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Maximum size : 12 cm

Polka Dot Loach - Botia Kubotai : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Polka Dot Loaches (Botia Kubotai) are a lively and sociable species that thrive in the company of fast-swimming, small to medium-sized fish. However, it's advisable to avoid keeping them with long-flowing finned species, which they may find overly tempting to nip at. To maximize their health and happiness, it's essential to keep these loaches in shoals of five or more. While they can be hardy under optimal conditions, they are not recommended for beginner aquarists due to their requirement for pristine water conditions and lack of scales. A mature aquarium of at least 3ft in length is recommended, with longer tanks being preferable due to their active nature. A soft sandy substrate is essential to protect their delicate sensory barbel area, while subdued lighting and numerous hiding places in the form of caves, bogwood pieces, and aquatic plants will encourage them to venture out more. To maintain optimal water quality, regular water changes of 10-15% should be carried out twice a week, ensuring the water is clean and well-oxygenated. Polka Dot Loaches sport striking yellow-spotted horizontal black stripes interlaced with yellow spotted vertical bars. As they mature, they undergo dramatic color changes, with no two fish displaying the same pattern. The black stripes and bars widen, with variations in the size and number of spots contributing to their unique and captivating appearance.

Polka Dot Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between male and female Polka Dot Loaches is a relatively straightforward process. Typically, sexually mature females possess a fuller physique and a curved snout, while males feature an elongated nose with visibly fleshier lips.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBotia Kubotai
Year Described2004
Other NamesBurmese Border Loach, Angelicus Loach, Marble Loach, Cloud Botia
OriginsThailand Myanmar
Max Size12 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan8 - 12 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 6.9
GH1 - 10
TDS36 - 179
75 - 82
23.9 - 27.8

Natural habitat

The Polka Dot Loach can be found in the Three Pagodas Pass area of Myanmar and the Salween River basin around the border between Myanmar and Thailand. They've also been discovered in the Hanthayaw River in Thailand. In their natural habitat, the Polka Dot Loach inhabits slow-flowing streams and tributary rivers under the cover of forest shade. These serene waters are well-oxygenated and boast a mix of rocks and sand for the substrate, with submerged driftwood and leaf debris dotting the landscape. In some regions, thick aquatic vegetation provides additional cover for these elusive fish. The Polka Dot Loach's unique natural habitat requirements and fascinating behaviour make it a truly captivating addition to any aquatic collection. With its distinctive markings and lively personality, this species is sure to impress even the most discerning aquarists. As you observe the Polka Dot 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 Polka Dot 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 Polka Dot Loach

To date, there is no recorded evidence of Polka Dot Loaches being successfully bred in home aquariums by hobbyists. However, commercial breeding involving hormone-induced spawning has resulted in some individuals being produced. Unfortunately, this practice has given rise to several hybrid varieties in recent years, which have emerged in the market.

Diet & feeding

Polka Dot Loaches are known for their dietary versatility, readily accepting a wide variety of foods, including sinking pellets, algae, granules, and flakes, as well as frozen and live food. To maintain optimal health, a balanced diet consisting of high-quality flake or tablet food should be provided daily. As a treat, brine shrimp can be offered. Additionally, they have an affinity for tubifex, mosquito larvae, algae wafers, and daphnia. Furthermore, their appetite for snails makes them an excellent choice for snail control in the aquarium.

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