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Yasuhikotakia modesta (BLEEKER, 1864)

Redtail Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is one of the more commonly-encountered botiids in the hobby and is also sold as ‘blue’, ‘orange-finned’, or ‘red-finned’ botia/loach. It’s sometimes subject to artificial colouring with bright blue or purple dyes and we strongly recommend you do not purchase such fish (they’re illegal in several countries).

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Yasuhikotakia lecontei (FOWLER, 1937)

Silver Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is sometimes confused with Y. modesta though in reality the two are readily distinguishable from one another by body shape since Y. lecontei is a slimmer, more elongate fish.

Further, in Y. lecontei the overall body colouration is usually brownish with a gold/green sheen and the dark markings…

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Botia striata NARAYAN RAO, 1920

Zebra Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

In a survey of fish diversity in the Bhadra River (which joins the Tunga to form the Tungabhadra) it was recorded alongside numerous other species including Puntius chola, Balitora mysorensis, and Mystus armatus. Dry season water paramaters were temperature 69.8°F/21°C, pH 7.0, hardness ~ 2.5°.

The substrate was composed of bedrock, boulders, cobbles, gravel, sand and leaf litter in descending order of abundance with a maximum depth of around…

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Ambastaia nigrolineata (KOTTELAT & CHU, 1987)

Black-Lined Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This specie is relatively rare in the aquarium trade and much sought after by enthusiasts as a result.

It looks relatively similar to A. sidthimunki but according to the original description by Kottelat and Chu (1987) can be told apart by colour patterning which uniquely consists of a solid da…

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Yasuhikotakia morleti (TIRANT, 1855)

Skunk Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is common in the hobby and also sold as 'skunk botia' or 'Hora's loach', the latter in reference to Botia horae Smith, 1931, currently considered a synonym of Y. morleti. It's similar in appearance to the rarely-seen Y. longidorsalis but can be told apart by the fact it has a dark stripe running over the dorsal surface (this giving rise to the vernacular name 'skunk loach') which is lacking in its relative.

The two can be further separated…

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Ambastaia sidthimunki (KLAUSEWITZ, 1959)

Dwarf Chain Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species was lost to the hobby for several years prior to the turn of the century and when commercially-produced stock first came onto the market prices were very high. It’s now readily available, though, and while never particularly cheap is considerably less expensive.

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Botia almorhae GRAY, 1831

Yo-Yo Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

The physical appearance of B. almorhae sensu stricto is something of a mystery. No pictures of live specimens appear in any scientific publications we’ve read and we’ve been unable to find a certified image of one anywhere meaning it’s possibly never been seen in the aquarium trade. Instead the most commonly available members of the nominal species grouping seem to be B. lohachata, B. sp. ‘Kosi’ and B. sp. ‘Teesta’ (see individual notes below), plus the assorted hybrids that have appeared since the turn of the century (Grant, 2007).

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Chromobotia macracanthus (BLEEKER, 1852)

Clown Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is arguably one of the most misunderstood in the hobby since it's wholly unsuitable for smaller aquaria despite its ubiquitous availability. Most retailers sell it without providing what should be considered essential information regarding long-term care and most specimens undoubtedly fail to reach their potential in captivity. The purchase of a group is also a considerable investment given that if properly cared for typical life span is in excess…

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Epalzeorhynchos kalopterum (BLEEKER, 1850)

Flying Fox

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

Confusion with similar-looking fishes from other genera, such as Garra cambodgiensis, laterally-striped Crossocheilus spp. or Gyrinocheilus aymonieri is not uncommon, and are largely attributable to the use of trade names such as ‘false flying fox’ or ‘Siamese flying fox’. When compared with the other species E. kalopterus exhibits several unique characters but perhaps the simplest way to identify it is by the characteristic white-edged, red and black coloured fins and the presence of two pairs of barbels.

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Epalzeorhynchos frenatum (FOWLER, 1934)

Rainbow Shark

March 13th, 2012 — 1:19pm

The ornamental albino variant is widely-available and has become extremely popular in the hobby and there is a commercially-produced anerythristic (lacking red pigment) mutation that has pale yellowish fins and has sometimes been misidentified as E. munense. Also worthy of note is that the specific name is sometimes misspelled ‘frenatus‘.

Most members of Epalzeorhynchos were formerly regarded as Labeo spp. and are thus referred to as such in older literature. According to Rainboth (1996) they’re characterised by absence of a dorsal spine…

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