What do you need to know about loaches

Aqua Tropical Fish LoachesI am going to start out on saying that almost all loaches want to be in groups. Loaches are not scaless fish; their scales are tiny and closely knit, giving the illusion that they are scaless. That being, they are still highly vulnerable to salt and medication, as they can easily burn the loach’s body. No salt should ever be used with loaches, as the ‘cure’ can be fatal.

The first loach I am going to talk about is the clown loach (Chromobotia macracanthus). These like to be kept in groups peferably 4+. These are sold small and rarely ever bigger then 3″. Once they hit the 4″ they grow very slow, 1″ to 1″ and half a year. I would recommended them growing out in nothing smaller then a 75 and need to be a 125-150 when full grown.  They grow to somewhere around 14-16 inches long and when mature the females get more plump. As like most loaches they are snail eaters. They like blood worms and insect larvae.

A more smaller species is the yo-yo loach (Pakistani). These are ideal snail eaters and will eat everyone in your tank. They also do good in groups 5+. They are planted tank friendly and are very nice fish. The top out at around 6 inches and pretty peaceful. They don’t get along with shrimp and will eat them (watched first hand). They like well oxygenated water and don’t mind currents.

This is one of my favorite loaches, and Its called the Horseface loach (Acantopsis choirorhynchos). I have kept these in groups 3 to 5. They can be territorial so i recommend 1 loach per 35 gallons and add another 10 gallon for each additional loach. They need to be kept in sand, they like to hide and play in it. They also need lots of hiding spaces and need to fed at night. They enjoy any type of live foods, and might have to ween off of them. I feed my NLS, live and frozen brine shrimp. They prefer lower PH (6.0-7.2).

The smallest of the loaches is the Dwarf Loach (Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki). No reason should they be kept in groups under 7 loaches. They are one of the most social fish and need the groups. They are a bit pricey so i would save up before buying them. They like to be kept in lower ph (6.0 range) and  could be kept as high as 7.5.

Kuhli loachs (Pangio kuhlii) is a nice little fish. they need hiding spaces and like groups of 4+. They should not be kept in anything smaller then a 45, do to the activeness at night. They accept wide variety of food and range of water quality. There are pretty hardy and great little fish.

Article by Adam