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Maximum size : 10 cm

Crimson Loach - Schistura sp. Crimson : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Crimson Loach is a visually stunning species that has yet to be officially classified. This unique fish displays a peaceful demeanor towards other species of fish, but not towards its own kind. When keeping Crimson Loaches, it is best to house them either singly, as a compatible pair, or in larger groups of 10 or more. Groups of only 3 or 4 can lead to unfortunate consequences, including the loss of specimens. In general, Crimson Loaches do not show aggression towards other current-loving fish, as long as they are not other nemacheilids. However, it is recommended to avoid small, placid tankmates and species with long fins. Small Barbs, temperate Bitterlings, Crossocheilus, Danios, Devarios, or Garras are excellent companions for the Crimson Loach. When a shoal of these species is present, they will act as 'dither fish,' which will encourage the Loaches to come out into the open. Crimson Loaches are highly territorial and require a spacious aquarium with highly oxygenated water and plenty of current. To establish a suitable environment for aquatic life, it is crucial to incorporate a sandy substrate in conjunction with a variety of interlocking and irregularly-shaped features, such as pebbles, rocks, pieces of slate, and tangles of driftwood. This comprehensive arrangement promotes the necessary break-up of sightlines, creating a more natural and comfortable living space for aquatic organisms. Although plants are not found in great abundance in their natural habitat, robust species such as Anubias and Microsorum tied onto driftwood can help with water quality and create more hiding places, making the aquarium look more aesthetically pleasing. To ensure the Crimson Loaches thrive, it is essential to maintain excellent water conditions, including powerful filtration and regular partial water changes, as these fish will not tolerate a buildup of nitrates. The Crimson Loach features an elongated, slim body that is a beautiful burgundy color contrasted with dark stripes. All fins are translucent with a yellow hue, and the dorsal and caudal fins display intricate markings, making this species a striking addition to any aquarium.

Crimson Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing male and female Crimson Loaches is a relatively straightforward task. Fully developed males typically exhibit a more vibrant red pigmentation on the anterior region of their bodies, whereas their female counterparts tend to display a pinkish hue in this area and are often characterized by a fuller belly. Moreover, a majority of mature males present with enlarged cheeks when viewed from an overhead or frontal perspective.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSchistura sp. Crimson
Other NamesJasper Loach
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
71 - 79
22 - 26

Natural habitat

Crimson Loaches are fascinating fish that originate from the southern regions of India, specifically Nilambur and Kerala. In their natural habitat, they can be found thriving in clear, fast-flowing forest streams with well-oxygenated water. These streams boast a unique composition of substrate, consisting of sand, smooth gravel, and water-worn rocks and boulders. While aquatic plants are typically absent in these habitats, there may be a small amount of marginal vegetation present, all while being surrounded by the lush canopy of a forest.

How to breed the Crimson Loach

As Crimson Loaches are currently an undescribed species, their breeding habits have not been documented or studied. Therefore, there is no conclusive information available on how to breed this particular fish in captivity.

Diet & feeding

Crimson Loaches are known to be omnivorous, exhibiting a preference for small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, and daphnia. Furthermore, they are not averse to consuming dried foods such as sinking catfish pellets, wafers, and granules.

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