Blue Botia (Yasuhikotakia modesta) Species Profile & Care Guide
Young Blue Botias are an attractive, impressive and active schooling fish. However, As they grow older, they spend more time hiding under rocks or in caves in seclusion. Like many other loaches, Blue Botias are a nocturnal species that comes out at night to dig through substrate and gravel for food.
Blue Botias are mildly aggressive but enjoy the company of their own species. In their natural habitat, they often school up with other mildly aggressive species of the same size.
In an aquarium environment, these Botias fair better in groups of six or more otherwise if housed alone in a community aquarium, they usually become aggressive towards other similarly shaped fish. If you keep these fish in pairs or small groups of 3 or 4, the dominant fish will usually bully the other fish to the point that they stop eating.
Due to the Botia Loaches potentially large size, they will require a large tank with excellent filtration and regular water changes because they are intolerant of organic waste accumulation, meaning they need spotlessly clean water to thrive. Therefore these fish are not recommended for the beginner aquarist.
The blue botia has an elongated, heavily built compact body and arched back. Their body is bluish-silver almost grey, and in specific lighting, you may sometimes notice a green sheen on it. The fins on these fish can differ in colour from bright red to orange, and on rare occasions, they can be yellow.
As juveniles, Blue Botias have vertical bars running along their flanks that eventually disappear as they reach adulthood.
Like all species of loach, they have four pairs of barbels that protrude from their mouth, and although they are often referred to as being scaleless, they do have small scales on their body.
|Scientific Name||Yasuhikotakia modesta|
|Other Names||Redtail Botia Loach, Red-finned Loach, Red-tailed Blue Loach|
|Best kept as||Groups 6+|
|Lifespan||5 - 7 years|
|Temperature||72 - 86 ℉ (22.2 - 30 ℃)|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||8 - 12|
Natural Habitat of the Blue Botia
You will find the Blue Botia throughout the lower Mekong River basin in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Chao Phraya and Mae Klong drainages in central and western Thailand in Southeast Asia. They inhabit moderately flowing tributaries and rivers with a sandy or muddy substrate where they forage amongst the submerged rocks, leaf litter, tree roots and driftwood branches looking for food and soft-leaved plants.
They are working scavengers that during daylight hours hide amongst the submerged roots and rocky caves then venture out in the evening to forage.
Blue Botias migrate seasonally as part of their reproductive life cycle and depending on the time of year can be found in smaller tributary drainages and main river channels. During the rainy season, you will find them in flooded forest zones where they are believed to spawn.
Other Loaches of interest
Blue Botias will do better on a varied diet of live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods such as bloodworms, daphnia, brine shrimp and chopped earthworms, as well as high-quality sinking pellets and wafers. You will need to feed these fish several small feedings daily.
Sexing the Blue Botia
It is quite challenging to differentiate male and female Blue Botias. The only noticeable differences you can see is the fact that sexually mature females seem to grow a bit bigger than males and are fuller-bodied, especially when full of eggs.
Breeding the Blue Botia
Unfortunately, Blue Botias are seasonal migratory spawners, so there have been no reported cases of them being bred in an aquarium environment. However, they are commercially produced using hormones for the aquarium trade.