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Maximum size : 18 cm

Kansu Loach - Sinibotia robusta : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Kansu Loach is a unique and fascinating species highly valued for its cultural and aesthetic value. These Loaches are highly sought after due to their attractive appearance and hardy nature. In addition, the species is considered a good choice for novice aquarium hobbyists and are relatively easy to look after. The Kansu Loaches do best in groups of their own kind, so you should house at least three of them together, with five or more being ideal. As a result, these fish will be able to form a complex social hierarchy, behave naturally within shoals, and spread territorial behaviour among them. While other Sinibotia are generally peaceful, this species is very feisty, so be careful when choosing tank mates. Tankmates should be swift and robust, and other peaceful Botiids, torpedo-shaped nemacheilid Loaches, medium-sized Devarios, or Barb species could accompany these Loaches. Home aquariums should emulate natural habitats as closely as possible by utilizing powerful filtration and additional powerheads to create decent currents and oxygenate the water efficiently. The water may need to be chilled during the warmest months of the year, depending on where you live. You should only add these Loaches to biologically mature aquariums. The next step is to create many hiding spots and 'visual barriers' with smooth rounded rocks, pebbles of different sizes, and driftwood. The substrate should be free of sharp edges as these loaches enjoy digging around in search of food, and nothing should damage their delicate sensory barbels. It is best to keep these loaches in dim lighting, and a covered tank is a must since they can escape through even the smallest openings since they are jumpers. The body of the Kansu loach is golden-brown, with horizontal striping across the head and through the eyes, followed by dark vertical bands along the rest of the body; however, these are highly variable and gradually split as the fish matures. The head is typically elongated like other Sinibotia, but the species lacks the long, slender body of other members of the family and is a more compact fish. In addition, they have dark bars through the dorsal and caudal fin, and the pectoral fins are translucent yellow.

Kansu Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

The sexual dimorphism of Kansu Loaches is unconfirmed; however, sexually mature females should be heavier-bodied compared to males.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameSinibotia robusta
Year Described1978
Other NamesRobust Loach, Chinese Golden Zebra loach
OriginsMyanmar Vietnam China
Max Size18 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asTrios
Lifespan8 - 10 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH7.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 25
TDS36 - 268
68 - 75
20 - 23.

Natural habitat

The Kansu Loach can be found in the Ataran River Basin in Myanmar and Thailand in Southeast Asia, as well as the Pearl River basin in southeastern China and the Zhu Jangin River in northern Vietnam. These Loaches inhabit clear, cool streams and rivers with a moderate to slow-flowing current with sandy and rocky substrates.

How to breed the Kansu Loach

The breeding habits of Kansu Loaches are unknown in captivity as they have not been bred in the aquarium, and they have yet to be produced commercially. However, they are presumably seasonal, possibly migratory spawners in the wild.

Diet & feeding

In the home aquarium, the Kansu 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. Additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide other benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish. This fish is an omnivore in the wild, consuming some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods consider this 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.

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