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Botia lohachata/almorhae
Pakistani Loach, YoYo Loach

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > YoYo Loach - Botia lohachata

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Botia_lohachata_2.jpg (25kb)
Photo Credit: Eugene Kornienko

I have 3 yo-yo's in a 200 L with 4 clown loaches and some large cichlids. The cichlids do not bother the loaches at all, and the different species will sometimes all sleep in the same hidey-holes. The yo-yo's like to perch on top of the highest pieces of driftwood in the tank, and are active throughout the day. I have had them almost 2 years, and the largest is 10 cm now. They like to chase each other in play, and scavenge around looking for bits of food that the messy cichlids leave behind, so they make a great cleanup crew. Of course, they do get their own special foods as well. They really like sinking carnivore pellets, and shrimp pellets. I would consider the yo-yo's more aggressive than clown loaches, they might bother slow-moving fishes like bettas. Once one of mine showed aggression toward another. He would seem to "bite" the other loach, you could actually hear it. He did this repeatedly, and a blood spot was visible finally. Thankfully, this only happened that one time, and never again did I see any real aggressive behavior between them again. Mine will also eagerly come to the surface to feed on floating cichlid pellets of flake foods. Best kept in a group of 3 or more as they will develop a pecking order and will be less likely to harass other fish. I have read they can live as long as 16 years of age! They are very hardy, I have never had an Ich outbreak like with my clown loaches. Highly recommend this loach, they are very entertaining to watch and will not outgrow a smaller size aquarium. The name has been updated to Botia almorhae. [Editor's note: according to, B. lohachata and B. almorhae are two different species - MA.]

Contributed by a visitor

I bought 2 of these guys when my tank was being over-run by plant eating snails. They cleaned up the snail problem within weeks of being introduced to my tank. They have survived a 5 hour move and a totally new set-up of the tank. The only problems I've seen with them are aggression towards each other.

Contributed by Virginia Watford

I have had 3 of these rather energetic fish for around 8 months, along with 2 orange finned loaches. I have to say they are really peaceful, always playing with each other and they have never been a problem, except when they uproot my plants.

Contributed by Ashley Broadhurst

I've had yoyo loaches for about 3 months now, and I think they are such a great fish! I have found them to be a great community fish. I have observed, however, they may be a little nippy, but I don't think they are capable of harming anything. I would recommend them to anybody as long as you have a lid on top of your tank (I've had one jump out and dry up before I could come to it's rescue) and your nitrate and nitrite levels are around 0 ppm. Good luck on this interesting, playful fish!

Contributed by a visitor

I bought one of these after I was over run with snails. I new there were fish that would eat snails, but I have a small 75 liter community tank and everybody in the tank has to be friends. It would be tragic if my 10 year old daughter came in and one of the fish was someone's lunch. My wife found out about the Yoyo and that it might just do the trick. So we went out to see if we could find one, which didn't take long to find. So when I put the fish in the tank I was delighted to see it make short work of the snail infestation. It has it's little hiding spots, which there's no way you can chase it out of. The other night I had my brother over and I wanted to show him the Yoyo, so everytime it ventured out I told my brother to come take a look. It was as though the fish new he was coming over because before my brother could get to the tank for a better look the fish was safe in it's hiding place.

Contributed by Ian Allan

I have a Yoyo loach that is about 3 months old, he is 6 cm in length. He has made his home in a 250 L tank with 7 cichlids, an Oscar, 2 tiger barbs, a kuhli loach, a bumblebee catfish, and a black shark. He likes to be in charge of the tank by chasing the other fish around, but he doesn't cause any damage to the other fish. This consumes all of his time when he is not hiding. He is a fun fish to watch and I'm glad I bought him when I had the chance. He is also a very hardy fish and is a good addition to anyone's tank, but if you are trying to net him, watch out for the spines on the inside of his fins, they got me once and drew blood.

Contributed by Bryan

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