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FLYING FOX (Epalzeorhyncus kalopterus)

FLYING FOX (Epalzeorhyncus kalopterus)

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The Flying Fox is known from the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, plus Peninsular Malaysia, and southern Thailand. Here, it is found in rivers and streams with moderate current, over rocky and sandy substrates. It is frequently observed underneath floating objects such as boats, floating houses, and dense pockets of surface vegetation. The aquarium should be mature, and at least 4ft (120cm) long with areas of decent water movement and a good level of oxygenation. The Flying Fox is usually reasonably peaceful towards other fish, but adults can be rather territorial with their own kind and similar-looking species. It is best maintained singly or in groups of 5 or more in aquaria with plenty of visual barriers amongst the decor. In numbers less than this, they will frequently squabble amongst themselves, so always aim for a good sized group in order that no single fish bears the continual brunt of any aggression. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a soft sand or very fine rounded gravel substrate, and furnished with cobbles, smooth rocks, and bogwood pieces. Lighting can be fairly bright to encourage algae growth, which the fish will enjoy browsing on for the micro-organisms it may contain. Shady areas can be provided with the layout of the rockwork/bogwood, and by growing canopies of hardy plants such as Anubias sp. or Java fern (both tied to the driftwood). Some thought should be given to creating a number of visual barriers within the aquarium at the time of aquascaping, so if any minor territorial disputes do arise, the fish can get away from the other"™s line of sight. Bottom dwelling tankmates could include many of the peaceful botiid river loaches, the nemacheilid brook loaches, and suckermouth catfish. For the upper levels, consider some of the BariliusDanioDevarioOpsarius, and smaller members of the Puntius genus (research individual species to ensure compatibility before purchase though, as not every species from these genera will be suitable). Flying Foxes can be fairly boisterous at feeding times and are not recommended for housing alongside slow-moving laterally-compressed fish such as discus or angelfish. As with other fish that inhabit flowing waters, these fish are sensitive to the build-up of organic wastes, so ensure the tank is efficiently filtered and regular partial water changes are carried out in order to keep nitrate to a minimum. Ensure that the tank has tight fitting coverslides and there are no gaps where equipment feeds into the tank, as Flying Foxes are expert jumpers. Not to be confused with the algae-eating Siamese Flying Fox (Crossocheilus siamensis).


This species enjoys grazing on the micro-organisms found within algal growths in the aquarium; it should not be considered an algae-eater, as some sources erroneously suggest. Offer plenty of small meaty items such as bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, chopped Mysis shrimp etc, along with a variety of sinking catfish pellets/granules/wafers and some fresh vegetable matter.


This species has not been bred in the home aquarium.




Distribution Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Maximum Size 16cm (6.3")
Temperature 24-26°C
Water Parameters Soft and slightly acidic to neutral is best long-term. pH: 6.2-7.0, dH: up to 12 degrees.
Compatibility Community with caution
Lighting Bright
Sexual Dimorphism In mature fish, females will be fuller bodied.

Flake, granules, pellets, algae wafers and frozen foods

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