The CassiDietsch Loach Reference Page.

OK. Where do we get started here. These are great little creatures. The Botia line of fishes have neat personalities and are very fun to keep and watch. I picked up a few in the past and thanks to the ambiguous naming of the wholesalers it took me a long time to ID them. There really does seem to be a general lack of attention to these fish. So I figured I would start something here we know that's how all pages get going:)

So lets start with a few links.


Loaches online

Loaches On-Line seems to be the only site Dedicated to them, and a good one it is.


Loach Chat

Loaches On-Line has a BB devoted to Loaches.


CassiDietsch Pages:



The Name Game

Lets play the name game, here is a list of a lot of them.


Loach Details

A table with detailed information, including an aggression rating.


Loach compare

A comparison of 4 commonly confused loaches.


A Botia nigrolineata discussion.

A page describing the Botia nigrolineata.


Other sites:



Fish for Dinner - Loach Page

This site has nice descriptions of many different loaches. A nice growing site.


A little description

Nice site with short descriptions.


An article on Aqualink

Here is an inspiring article by David Purnell.


Another article on Aqualink

Here is Aqualinks Loach section in the fish catalog.


A Clown Loach article

Here is a little info. on clowns.


Feeling scientific:)

Haven't read it yet, but thought I would include it:)


Clowns again

Clowns seem to be one of the only discussed loaches.


Botia info

Taxonomic information


Botia almorhae info

Here is a German site about Botia almorhae(a German to english translator)

Loaches are almost all imported from Asia. Therefore, yes they are wild caught. Most people know that the clowns have not really been breed in captivity, well it also appears that the other Botias are equally as hard to breed. There are rumors that some farmers are having a little luck with hormones, so someone is working on it. Some hobbyist have breed clowns and maybe others too. There is supposed to be a breeder of B. sidthimunki in Thailand and maybe one in the UK. So keep that in mind when shopping for them as they are not always available. They seem to be seasonal in the USA. I mean you can always find a Khuli, Weather, and most of the time Clowns, but the others are a little harder to find. Now I also hear that in Europe there are more available. I hear loaches like the B. sidthimunki, B. rostrata, B. striata, and others not really known in the US are on the market year round. That tells me the fish are not limited here in the states due to some seasonal limitations in Asia. It seems that the demand for them is to low for the wholesalers to bother locating them. It also appears that collecting is usually done at a spawning site, then there are loads of small loaches congregated in small pools. At least this is what I heard about clowns. So that may partially explain some of the seasonal variation. Plus I would guess that not a lot of fish are collected in Asia during the monsoon season.

Most loaches like to be in groups. There are friendly loaches and there are mean loaches. There are large loaches and there are small ones. The size ranges from a foot to an inch. In general they are a pretty hardy breed et al. They can be sensitive to medications as their scales are so small they are all but scaleless. Some like to dig, most like to hide, so some are not the best with plants, but all appreciate a cave or two. They are fun to watch jumping and playing around the tank, and their social behavior is very enjoyable entertainment but best seen in larger groups. They have or should I say, they establish pecking orders. They fight or spar to establish dominance. These fights usually go by without injury, but loaches have a retractable spine on the sides of their head. So if a fight should get scary or say a human hand should threaten, the sharp spine can be used. Also while sparing, they enjoy a little chameleon effect. Well, they just go dull. Their colors can fade to all but nothing. It is especially noticeably in the clowns as their brilliant orange and stunning black can become quite dull gray. That brings me to another point. Loaches display the most unusual behavior as far as fish go. They sleep, whenever:) usually laying on a side or wedged into a decoration. They like to nap, and sometimes they will not look for a bed and just lay on the gravel on their side sleeping. Other times they wedge themselves into the most peculiar of places and dose off making a novice Loach owner, oh hell even the experienced go tapping on the glass to make sure they are alive. And other times they will all gather together into a small hole and, laying atop one another, fall asleep.

Some Good Guys: B. dario, B. histrionica, B. lohachata, B. macracantha, B. rostrata, B. sidthimunki, B. striata,

Some Fin Nippers: B. almorhae, B. beauforti, B. berdmorei, B. eos, B. modesta, B. horae
And that is subject to change without notice.

That's a partial list, and of course refer to the Name Game for more names of the above same.

A few of my Loach Pics

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Here is my e-mail address, fell free to comment.

Jeff Dietsch

Last updated 10/05/02