The Flying Fox, Epalzeorhynchos kalopterum (Epalzeorhynchos is neuter, so if the species name is an adjective – as in this case – it must end in the Latin neuter suffix -um), originates from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, where it is a resident of flowing waters that carry deep dark brown black water. They are probably the most beautiful algae eaters of all. From time to time we have offspring on offer, which is why only relatively rarely wild catches are imported. Currently, however, we have once again received adult specimens via Singapore, whereby “adult” refers to the wild animals. In the wild they reach 10-12 cm in length, while old aquarium specimens are said to have grown up to 16 cm. This is because fish grow throughout their lives (albeit slowly and little after reaching sexual maturity), and since such a Flying Fox will easily live up to 10-15 years in the aquarium (hardly ever over 3 years in the wild), they can grow quite large under certain circumstances.
You will certainly not keep these beauties only because of their algae-eating properties, especially since adult animals are rather to be classified as “lazy” in this respect, in contrast to 3-4 cm long juveniles, but they still have to grow.
Among themselves, the animals can be quarrelsome, which is why you can often keep only one specimen in smaller aquariums. In large tanks (from 150 cm), which are also furnished with a lot of root wood, this is much less unpleasant. Although the fish form a hierarchy, which is strictly observed, they are often found resting together in the same hiding place. If you want to try a group keeping, there should not be less than 8 specimens, so that this behavior can develop. Epalzeorhynchos kalopterum are usually peaceful against fishes of other species as long as they don´t look similar to the Flying Fox.
For our customers: the animals have code 415306 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply wholesale. Only a few specimens available!
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer