Loaches/Botias
Some good looking loaches and how to care for them

 
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LA
Every tank deserves a clown loach.  Use this link to zip over to the most popular loach.


Clown Loach.  Clown loaches look good at any age.  They improve as they mature.  Their specialized mouths make then excellent eradicators of snails.  Their little switchblade in front of each eye, enables them to plow thru the gravel.  They also use it when threatened by larger tank mates.  We have seen these grow as large as a foot long -- but not in smaller tanks.  Clown loaches display better in small schools.  They get along great.  You may run across a larger (and uglier) royal clown loach.  Not really a close relative but they do cost a bundle.

LA
Most loaches like to loaf or hide all day, then come out at night to boogie.

LA
Four-inch red-tail loach.  They also suck snails.  This guy's in an ich quarantine tank.

LA
These retractable switchblade knives do several jobs.

Red-Tail Loach.  Red-tail loaches are sort of a more economical version of the clown loach.  Peaceful?  Some say yes.  We still prefer to mix them with larger and more aggressive fishes.  Those knives in front of their eyes protect their eyes when they burrow into the substrate.  They come into play in some of their territorial disputes with their own species.  They also teach aggressive tank mates to keep their distance.   Red-tail loaches mix well with American cichlids.  You can also use them with African cichlids but keep your eye on them.  Ich cures with malachite green can wipe these guys out.

LA
Little guys especially cannot stand up to malachite.

LA
Waste not.  Want not.

LA
Dozen mixed painted red-tails living with six two-inch red devils.

Painted Red-Tail Loaches.  You can find painted red-tail loaches in blue, red, and purple.  Actually, the original looks better.  Remember that red-tails grow to nine inches and like to argue/fight with each other or any fish they think looks like a relative.

LA
After the paint job wears off, these guys still look pretty good.

LA 
Small red-tails are not as colorful as adults especially over light colored gravel.

LA 
After their tank stabilized, these guys looked even better.

LA
Raspberry "follow the leader."

LA
Skunks like to run in packs.  They like snails on their menu.  They have the eye spine.

LA 
Their eye spines will also slice you.  Never pick up a botia with your bare hands. 

LA 
Weighing in at a massive 1.5 inches, these dudes grow to 3 and get aggressive. 

LA 
Skunks like to hang with their own kind.  They get meaner later.  Good with cichlids.

LA
It only took three days for them to get mean.  We moved these guys fast.

LA
Skunk loaches get along fine with African cichlids.  Same personalities.

 

LA Pic 
Pakistani or yo-yo loach.  Any fish with this snout likes snails.

 
 
LA
Can you see the "yo-yo pattern?"  Grows to four inches.  Schools like the clowns.  Lives a couple decades.  Pretty.  Good community fish.  Does not need a hiding place.  Will use one if you provide it.  A dozen will burrow under a flat piece of slate laid on the gravel if you provide it.

LA
Ich can kill them and so can ich cures.  Use malachite carefully.

LA
But if one dies, you can see the knives that pop out in front of his eyes.

LA
Mongoose loach.

LA
Another mongoose (whatever that is).  Looks a lot different.

LA Pic
Dario botia in African cichlid tank.

LA
More dario botias about two-inches long

LA
Dario loach.

LA Pic
Red-tail loach.  

LA Pic 
Looks like a kuhli.  Treat it like a kuhli. 

LA Pic  
Obviously you don't put these guys in with worm eaters.

LA Pic
We just don't know much about these new to us critters.

LA Pic
Sure do look like kuhlis.

LA Pic
This gives you an idea of the size of these little guys. 

LA Pic
Another DOA specimen.

LA
Also called red-tail loach.  Also new to us.  Not as skinny as the preceding red-tail loach.

LA Pic 
Another new loach.  Sand loach.  Aren't they all?

LA 
Not hiders like the kuhlis.  They act more like weather loaches -- only less flighty.

LA
They darken as they grow.  Friendly little schoolers.

LA
Same thing?  Larger but acts the same.  Not shy.  Sold to us as Schistura kongpheng.  

LA
Every community tank needs at least one kuhli loach.
  Usually thought of as hardworking scavengers in community tanks, the kuhli loach also looks good.  You’ll find several species on the market.  Link on over to the kuhli loach file for a better look.

LA 
Horseface loaches prefer to bury themselves under the substrate.  They love a sand substrate.  No matter what substrate you provide, they dive under it.  Grows to eight inches.  If you put 20 in a tank with small gravel, you won't see them most of the time.

LA Pix
Horses can't hide in a bare tank, so they hate it.  They prefer to stay less visible.  They darken or lighten their colors to try to blend into the substrate.

LA
Boy, these guys are hard to photograph.

LA 
Here's one in a net.  See the horsy face?

LA Pic
Facial knives on horsefaces are not very large.

LA
Mooseface loach.  Very bad pic.

 

LA
Rostratus -- 10 inside this ceramic log.

  LA
Botia striata, striped loach, zebra loach.  Goldfish, snails and plecos in there as test critters.

LA
Ten striatas dropped into an African cichlid tank an hour ago.  Not quite comfortable yet.

LA
Tiger loaches?

LA 
Tiger loach.  Good looking fish by any standard.  Not as mean as the name implies. 
Various tiger loaches get scrappy.  This guy will stand up to many African cichlids.  Grows to three inches.

LA
Some 1.5-inch zipper loaches.  We know nothing about these loachy-looking little guys.

LA
Except that they get along with other community fish -- like this honey gourami.

LA
Two-inch zipper loach.

LA
Three-inch zipper loach.

LA
And as they adapt, zipper loaches just keep getting better looking.

LA
Who's the little (under an inch) loaches schooling with these neons?

  LA Pix

LA  
Dwarf or monkey loaches are back this year after a very long absence and a huge price increase.  They can be surprisingly scrappy.  They like to school together.  As they mature they get prettier and bitier.  We've seen pictures of these guys taken from the wild at five inches.  We've never seen a real one as long as two inches.  They fear nothing at the two-inch size and school at mid-level.

LA
Another red-tail loach -- banded red-tail loach.  1.5 inches.

LA
Botia angelicus.  Under 2 inches.

LA
hard to get a picture of the angelicus.  Note the switchblades.

LA
Switchblades more apparent here.

LA
Queen botia.  Under 3 inches.  Pricey.  New to tank.  Shy.  Has to be flushed out.

LA
Another queen.  Just as shy.  They better look better later or they're over-priced.

LA
Looking better but still very shy.  Hiding inside a resin ship wreck.

LA

LA
Two-inch moon gobies.  New to us 9.27.04.

LA
Three-inch red-lipped loach 10.30.04.  Not very red lips on this one.

LA
Another lipstick loach.

LA
Also sold to us as a red-lipped loach.  Looks like a striata with lipstick.

LA
Here you see him harassing an African cichlid.

LA
Seldom seen green-striped loach.
  
LA.

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