Loaches

fast facts

About Loaches

Size
Small
Group
Freshwater
Temperament
Non-aggressive
Aquarium Size
Large (50+ gal)
Swimming Region
Bottom
Fish Water Condition
Suitable Tank Mates
Barbs, Danios, Tetras, Guppies, Mollies, Swordtails, Gourami
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly care
Loaches General description


Loaches are a large family of highly intelligent freshwater fish. There are over 200 different species of loaches and they are characterized by their eel-like bodies. Most species of loaches also have 3-6 pairs of barbells which are used as feelers. They are an extremely intelligent and sociable species of aquarium fish and make for fascinating additions to your aquarium.


Loaches are a large family of highly intelligent freshwater fish.


Origins


Loaches are native to Central and Southern Asia.


Color


Loaches come in colors ranging from red, yellow, gold, brown, and black.


Maintenance and care

Loaches are one of the most sociable species of freshwater fish and should ideally be kept in groups of three or more. They often form very strong bonds with each other and can sometimes suffer from stress if one of its companions dies or goes missing. When given adequate care, some species of loach can live for up to 20 years and make for a very rewarding aquarium experience.


Loaches spend the majority of their time swimming and foraging along the aquarium bottom. They will often uproot plants and disturb rocks, pieces of wood and other tank decorations. This should be taken into account when setting up a loach aquarium. They will often borrow into an aquarium’s bottom if provided with soft substrate. They also like to establish a complex network of hiding places to which they will retreat to often. Most species of loach are nocturnal and also appreciate dimly lit aquariums. Some species of loach can also grow up to 12 inches in length and should be raised in an adequately sized aquarium.


Loaches are an extremely peaceful species of fish and can be kept with most other species of aquarium fish.


Feeding


Loaches are omnivorous and will accept a wide variety of foods. Since they are bottom feeders, sinking pellet type varieties of aquarium foods should be used to feed them. Their diet should also be supplemented with plenty of fresh vegetable matter like cucumbers and lettuce.


Loaches are one of the most sociable species of freshwater fish and should ideally be kept in groups of three or more.


Breeding


Breeding loach is extremely difficult and very rare in the home aquarium. They form very strong social bonds and will sometimes engage in a complex courtship dance, spiraling around each other in a vertical movement.


Aquarium varieties


Clown Loach, Kuhli Loach, Dwarf Loach, Yoyo Loach, Zebra Loach, etc.


Photo credit: Vlad Butsky/Flickr; Opencage.com

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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