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Barbonymus altus (GÜNTHER, 1868)

Red-tailed Tinfoil Barb

March 13th, 2012 — 1:21pm

This is one of two species sold with the common/trade name of "tinfoil barb", the other being the more widely-recognised B. schwanenfeldii. Despite this it appears that B. altus is just as widely available as B. schwanenfeldii and in many cases is seen on sale more regularly. Unfortunately both are usually offered at a small size (usually around 2 – 3"/5 – 7.5cm) with little to no information regarding the eventual size of the fish. Although B. altus is the …

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Sinibotia pulchra (WU, 1939)

Golden Zebra Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is also sold under the vernacular names 'golden Chinese loach' and '12-banded Chinese loach'. Along with S. robusta it's the most commonly-traded member of the genus, and the two are often imported in mixed batches, presumably because they occur and are thus collected together in nature. Like most congeners it has a highly flexible, sinuous body which makes it very interesting to observe.

S. pulchra can be differentiated from…

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Syncrossus hymenophysa (BLEEKER, 1852)

Green Tiger Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

Described from close to the city of Palembang, therefore presumably the Musi River basin, South Sumatra province, Sumatra, Indonesia, and since recorded from elsewhere on Sumatra plus the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesian province West Kalimantan on Borneo.

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Balantiocheilos melanopterus (BLEEKER, 1850)

Silver Shark

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

May also be seen on sale under the trade names ‘Bala shark’ or ‘tricolor shark minnow’ and perhaps among the most commonly-encountered ornamental fish species. It is unfortunate that the vast majority of those traded are juveniles and tend to come supplied with little to no information provided regarding their potential size and requirements, a fairly ironic situation given the apparently precarious status of wild populations.

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Sinibotia robusta (WU, 1939)

Kansu Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is also sold under the vernacular names 'golden Chinese loach' and '12-banded Chinese loach'. Along with S. pulchra it's the most commonly-traded member of the genus, and the two are often imported in mixed batches, presumably because they occur and are thus collected together in nature.

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Syncrossus helodes (SAUVAGE, 1876)

Banded Tiger Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is sometimes confused with S. hymenophysa, native to the Greater Sunda Islands and Peninsular Malaysia, but differs in several ways, the most immediately identifiable of which are possession of small, irregular, dark markings in the lower half of the body and lack of a dark spot in the dorsal-fin. It also has 10-12 vertical body bars…

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Botia dario (HAMILTON, 1822)

Bengal Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

Following Grant (2007) this species is included in the B. dario complex of closely-related species within the genus alongside B. striata. They're characterised by body patterning consisting of a base yellow to golden colour with 7-9 blue, green, grey or black body bars usually with thinner, lighter bars between. In some individuals the…

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Yasuhikotakia eos (TAKI, 1972)

Sun Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

Y. eos isn't as commonly-traded as it once was but is still available occasionally. It's difficult to confuse with any other member of the genus due to its colour pattern consisting of yellow to reddish brown base body colour (can appear greyish in some specimens, especially post-import or when introduced to a new aquarium) with a metallic green/blue golden sheen and large darkish marking on either side of the caudal peduncle. The fins can be yellowish to reddish, and the dorsal and c…

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Syncrossus berdmorei BLYTH, 1860

Redfin Tiger Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

Interestingly some observations suggest that the character of the highest-ranked, or alpha, fish appears to affect that of the whole group though it must be said that scientific studies of botiid loach behaviour are virtually non-existent. It certainly seems that they display a degree of ‘personality’ with some specimens being naturally bolder/more aggressive than others. The alpha is normally the largest specimen within the group and often female.

Sound also appears to be an important factor in communication since these loaches are able…

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Syncrossus beauforti (SMITH, 1931)

Chameleon Loach

March 13th, 2012 — 1:20pm

This species is very similar in appearance to S. berdmorei which is native to India and Myanmar, and has been widely mislabelled under that name in older aquarium literature. The two can appear identical on first glance but there are some notable differences, most obviously possession of 9-10 branchedrays in S. beauforti vs. 11-14 in S. bermorei, and the fact that even young specimens of S. beauforti exhibit laterally-orientated rows of small, dark markings running across the …

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