressive towards their own kind and other similar-shaped fish, such as the Rainbow and Red-Tailed Shark, as well as Garra species, including the very similar-looking False Siamese Algae Eater (Garra cambodgiensis). While keeping multiple True Flying Foxes in an aquarium is possible, it requires a significant amount of space and hiding places to avoid potential conflicts. However, these fish are generally compatible with most other types of aquarium fish, including Loaches, Barbs, Danios, Tetras, and even very small Rasboras, making them excellent community aquarium members. The True Flying Fox has an elongated body with a flat stomach, a yellowish-white hue on the lower part of its body, and a dorsal region that ranges from olive to dark brown. A brownish-black stripe runs from its mouth to the caudal fin, and on top of that is a striking gold-coloured stripe. In addition, the True Flying Fox has a reddish iris, and its anal, dorsal, and ventral fins consist of a translucent front with a thick black band along the edge.

True Flying Fox Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female True Flying Fox 's can be pretty tricky, especially for juveniles. However, mature females tend to have a deeper bodies compared to their slimmer male counterparts.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameEpalzeorhynchos kalopterus
Year Described1850
Other NamesFlying Fox
Max Size15 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH4 - 12
TDS36 - 215
68 - 79
20 - 26.1

Natural Habitat

True Flying Foxes are a stunning fish species that hail from the tropical waters of the Thai Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia in Southeast Asia. These fish prefer fast-flowing rivers and streams but are also known to move into seasonally forested areas or floodplains during the wet season. Interestingly, these fish can be observed grazing on rocky or sandy substrates, but they have also been seen underneath floating objects such as floating houses, boats, and pockets of dense surface vegetation, which makes them a fascinating species to observe in their natural habitat.


As far as current knowledge suggests, there have been no documented instances of successful breeding of the True Flying Fox in home aquariums. Instead, hormone assistance is employed to farm these fish in large quantities for the ornamental trade.

Diet & feeding

The True Flying Fox is primarily a herbivorous fish that feeds on algae. However, to ensure their optimal health and vibrant colours, they will readily accept high-quality dried foods, such as flakes and granules and algae wafers. To diversify their diet and provide them with essential nutrients, offering them regular meals of small frozen or live foods, such as bloodworms, tubifex, or chopped white worms, is recommended. In addition, incorporating some vegetable matter into their diet, such as zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, and lettuce, can be highly beneficial.


True Flying Fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus) Freshwater Aquarium Fish Species Profile & Care Guide Thumbnail

Other Sharks you maybe interested in