Name: Myxocyprinus asiaticus
Origin: Yangtze River Basin
Myxocyprinus asiaticus - Not for home aquariums!
After a trip to the local fish store, I spotted a rather eye catching fish, called a "Chinese Hi-Fin Loach". I ignored my heart pounding impulse to buy this fish, and went home to research it. What I found amazed me! I am so glad I read as much as I could first, and left this fish in the store. I would like this information to serve as a warning to folks who may be attracted by the fish's appearance, coloration or even the word "loach" in the name. This fish is one that should never be kept in the average home aquarium! This fish is better suited for a Public Aquarium or Large Pond (large enough for Koi).
Myxocyprinus asiaticus is not a loach nor a shark at all, both of which it is commonly called. It's a Cyprinid native to China. It originates from sub-tropical waters so cool temperatures are preferred. You may find them in the "tropical" section of the local fish store; but note that high temperatures may cause discomfort shorten this fish's life span, and stunt its growth.
This fish is not suitable for home aquariums unless you have a massive setup. When I say massive, I mean thousands of liters of water. This fish can grow to 1 meter long, and they are also a shoaling species, they prefer to be kept in groups of five (5) or more, otherwise they may not fare well. With that said, you can easily see why this fish is not for a common 200 L tank. This is a fish best left for public aquariums, or Koi size ponds.
Common Names: Asian Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Sailfin Sucker, Freshwater Batfish, Hi-fin Banded Shark, Hi-fin Banded Sucker, Chinese Hi-fin Loach.
Maximum Size: 90 cm or more in length.
Housing & Diet: Cool/Cold moving water with plenty of room to swim and shoal. Pristine water condition should be met, as they are known to be sensitive to anything less than stellar water conditions. Omnivore, but prefers vegetation. Bottom dweller.
Lifespan: 20 to 25 years.
Temperature: Prefers cooler to cold water, much like goldfish and Koi/Carp.
Breeding: Reportedly lays tens of thousands of eggs.
Sexing: There does not seem to be a major difference between males and females. Hard to sex this fish. Males may or may not have longer tubercles than females, this however is not always consistent.
Coloration: Black stripes on a silvery body while young, as the fish ages, this coloration will change making the fish a dark grey color. Almost a blackish brown with age.
Other: The oddest thing about this species of fish, is that with age, this fish changes not only color, but also shape. It will lose the high dorsal fin and stripes that make it so appealing in the first place. If allowed to grow properly, it will be become a flatter, long cylinder shaped fish, that is not very pleasing to the eye at all. That adorable little fish you bought from the fish store will grown into a huge, not so pretty fish in the long run.
Pond living: As mentioned earlier, this fish is best for large ponds if you still feel the need to own them. I would use the same rule for them as for Koi.
These fish get huge! I had a 350 L tank with one of these and some other fish including a Silver Arowana (which also gets huge), 2 Distichodus, 2 Gold Datnoids and a Striped Raphael Catfish. They all grew to an enormous size and I had to donate the arowana to a public aquarium and place my Chinese sucker into a koi pond just so my fish would have room.
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