Hovering Zebra Loach - Yunnanilus cruciatus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide
Table of contents
The Hovering Zebra Loach (Yunnanilus cruciatus) is a captivating and peaceful fish that is relatively uncommon in the aquarium trade. This diminutive species is the perfect choice for those seeking a non-destructive loach species for a nano aquarium due to its small size and tranquil demeanour. These fish are incredibly lively and active during their juvenile stage, but as they mature, they tend to become more reserved and hide more often. To thrive, the Hovering Zebra Loach needs to be kept in large groups of at least eight individuals, and they enjoy the company of other small, peaceful species like MicroRasboras, smaller Danios, peaceful Catfish such as Corydoras, and other dwarf loaches like the Rosy Loach. Avoid housing these fish with larger or more aggressive species, as they may become intimidated or outcompeted for food.
A planted aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces is ideal for creating the perfect environment for your Hovering Zebra Loaches. Adding driftwood and leaf litter will enhance their natural habitat and make them feel more at ease. These fish prefer well-oxygenated water with a steady current, so make sure to keep the tank well-maintained and perform regular partial water changes to keep the water quality high. It's worth noting that this species can be sensitive to fluctuations in water chemistry, so avoid adding them to a biologically immature aquarium.
Although the Hovering Zebra Loach occasionally hovers in midwater, you'll most often see them swimming head down at a 45-degree angle as they search the substrate for food. These fish have a translucent body with silvery pink to yellow iridescence, and they possess 14 to 18 black bars that begin between the eyes and travel through to the caudal peduncle. In addition, their bellies are pearlescent white, and their fins are transparent.
Hovering Zebra Loach Photos
It can be a difficult task to distinguish between male and female Hovering Zebra Loaches. Nevertheless, it is believed that mature females tend to have fuller bellies than males, particularly when they are gravid and generally a bit larger in size.
|Scientific Name||Yunnanilus cruciatus|
|Other Names||Vietnamese multi-banded zebra loach, Laos pygmy multi-stripe loach, banded dwarf loach|
|Max Size||3.5 cm|
|Aquarium Level||Bottom - Middle|
|Difficulty||Beginner - Intermediate|
|Best kept as||Groups 8+|
|Lifespan||Up to 5 Years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||2 - 12|
|TDS||36 - 215|
|℉||77 - 82|
|℃||25 - 27|
The Hovering Zebra Loach is a captivating fish species found exclusively in the coastal rivers of Central Vietnam, including the Phong Nha River in Quang Binh Province and the An Lao River in Binh Dinh Province in Southeast Asia. These Loaches thrive in the shallow, slow-moving regions of rivers adorned with thick, lush aquatic vegetation, creating a picturesque natural habitat. The riverbeds of these areas are predominantly muddy and sandy, dotted with a beautiful assortment of floating plants that create a diffused light effect, an added attraction to these charming little fish.
Regrettably, there is a lack of documented evidence regarding the successful propagation of the Hovering Zebra Loach within the confines of a domestic aquarium.
Diet & feeding
To ensure the best health and longevity of the Hovering Zebra Loach, a varied diet is recommended, consisting of both live and frozen foods such as baby brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworm, microworm, tubifex, and cyclops. In addition, high-quality dried foods containing plant or algae material, such as small sinking pellets, granules, algae wafers, and crushed flakes, can also be included. These loaches are not picky eaters and will consume most foods provided, but a varied diet will promote the best colouration and overall health of the fish.
Other Loaches you maybe interested in
Chinese Hillstream Loach
Schistura sp. Crimson
Dwarf Chain Loach