Max Size: 25cm

Horseface Loach (Acantopsis dialuzona)

This relatively shy bottom-dweller likes to burrow into the substrate, searching for microorganisms or other food through its gills. This species is named after its long snout, which resembles a horse's muzzle. A peaceful and tolerant fish that successfully hides from other fish in the aquarium, this interesting-looking fish is fun to watch.

Loaches that live in the upper part of the water column, such as Barbs, Rasboras, and Devarios, will do well with Horse Face Loaches.

Loaches of the family Cobitidae, Botiidae, and Nemacheilidae are also suitable; however, research is required as some species can be aggressive. Nevertheless, a community centred around a native river could make for an exciting display.

Generally, it is recommended to purchase only one or a few individuals; however, six is considered the minimum since they occur in loose shoals. Occasional altercations, presumably over temporary territories, do happen, but physical injury is extremely rare.

To create hiding spots and shaded areas, smooth rocks, driftwood roots, and branches can be arranged. It would be best if you potted any live plants to prevent them from being uprooted due to their burrowing activity. Floating plants are also recommended since these Loaches prefer subdued lighting.

Although torrent-like conditions are unnecessary, they do best when there is dissolved oxygen in the tank and some water movement, so power filters, additional powerheads, or airstones should be used as needed.

To thrive, Horse Face Loaches require clean water and must be protected from organic pollutants, so a weekly water change of 30 to 50 per cent should be considered standard.

The aquarium will need to be well covered since these fish are excellent jumpers.

Horse Face Loaches have a silvery transparent elongated body with 7 to 13 black spots along the side of their body and 1 row of large spots on the side of their head. In some individuals, there is also some black flecking over their bodies.


Horseface Loach
Horseface Loach
Quick Facts
Scientific NameAcantopsis dialuzona
Year Described1823
Other NamesHorse Head Loach, Banana Loach
OriginsIndia, Indonesia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan12 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH2 - 10
TDS18 - 215
60 - 75℉
15.6 - 23.9℃


In the home aquarium, the Horseface 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

It is somewhat straightforward to differentiate between the male and female Horse Face Loach. Typically, females are much larger than males, while males have modified pectoral fins with extended first rays.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Chinese Hillstream Loach(Pseudogastromyzon cheni)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Crimson Loach(Schistura sp. Crimson)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 19/12/2022 11:01:39 - Updated: 19/12/2022 13:06:07