Polka Dot Loach (Botia Kubotai) Fish Species Profile

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Polka Dot Loaches can be reasonably boisterous and are best kept in communities of fast-swimming, strong, small to medium-sized fishes. It would be more beneficial for other fish if you avoid keeping them with any long flowing finned species.

These loaches are a very social species and must be kept in shoals of 5 or more to proceed with prosperity. These fish can be hardy under the right conditions. However, they are not recommended for beginner aquarists because of their need for pristine water, and they do not possess scales.

The Polka Dot Loach sports yellow-spotted horizontal black stripes that are interlarded with yellow spotted vertical bars. They have dramatic colour changes as they mature with no two fish having the same pattern. The black stripes and bars widen, and there are many different variations in the size and number of spots.

Scientific NameBotia Kubotai
Other NamesBurmese Border Loach, Angelicus Loach, Marble Loach, Cloud Botia
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan8 - 12 years
Maximum Sizeup to 12 cm
Water Conditions
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature75 - 82 ℉ (23.9 - 27.8 ℃)
PH6.5 - 6.9
GH1 - 10
TDS36 - 179

Origins of the Polka Dot Loach

Polka Dot Loaches are found in Asia in the Three Pagodas Pass area in Myanmar. These loaches are prevalent to the Salween River basin around the border between Myanmar and Thailand. They have also been discovered in the Hanthayaw River in Thailand.

These fish inhabit slow-flowing streams and tributary rivers under forest shaded coverings. The waters usually are well oxygenated with a mix of rocks and sand for the substrate and are typically littered with submerged driftwood and leaf debris. Some of the regions have thick aquatic vegetation.


The Polka Dot Loach will generally eat all kinds of foods; they will readily accept sinking pellets, algae, granules, and flakes as well as frozen and live food.

To keep the right balance, give them high-quality flake or tablet food every day. Feed brine shrimp as a treat. They also like tubifex, mosquito larvae, algae wafers, and daphnia. They will even eat snails, so they are ideal for snail control.

Sexing the Polka Dot Loach

It is easy to differentiate males from female Polka Dot Loaches.

Sexually mature females are generally more full-bodied than males with a curved snout whereas males have an elongated nose with noticeably fleshier lips.

Breeding the Polka Dot Loach

There are no records of the Polka Dot Loach having been bred in the home aquarium by hobbyists. Some are being produced on a commercial basis via the use of hormones. Sadly, this practice has been taken to a different level in recent years with several hybrids appearing on the market.

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Date Added: 9/15/2020 - Updated: 9/15/2020 9:40:57 PM