Max Size: 8cm

Hillstream Loach (Beaufortia kweichowensis)

The Butterfly Hillstream Loach is a great looking, peaceful, small and very unusual fish that deserves more attention than they currently get.

They are also great for ridding a tank of any algae.

Their body, shape and pattern make them very unique, along with their ease of care, make them the perfect candidate for the community tank.

Its body is flat, narrowed from below, and has fan-shaped pectoral and ventral fins edged with dark colouring. The caudal fins are small and hard to see.

The stomach is translucent, and you can see the internal organs, and their mouths are located below. They are brown with dark spots.

However, this fish is not recommended for the beginner aquarist as they are susceptible to illness and medication because they have no scales and will require proper water purity and temperatures.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameBeaufortia kweichowensis
Other NamesChinese Hillstream Loach, Hong Kong Pleco, Butterfly Hillstream loach, Chinese Sucker Fish
Aquarium LevelBottom
Best kept asTrios
Lifespan8 to 10 year
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 8.0
GH3 - 10
68 - 75℉
20 - 23.9℃

Photos of the Hillstream Loach

Hillstream loach
Butterfly loach
Butterfly loach
Hillstream loach
Hillstream Loach
Hillstream Loach

Natural Habitat

Chinese butterfly loach inhabits deep rivers with a fast flow and upstreams highly saturated with oxygen, small tributaries of streams and rivers; zones restricted with crests and sometimes with waterfalls. in Jiangxi river system, the South of China, and the main branch of Zhu Jiang River.

This species was described in the upper part of Guizhou province, and it’s widely spread in the independent region Guangxi and Guangdong province.

In their natural environment, a Hillstream Loach will spend their time either working their way across the substrate looking for food or stationed out on a rock.

Their substrate is mainly sand, small rocks, round stones and gravel. In some instances, there is not even streamside vegetation. The water is crystal clear, with a small amount of dissolved oxygen.

Such sunlight and water conditions are right for biofilm development which consists of different types of algae and microorganisms. This biofilm covers all the rocks and stones surfaces like a blanket.

What to feed the Hillstream Loach

The Hillstream Loach is not a fussy eater, but you will need to bear it in mind that they have tiny mouths.

They will happily accept good quality small flakes, sinking pellets, Algae wafers, thawed frozen or live Bloodworm, little Cyclops, Artemia, Blanched Spinach, Mysis shrimp and Kale and natural Algae is an advantage for this fish.

How to sex the Hillstream Loach

It is relatively easy to determine a male from a female Hillstream Loach.

The males have a stronger colouration and a smaller, slimmer body than the females.

How to breed the Hillstream Loach

Breeding hillstream loaches, although challenging, is possible. There have been no recorded successes in the home aquaria though.

You will need your water parameters and conditions to be perfect for this species to reproduce, and even then it could be unsuccessful.

You will know when your loaches are ready to reproduce because you will see the males displaying a mating dance to the females. If she is interested she will stay by his side instead of going about her usual business.

When the male has been given the green light, he will then build a nest by sorting through and digging the substrate, here the female will place her eggs, and the male will fertilise them.

The eggs will start hatching a couple of weeks after fertilisation, and there will be no need to remove the parents as they will not eat them.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
Golden Zebra Loach(Botia Histrionica)
Green Tiger Loach(Syncrossus Hymenophysa)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 25/08/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 16:28:36