I thoroughly enjoy keeping my gold dojo loach. It is a voracious eater and will do an excellent job in keeping your gravel clean from food. The diet of my dojo consists of flake food, tubifex worms, algae wafers, food wafers, and maybe an occasional bloodworm that manages to find its way past everyone else. I have found it to be easy to keep and haven't ever had any health issues with it. They do need to be kept in at least pairs with other dojos because they like the company of other dojos. Mine is kept in a 280 liter moderately planted community tank with many caves and crevices for it to hide in and explore. The pH is ~6.8 and the temperature is 24°C. The gold dojo is an avid swimmer and they will race back and forth along the entire length of the tank for hours on end...occasionally stopping to search for food. It's for this reason I recommend at least a 110 liter tank for your dojo. I also recommend a fine sand bottom for your dojo to burrow down into as this is one of their favorite pastimes. Coarse materials with sharp edges such as crushed coral should be avoided because of the increased potential for injury to your dojo during their digging. Sexing your dojo can be done by observing the pectoral fins. They are larger on males than on females with the first three spines being more prominent. Breeding is difficult and requires a coldwater environment with a water temperature in the 10-15°C range. A dojo loach is an awesome addition to a tank and will provide you with many laughs as well as a clean floor. Once acclimated to your tank they become quite friendly and will most likely want to assist you with your tank maintenance by crawling over your hand.
I have one of these in my Angelfish tank. He is about 15 cm long and is a yellowish color. He loves to eat the baby snails in my tank and eats the left over food from my angels. They are a wonderful bottom feeder and are really hardy and cool fish. I would recommend this fish to anyone.
Silly String - that's what I named our weather loach! I call her my under water ferret! She is so entertaining that friends at work, who have met her, talk about her and her antics! One of her favorite games is to "herd" the three large goldfish in her tank! When I first bought her and saw her doing this, I thought she was biting the goldfish and I made a quiet dash for the net, ready to pull her out. Then I took a moment and watched, she would swim up to one of the fish and push its side with her mouth, the fish would take off swimming and she would stay so close that I thought she had suctioned herself to it's side! Again I put the net in the water, this had to stop! The net stopped the "game" and something told me to just wait. I pulled it out, grabbed my coffee in one hand and the net in the other. A while later I saw the goldfish swim up to her and initiate the game and they were off!
I have had a Weather Loach, named Terry, for about a year. He is about 15 cm long now. Recently, I made a mistake that nearly cost him his life. I had been planting some new flora in his tank, and accidentally loosened the intake pipe to the filter. During the night, the pipe fell away from the filter, and Terry, the inquisitive soul that he is, swam up into the filter, and was nearly killed by the impeller. I was awoken about 4 AM from a mechanical ruckus in his tank. I ran over, and could with my bleary eyes see that a fish was in the filter, thrashing frantically. As quickly as I could, but not fast enough, I dumped him back in the tank. Now, it was dark, so it took me a bit to get the fish out, because he was in the U shaped part, and I had to pull it off. As soon as I had dumped the fish in the tank I put the filter back in place and turned on the light. Poor weather loach! His face was all beaten up, most of his mouth gone, no barbels, one eye gone, and the other eye badly damaged, I am sure he was completely blinded. It was a horrible sight. I was so heart sick, and I was sure he would pass on, or that I would have to euthanize him. As I did not want to do that without giving him a chance, I started treating him with a tee tree extract, a medicine I hear folks talking about for regenerating lost fins and preventing infections. Amazingly, after 3 days, he started poking his head out of his cave, and I could see that tender, pink flesh was regenerating on his face! Over the course of a month, he has re-grown his face, mouth, barbels, and lastly his normal coloration over the new skin. He may even have some eyesight restored! The eye that remained has changed from milky white back to normal coloration, and as best as I can tell, he does see where he is going. He happily uproots my plants, burrows in the substrate, lounges about, plays, and enjoys life. This is a hardy fish indeed! But please! Cover all holes and pipes that you do not want your loach to swim through!
I have only kept one Dojo in my entire time fish keeping but he's allready one of my favorite fish. Generally speaking, they are a coldwater fish but can be kept in waters with temperatures in the lower 20's (°C). Mine is kept with a school of Bronze Corries and both the corries and the loach seem to enjoy one another's company and even play tag around the tank. If you get this fish, you'd better get used to them rearranging. I have a plastic plant in my tank that the fish and I are constantly fighting about. I'll put the plant toward the back and he'll dig it up and move it to the middle seemingly to spite me. They are intelligent fish though-mine's even started taking food from my hand. They do get quite large and need large tanks, but they are one of the funnest fish to have if you have the energy to keep up with their many antics.
After reading your web page I decided to put my dojo loach into my pond. He survived last winters very cold temperatures and increased in size. I decided to give him a mate and they are now breeding. I look forward to seeing how they get on this winter. Incidently, if the bigger of the two wants to come up to the surface, he hangs on to one of my goldfish so that he can stay on the surface for a while.
I have a six inch weather loach called Nessie after the Loch Ness monster, which is what he reminds me of. He is our favourite part of our aquarium, a real character. He lets us hold him in our hands under water, eats from our hands and likes to be gently stroked. Loaches are the most engaging of all fish and have real personalities, not unlike dogs. Short of coming when he's called, he's extremely personable and friendly. Now that we've had a loach, I don't see the point in having a tank set up without one. He's so entertaining!