What is a false siamese algae eater?

redmare

Member
I was at my LFS the other day and I saw this tank labelled false siamese algae eaters. I was wondering, is that the flying fox? How are they different from true SAEs, and how can I tell the difference? I'm thinking of having SAEs in my 80 gallon, but I keep hearing about the Chinese algae eater and the flying fox and how they look so similar but are totally different in the tank, and I really don't want to end up with the wrong one. Thanks all!
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Janice1979

Member
False Siamese is a flying fox. Flying fox are more territorial and aggressive than true Siamese algae eaters. Flying fox will often have reddish marking in the tail and or yellow in the ventral and pectoral fins. The black line on their side will only go from head to where the tail starts. With a true Siamese algae eater, it will have none of the red or yellow and the black line will go all the way to the end of the tail. A Chinese algae eater which is on occasion also confused with these two, has a more blurred edge to the black line. Those guys are also more aggressive and can grow up to a foot long.

If you search Siamese algae eater on YouTube and scroll down to the one by Uri Sasha, you can see close up video of both the Siamese algae eater and the flying fox.
 

RomanNoodles96

Member
The information above and this picture should help (the top is flying fox and bottom is true SAE). In my honest opinion from what I see in those pictures, they look like true SAE but its a little hard to tell if the line on their tails go to the very end of the tail or not.
 

Janice1979

Member
Also, it can be hard to see in a slaw tank, but Siamese algae eater will only have 2 barbels on the mouth; one either side. Flying fox have a total of 4; so 2 on either side.
 

chromedome52

Member
Janice1979 said:
False Siamese is a flying fox. Flying fox are more territorial and aggressive than true Siamese algae eaters. Flying fox will often have reddish marking in the tail and or yellow in the ventral and pectoral fins. The black line on their side will only go from head to where the tail starts. With a true Siamese algae eater, it will have none of the red or yellow and the black line will go all the way to the end of the tail. A Chinese algae eater which is on occasion also confused with these two, has a more blurred edge to the black line. Those guys are also more aggressive and can grow up to a foot long.

If you search Siamese algae eater on YouTube and scroll down to the one by Uri Sasha, you can see close up video of both the Siamese algae eater and the flying fox.
The False SAE is not the Flying Fox, it is Garra taeniata. Flying Fox is darker and more colorful than either of those species. Garra does not have the lateral band going into the caudal fin. Hard to see in the photo provided, but I'd say they are Garra.
 

Janice1979

Member
Thanks chromedome52 I learned something new. It’s not 2 but 3 fish species commonly mistaken for each other; I guess.
 

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