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Beaufortia kweichowensis
Chinese Hillstream Loach

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Chinese Hillstream Loach - Beaufortia kweichowensis

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I originally had two of these in a coldwater tank. They are extremely terriorial and would fight furiously for the best spots. Eventually the smaller one managed to kill the larger one. Since then it has looked much happier and is very active. Recently, it has started burrowing in the gravel for food and spends less time sucking algae off the plants and glass. When I had two I noticed that they can also change colour. Mine is usually a dark grey with red fin edges. When cleaning the tank and trying to net him he changed to a yellowish colour to blend in with the gravel.

Contributed by Peter Keightley

Since catching these guys can be a challenge, I've started using the 'jar' technique. You can use a mason jar, or one of the acrylic boxes that the LFS has hanging on the side of the tank when they are netting fish. Just place the jar over the loach when it is attached to the glass, then slide the jar on the glass slightly until the loach releases it's grasp and swims off...into the jar! Much les stressful on both the fish and owner!

Contributed by Marsha Finley

I have two of these guys in a 60 cm coldwater tank with four Fairground Goldfish and an acclimatised Chinese Algae Eater (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri). Everyone seems to have found their place in the tank and there is no fighting or fin pecking, though the Goldfish were curious for a couple of days. The hillstreams are not shy and spread their time between the filter, a 10 cm rock, the plant leaves and the tank glass. When I do catch them swimming, it's both fast and graceful. After I've fed the goldfish on a night I drop in an algae wafer for the hillstreams. I've had them five months and they've grown nearly twice their original size so I must be doing something OK. I ordered mine specially after seeing them on this webpage and then reading that they like cooler temps. They cost about 3 or $5 here in the UK and since I got my two I've seen them sold as Chinese Sucker loaches and Chinese plecs. I think they're fantastic to watch, I have read that they're not suitable to be kept with Goldfish but that is not my experience.

Contributed by Paul Luby

I bought a "rock sucker" to help clean the algae in our community tank. This is being restocked following a horrendous loss of all but an amano shrimp and a macrobrachium of some sort (still to identify properly) due to our inexperience. I could not find it in my Baensch Aquarium Atlas under this name or any similar, so I went through page by page to see if I could find it. I did after a while under river loaches/hillstream loaches. I think ours is a Leverett's Hillstream Loach, although from the pictures the Spotted Hillstream Loach is similar. It was in the tropical freshwater tank in the shop but I became very worried when I read that the temp needs to be 24C or below, as ours is a tropical freshwater tank. However it seems to be doing very well, our temperature ranging between 24-26C since he has been in. I was reassured by the comments on this page that some of you are able to keep it at about 27C as this summer the temperature in our tank rocketed to 29-30C. I would definately recommend it as it is quite an interesting character to watch and a peaceful addition to the tank. It does spend most of the day time on the side of the tank, but also likes the flat rocks. It rests on the underside from time to time. It appears to be most active in the evening and will feed from the bottom on sand substrate. Its only "aggressive" behaviour is when it tries to get the apple snail off a sinking algae wafer, although I find the Otocinclus and the Corydoras also have this trouble with the snail!

Contributed by Penny West

I have a very active hillstream loach living in a tank at 24C. I bought two of them a year ago, unaware that this fish likes to live in colder water. One loach died, so I researched further, which led to my increasing aeration a *great deal* :). The surviving loach has since prospered, and it is a fascinating creature! It will actually emerge from the water to eat freeze-dried shrimp. It most frequently sticks to the glass, but also skates through the tank or skims across my decorative rocks. Eventually, this fish will be moved to a cool water tank, but for others with loaches that seem inactive, I recommend adding another air wand.

Contributed by Mary B.

These pages have enough comments to give the reader a basic idea on the topic. Further comments are still very welcome (through the site's contact form) as long as they provide new and/or advanced information not yet discussed in the existing ones.

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