Max Size: 6cm

Dwarf Chain Loach (Ambastaia Sidthimunki)

The Dwarf Chain Loach is one of the most handsome Botia type loaches in the aquarium hobby and is deemed to be one of the smallest in its class and can adjust to a variety of different water conditions. This loach is a very active and peaceful species and thrives in groups of their own species and makes a great addition to the community tank.

The Dwarf Chain Loach displays a pretty golden-silver body accentuated with lovely chocolate markings of a chain- ladder-type patterning that extends along the entire length of the upper half of its body. The areas between the dark markings may be square or circular. The degree to which the dark markings proceed into the belly is quite variable, with some sporting almost two complete rows of links and others having only one row with a pale abdomen beneath.


Dwarf chain loach
Dwarf chain loach
Dwarf chain loach
Dwarf Chain Loach
Quick Facts
Scientific NameAmbastaia Sidthimunki
Other NamesDwarf Loach, Ladderback Loach, Pygmy Loach, Chain Loach, Chain Botia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan8 - 12 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 12
TDS18 - 215
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Dwarf Chain Loach will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Dwarf Chain Loach could include:

Glowlight Danio(Celestichthys choprae)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is quite simple to differentiate a male from a female Dwarf Chain Loach.

Males develop slightly elongated noses plus noticeably thick fleshy lips. In comparison, females are typically fuller-bodied and grow a little bigger than males.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Chinese Hillstream Loach(Pseudogastromyzon cheni)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Fork Tailed Loach(Vaillantella Cinnamomea)
Gold Ring Butterfly Loach(Sewellia lineolata)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 09/09/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 16:27:02