Siamese Flying Fox

Flying Fox Shark
Flying Fox Shark
Flying Fox Shark
Flying Fox Shark
If you have clumps of that green hair or black beard algae growing in your tank then you might want to consider adding the resourceful Siamese Flying Fox to your aquarium. These fish are well known for grazing on hair or beard algae, but in addition is a fine looking fish that is extremely reliable, peaceful and long lived.

Common Name(s) : Flying Fox, Siamese Flying Fox, Flying Fox Shark, Real Flying Fox Shark

Family : Cyprinidae


Species : Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus

Origin : Asia –   Borneo, Java and Sumatra in Indonesia of Southeast Asia. They are also found in Thailand.

PH : 6.0 – 8.0

Hardness : Soft to Hard

Temperature : 24 – 28°C / 75–82°F

Maximum Size : 15cm / 6″

Lifespan : 6-8 years

Aggression Level : Low (2/10)

Recommended Tank Size : 30 Litres +

Strata : Bottom Half


Flying Foxes being bottom dwellers enjoy plants, rocks or ornaments for areas of cover. These fish are perfect to go with plants as they keep them free of hair algae.


  • Tropical Fish
  • Dwarf Cichlids


Omnivores, in the aquarium they will take a wide range of foods including flake, pellets, vegetables, bloodworm or brine shrimp.


Sexing is difficult, however females are plumper.

It is unlikely these fish will breed in the aquarium.


If you keep a Bristlenose Catfish to keep algae down on the glass of your tank you might consider getting a couple of these guys to totally control all types of algae in the freshwater aquarium.

The Siamese Flying Fox is every aquarists’ dream. Originating in fast flowing streams in Thailand, they are hardy, attractive, active and a fast swimmer. They thrive best in schools but can also be kept alone or in pairs.

The flying fox fish has a elongated body with a flat abdominal area. Its dorsal area has a coloration ranging from olive to dark brown. The lower half of its body has a yellowish white hue. A brownish-black line is apparent from its mouth, eye and the caudal fins. On top of this brownish-black line is a gold-colored stripe.  They feature a set of barbells around their mouth and a stressed fish may see its black stripe fade.

Flying foxes are strong jumpers and should not be kept in an uncovered tank.

Flying Foxes grow to an impressive 10-15cm and are great community fish for a typical tropical setup. Amore common size is 12cm in an aquarium.

Those with a planted tank, take note, these fish rarely damage live plants, they just clean them. They are the perfect addition for the planted tank.

The hardiness of this fish is one of its best features. They can tolerate a PH between 5.5 to 8.0 – but a PH of 6.5-7.5 is best. They prefer softer water but seem to do well in a wide range of water hardness.

They readily take tropical flake food but should be supplemented with algae wafers once all the algae is gone. Green food such as algae wafers or some zuccini or cucumber should be fed to ensure plants remain untouched. They also accept frozen foods.

Females are rounder than males but generally both are a slender type fish. There have been limited reports of them breeding in a tank.

Your Flying Fox should survive at least 5 years and there are reports of them lasting 10 years in the aquarium. 


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