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Maximum size : 12.5 cm

Golden Zebra Loach - Botia Histrionica : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Golden Zebra Loach (Botia histrionica) is an enchanting and lively species that can add a touch of magic to any community tank. Their endearing and inquisitive nature, coupled with their unique appearance, make them a popular choice amongst aquarists. These loaches are nocturnal by nature but can be active during the daytime if provided with ample hiding places and cover. They are a social species and should be kept in shoals of 5 or more to encourage their natural behavior and reduce any aggression. The addition of more fish to the shoal can also minimize any squabbles that may occur between individuals. A tank of at least 3ft in length is recommended for these active swimmers. The substrate should consist of fine sand to protect their delicate sensory barbels, and the lighting should be subdued to provide a natural environment. Hiding places in the form of caves, bogwood, and aquatic plants should be plentiful to encourage exploration and playfulness. A clean, well-oxygenated aquarium with a decent flow rate is essential for the health and well-being of these loaches. The Golden Zebra Loach has a distinct appearance with five full, sporadically shaped bars on their body, each with a small round spot at the lateral line and another on the ridge of their back. Their dorsal fins have one broken black band with some black at the base, and their ventral, pectoral, and anal fins each have two black bands with a black tip on each section. The patterns of these loaches can vary significantly depending on the region from which they were collected.

Golden Zebra Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexing the Golden Zebra Loach is a relatively straightforward process. Mature females can be identified by their fuller body and more rounded snout, while males have an elongated nose with noticeably fleshier lips. These characteristics make distinguishing between male and female Golden Zebra Loaches an achievable task for even novice aquarists.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBotia Histrionica
Year Described1860
Other NamesGold Zebra Loach, Asian Loach, Silver Striped Loach, Burmese Zebra Loach
OriginsChina Thailand Myanmar
Max Size12.5 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 6 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.4 - 7.6
GH5 - 10
76 - 84
24.4 - 28.9

Natural habitat

The Golden Zebra Loach is found in the Indian state of Manipur, in the Yunnan Province in China, throughout much of Myanmar, and even in the streams of western Thailand. In their natural habitat, these remarkable fish inhabit clear, slow-moving headwaters of streams and rivers with subtle lighting conditions found in shady forest areas. These serene waters are typically found over substrates of mixed rock and sand with lots of submerged driftwood, bogwood, and leaf litter cover, providing an ideal environment for these fish to explore their surroundings. The Golden Zebra Loach's unique natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour make it a true marvel of nature and a captivating addition to any aquatic collection. With their distinctive golden stripes and lively personality, these fish are sure to impress even the most discerning aquarists. As you observe the Golden Zebra Loach in its natural habitat, you'll gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of our planet's ecosystems. These fish serve as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts to protect and preserve our planet's precious resources. Prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of the Golden Zebra Loach and the wonders of the natural world. With their unique natural habitat requirements and resilience, these fish are sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who observes them.

How to breed the Golden Zebra Loach

Regrettably, no documented instances of breeding the Golden Zebra Loach in a home aquarium are available to date. However, some aquarists have reported observing courtship behaviour after making cooler water changes.

Diet & feeding

Golden Zebra Loaches have a versatile diet and are known to thrive on high-quality dried foods such as granules or flakes, which should be supplemented with live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex, and other similar foods. Sinking wafers and pellets can also be added to their diet. These loaches are known to be voracious snail eaters, and their presence can lead to a significant reduction in snail populations in the aquarium. Fresh vegetables can also be incorporated into their diet to provide them with the necessary nutrients.

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