Name: Botia histrionica
I bought one of these little guys to add to my 100 L community tank. Petsmart had it labeled as a Zebra loach, but after checking this web site, I found out differently. I am very new to aquarium keeping, but am having a great time with it. This little fellow loves to dig through the gravel for food, is really active, but at the same time loves hiding behind the rocks. My Burmese loach's colors are not nearly as brilliant as this picture, I not sure why.
I stumbled upon these neat looking loaches at my pet store, and the owner, intrigued by "not the run of the line" fish, recommended them. They are a riot, they are fun to watch and treat all depths of the tank equally. Instead of just living on the bottom, they hang out on my decorations and on plants and the heater clips. I highly recommend these to spruce up your tank.
Though I agree with the posts on this page, some of them appear to be about the YoYo Loach (a.k.a. the Pakistani Loach, Botia lohachata, currently Botia almorhae) and therefore made in error. The Botia histrionica is a unique fish, although they are probably sold as the aformentioned Botia almorhae due to the fact that the markings and coloration are incredibly close. The difference being this fish has a black and gold zigzag stripe and the almorhae's stripes loosely form the words Yo Yo, hence that name.
This is a truly striking fish - a wonderful addition to the community tank. It is often confused with B. almorhae, (formerly B. lohachata) the YoYo or Pakistani loach. These are two completely different loach species. B. histrionica are not so commonly seen in stores (in the UK) whereas virtually every store stocks B. almorhae. If you have a 'Burmese' loach with paler colouration it will most likely be B. almorhae. The two loach species look very similar as juveniles, hence the easy confusion. However, as adults, the YoYo's stripes fade to grey, whereas the Burmese loach remains black and white. The eyes of the Burmese loach are larger and contain blue on close inspection - the YoYo has smaller black centred/pale ringed eyes with NO blue.
B. histrionica prefer to be kept in groups, but are compatible with other loaches of similar temperament, and will shoal together. As with all fish purchases, ensure you obtain a healthy, well-fed specimen. My B. histrionica is now about 12 months old and lives happily with two B. almorhae, plus one B. kubotai. A group needs a large aquarium - ideally 200 L or upwards with plenty of places to hide, chase and play. A sandy substrate is preferred to allow burrowing. I have been worried at not being able to find my Burmese loach on several occasions, until I discovered the crack in the bogwood he hides in!
I found these fish in a local fish store near my home a year or so ago, when I was searching around for a unique loach to go into my 200 liter tank, and boy when I saw these guys I knew they were the ones. They were labeled as Zebra Loaches and there were only 3 of them amongst 15 regular Zebra Loaches. I decided to pick them up and I am very glad I did so. They are one of the most lively loaches I have ever kept and always seem to be out and about exploring whatever seems fun that day. They only grow to just under 15cm and are very peaceful to all other fishes. They enjoy being together and seem to develop a pecking order amongst themselves when feeding. A very beautiful and somewhat rare loach to find, but excellent for the medium-large community aquarium keeper.
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