Siamese Algae Eaters: A Natural Way to Stop Annoying Algae

Siamese Algae Eaters: A Natural Way to Stop Annoying Algae

Do you ever find yourself gazing endlessly at your aquarium, pondering why a persistent, fuzzy green substance is encroaching upon the glass and decor? That rapidly spreading green growth is known as algae. It thrives due to an excess of nutrients and exposure to light in the water. Managing recurrent aquarium algae can prove incredibly vexing and time-consuming. But there may be an easy natural solution – introduce a clean-up crew of Siamese Algae Eaters to your tank.

The Origins of the Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese Algae Eater hails from the flowing rivers and streams of Southeast Asia, especially the Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. In their native habitats, the water flows rapidly enough over rocky bottoms that dense algal growth struggles to accumulate. Given this environment, Siamese Algae Eaters encounter relatively little algae naturally.

In the home aquarium, however, these algae-eating machines truly shine by feasting on forms of algae that commonly plague tanks. By providing round-the-clock algae removal services, they earn their keep by eliminating unsightly build-up that, if left unchecked, can completely coat surfaces.

Appearance and Biology of These Unique Fish

Fully grown Siamese Algae Eaters typically reach a length of approximately six inches. Their compact bodies are mostly brownish gray, sometimes with a slight green iridescence. The most striking feature is the prominent black stripe running horizontally along the entire body from nose to tail. This unmistakable racing stripe helps distinguish them from other similar fish.

With proper care, Siamese Algae Eaters typically have a lifespan ranging from five to ten years. They typically reach reproductive maturity around the age of four. Interestingly, they are somewhat gregarious when spawning, exhibiting group dynamics during mating rituals. The parents provide no care for the fertilized eggs which they scatter among tank surfaces.

Specialized Tools for Algae Elimination

Siamese Algae Eaters possess specialized body structures tailor-made for latching onto algae and scraping it from surfaces. Their small sucker-like mouths face downward, perfect for attaching to vertical and inverted areas. Combine this with an intestinal tract adapted to digest significant vegetable matter, and you have an extraordinarily proficient algae eliminator.

These fish graze actively on algae from daybreak through nightfall. Offering relentless duty, they methodically comb every inch of the aquarium multiple times seeking films of algae to consume. Simply put, their entire existence revolves around identifying and eliminating troublesome growths.

3 Top Reasons Siamese Algae Eaters Excel in Aquariums

1. They Voraciously Consume Problem Aquarium Algae

If you currently battle any of the following pesky types of algae, a Siamese Algae Eater crew awaits eager deployment for clean-up operations:

  • Green Spot Algae – forms tough circular patches on leaves
  • Hair Algae – becomes dense entangled strands
  • Brown Diatoms – these rapidly spread as dusty brown coatings

In addition, they tackle more difficult varieties like Black Beard Algae. Their downward-facing mouths enable them to graze these stubborn, bristly growths directly off surfaces.

2. They Peacefully Coexist with Numerous Fish Species

Due to relatively peaceful temperaments, Siamese Algae Eaters integrate smoothly into community aquariums. When provided with sufficient horizontal swimming space, they coexist harmoniously with many common species. Here’s a sampling of appropriate tank mates:

  • Small Tetras – Neons, Rummynose, Embers
  • Rasboras – Harlequin, Lambchop, Brilliant
  • Barbs – Cherry, Checkered
  • Danios – Zebra, Pearl, Giant
  • Dwarf Cichlids – German Blue Ram, Checkerboard
  • Gouramis – Honey, Pearl, Sparkling

3. They Require Minimal Specialized Care

Once acclimated to your particular aquarium environment, Siamese Algae Eaters prove quite hardy and undemanding. Unlike more delicate fish requiring stringent water parameters or supplementation, these algae eradicators tend to thrive under typical tropical community tank conditions.

Given their natural origin in fast-flowing waters, they appreciate moderate currents within the tank. Beyond that, simply performing regular partial water changes further ensures their health and longevity. Their adaptability makes Siamese Algae Eaters a low-maintenance fish suitable for both beginners and experts.

Crafting Optimal Housing Conditions

While Siamese Algae Eaters certainly qualify as one the most low-maintenance aquarium residents you can add, providing them an adequately equipped habitat further enhances long-term wellness. Here are some recommended water quality parameters and tank provisions:

Water Conditions

  • pH between 6.5 and 7.5
  • Temperature ranging from 75°F to 79°F
  • Moderate to strong water flow rate


  • Canister filter outlet directed to churn water
  • Air stone or surface ripple allowing gas exchange
  • Substrate appropriate for live plants (optional)

Tank Furnishings

  • Driftwood, rock structures, cave decor
  • Locations offering shaded hiding spots
  • Floating and leafy plants (actual or artificial)

Given their heavy vegetable intake, incorporate algae wafers and blanched veggies to supplement their diet. Spirulina-enriched flakes also help round out nutrition. Target feed once daily, providing only what they completely consume within a minute or two.

Remain attentive regarding signs of stress such as clamped fins, hiding, or loss of appetite. While adaptable overall, deteriorations in water quality negatively impact them rather quickly. Address water parameter fluctuations right away through testing and water changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of fish safely go with Siamese Algae Eaters?

Lots! Small tetras, rasboras, danios, dwarf gouramis, cherry barbs, White Cloud minnows, and dwarf cichlids mix well with them.

How often and what should I feed my Siamese Algae Eaters?

Feed them a vegetarian flake or algae pellet once a day. Offer blanched veggies 2-3 times a week. They also naturally snack on algae.

Is this fish effective against hard-to-kill black beard algae?

Yes! Their mouth shape lets them scrape beard algae off surfaces very efficiently. They love eating this tough hair-like algae.


Battling annoying aquarium algae doesn’t need to be hard. The Siamese Algae Eater is an ideal natural helper. Their algae-eating habits keep your tank crystal clear with little effort. This useful fish is a great way to achieve algae-free aquarium success!

Consider adding a few Siamese Algae Eaters to your tank. Enjoy watching these friendly brown and black-striped workers mow down ugly algae growth. Your tank mates will surely thank you! Soon you’ll be able to spend more relaxing time enjoying your fish instead of scrubbing algae.