Banded Loach | Botia helodes
Loaches / Botiinae / Banded Loach
Profile: Banded Loach, Tiger Loach, Barred Loach
Botia helodes Synonyms: None
Physical description: An elongated, flat-bellied fish with an arched back. The head is long and pointed, and the caudal fin is forked. The back is olive green to brown and the flanks are mossy green to brown. The flanks are marked with 11-12 yellow, transverse stripes. These run from the apex of the back to the lower parts. Beyond the end of these stripes are irregular brown spots. The belly is whitish. The fins except for the caudal, which is striped, are colorless.
Size/Length: To 8" (20 cm)
Similar species: Banded Loach ( B. hymenophysa) of Borneo, Java, Malaysia, and Sumatra; and the Banded or Zebra Loach ( B. striata ) of India.
Habitat: Widespread in streams and rivers in Southeast Asia; Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia
Aquarium: A tank measuring 36" (91 cm) with a capacity from 35-45 gallons (123-170 L) is sufficient for smaller fish. Adult fish require a 48" (122 cm) tank with a volume from 50-55 gallons (190-209 L). The tank should be well-planted with anchored plants, and leave open swimming areas. Provide a retreat for each fish using rocks, roots, wood, tubes, or an over-turned flower pot. Use a fine gravel substrate.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7.5 (6.9), 4-15 dH (10), 75-86°F (24-30°C)
Social behavior: A territorial and aggressive species which preys upon small fish. This Loach should be kept in groups in a large tank with plenty of refuges. The crepuscular species is timid during acclimation. Territories are defended aggressively. Combine with robust species that are equal or larger in size.
Suggested companions: Cichlasomines, Chitala ornata, Barbus schwanenfeldi, Trichogaster, large Danios, Silver Dollars, Headstanders, Scleropages.
FOOD: Live; small fish, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans; tablets; plant matter. A voracious bottom feeder.
Breeding techniques: Unknown
Breeding potential: 10. Has not been accomplished in captivity.
Remarks: Once acclimated this species become diurnal. At feeding times, this Loach makes clicking sounds.
Difficulty of care: 5. This species is not suitable for the normal community tank due to its aggressive behavior. It requires live foods in its diet.