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Flying fox

Flying Fox Fish Species:

The flying fox is green algae consuming fresh water fish that is popular as an aquarium pet.

In the aquarium fish trade, it is referred to as kuonobarbi and often mistaken for the Siamese Algae eater. The flying fox fish has a characteristically long body with a flat abdominal area that is yellowish white in color.

The dorsal area has a distinctive olive to dark brown coloring and a black line is apparent from the mouth, the eyes and caudal fin. Right on top of this black stripe, the fish is marked by a gold colored stripe and its iris may have a red tinge.

In an aquarium setting they grow to an average length of 4.7 inches, although some are known to grow up to 6 inches. A native of the fast-flowing foot hill rivers of Java, Sumatra and Borneo, they are also found in some parts of Thailand.

Flying foxes are known as community fish and are compatible with angelfish, acaras, barbs, danios, gouramis, knifefish, eartheaters, loaches, rasboras and tetras. Some aquarium fish keepers are also known to keep flying fox fish alone in tanks in schools. It is always best to put them with other fish as a group of flying foxes may exhibit territorial behavior and lone foxes are known to challenge other fishes for dominance. This is particularly evident when put in with male paradise fish as they are likely to chase each other, especially in tight circles. While neither is usually injured, the flying fox loses almost always. As regards diet, although predominantly green algae eaters, they are omnivorous and can be fed food in the form of tablets, wafers and flakes.

Vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and zucchini as well as live tubifex worms, planarias, crustaceans, and other aquatic insects can be made part of their diet. In an aquarium, they are known to live for eight to ten years although it is extremely difficult to identify gender and they hardly ever reproduce in an aquarium environment. The fish require a thirty to forty gallon tank that is lined with very fine gravel substrate. Since they are bottom dwellers in the wild, they will require rocks, broad leaved plants and driftwood to serve as hiding places whenever they feel threatened. The tank has to be provided with adequate lighting as they are algae eaters and they survive in aquarium water that has a 6-7.5 PH reading and temperatures between 23 to 27 C.

  Submitted on February 5, 2010