Name: Yasuhikotakia modesta
Origin: Southeast Asia
The Orange-fin is certainly my favorite species. Very active and with unique personalities often associated with loaches. Be sure to have plenty of hiding places even though they can be quite active in the open during the day or night. Best kept in groups of three or more as they are highly social. Feed them plenty of crustaceans such as brine shrimp to bring out the color in their fins!
Botia modesta is also my favorite loach. I use them as "scavengers" in Lake Malawi cichlid tanks. They do a great job, and can handle their tankmates easily. Botia loaches have a sharp spine near their eyes - and they will use them to retaliate against would be bullies. In fact, I've seen large Botias dominate cichlid tanks. Botias love meaty foods (especially worms), but will eat almost anything. They love snails, and will quickly eliminate all of them from an aquarium. I agree with the other comment - best kept in groups. Like most loaches, they often chase each other, making a clicking noise. B. modesta can be territorial with other fish, so be careful what you mix them with.
When I first got my orange fin loach, he chased 3 small corydoras in my quarantine tank. I though the would be too aggressive for my 120 cm community tank, but once there he teamed up with the three clown loaches (although he is defintely the boss) and now swims with them a lot. He leaves all the other fish alone and loves frozen bloodworm - it really brings out his colour.
My Modesta are also kept in a cichlid tank. They are my favorite loaches and are active and fun to watch. One small note though, is they were responsible for the death of three of my zebra danios and injured three others before being moved to the cichlid tank. So keeping them with small fish may not be the best idea. Also, you will need to cover all the holes in the hood of your tank with aluminum foil or filter floss, because it is not uncommon for these guys to spend their last hour on the floor. They are great jumpers. Also, Botia Modesta is often dyed. DO NOT buy dyed fish, the dye is injected under their skin, very painful for them and dyed loaches can have health problems later because of the dye. Don't support the practice of dyeing by purchasing them, the dye will not last, it will fade out in a few months. The natural colors range from dark blue to brown, silver, and even a slight green tint. Common dye colors are pink, purple and sometimes an unatural teal. Look for splochy coloration that will tell you for sure the fish is dyed.
I love all types of fish, but the botia modesta has got to be my all time greatest fish to watch. I have recently bought two of this speices and enjoy every second of them. Theese fish are aggresive towards other fish, but mine swim with guppies, goldfish, platies, a cory cat, tetras, and a lone snail which they have no interest in at all. They leave all my other fish alone, not even a nip at a fin or tail. They come to the top of the water and eat right out of my hands. This impresses me, since all the other botias I've had were very shy towards people. One of them tries to rest in my hand when I try to replant the plants that they uproot while they are looking for food at night. Unfortunately, the two that I recently purchased were dye injected. I did not know that some of these fish were injected or I would have never purchased them. If it weren't for this website I would have never known.
I have this fish with 3 platies, 4 tiger barbs and 1 rainbow shark. It is easy going and solved my snail problem. This fish is the scaredy cat of the tank and is the least aggressive and territorial I have. It simply hangs out in a hollow boat decoration I put in and is hardly seen out of it. It's a good fish and doesn´t seem to demand much.
I have three of these fish in a 175 liters tank with a convict, two firemouths, a pleco, and 2 raphael catfish. They are for the most part peaceful toward the other fish, except when scavenging for dinner in the convicts territory and vying for a spot in a hollow log with the larger raphael. These fish make loud clicking noises when angry. Last time I tested the pH was 7.5 and the temperature was 27°C. I also keep the tank salted to the recommended tablespoon of salt per 20 liters. At one point not along there were two clown loaches with them, but they both died of velvet disease. The two types of loaches got along just fine. It seems that loach species are long living in general. In my family tank we had a khuli loach that died when he was well over 10 years old and I suspect that these orange fins are nearly 7 years old. The reason I do not know the exact age of these fish is because I got the tank second hand with the fish and the previous owner didn't give me the ages of the fish. These are great fish, but get 3 or more to keep them distracted from the other fish. Wouldn't recommend keeping with unarmored bottom dwellers such as corys or pictus cat's. Mine are 8-10 cm in length and readily eat HBH African Cichlid sinking pellets. Great fish
I think this loach has the most aggressive behaviour of all the loaches. I've got one at the moment in my loach tank, it is constantly attacking my clown loaches and will not leave them alone. I tried destroying its territory and it had no effect, it just creates another one. So if anyone has thought of getting one, I would go for a different loach especially if you've got guppys and tetras (thankfully I haven't). May I also say that if you are getting this fish for the markings, I would recommend another fish very simlar called red-tailed black shark, very common in most fish stores. I also reckon that this fish could go in a cichlid tank...well mine anyway.
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