Schistura Spilota (Schistura spilota)
Schistura Spilotas are stunning but aggressive and are not suitable for the general community aquarium. Irregular fighting may occur, and in minimally decorated tanks, some individuals aggression can escalate to an unacceptable level. However, it would be best not to keep these fish alone; instead, make sure you choose tankmates wisely with proper research.
Ideal tankmates for these Loaches would include fish that inhabit similar biotopes in nature, especially those swimming in open water, such as Barbs, Danios, Rasboras and Devario, as well as other loaches from the same genera and Garras. However, it would be best to avoid slow-moving or long-finned species because they will probably struggle with the required level of water movement and may end up with nipped fins. Also, you should avoid keeping peaceful bottom dwellers such as Corydoras Catfish with this species as they are easy targets for these fish.
These Loaches are naturally reclusive, so adding one or two schools of this fish can greatly affect their confidence. However, they will require a larger aquarium. These Loaches are not sociable; however, you can maintain a group together as long as the aquarium contains plenty of rocky arrangements and broken lines of sight.
The aquarium should be designed to mimic a flowing river or stream with a substrate of sand or fine gravel and different sized rocks or smooth boulders. You can also add driftwood branches in the aquarium and arrange them to form cavities, crevices, and shaded areas, delivering broken lines of sight.
The majority of aquatic plants will not flourish in this particular setup; however, hardy plant species such as Anubias, Bolbitis and Microsorum can successfully grow when attached to décor.
Once acclimatised, these Loaches will select a particular cave or sheltered space. They will then defend this against other fish and similar-looking species; therefore, it’s essential that you provide a well-structured environment.
Schistura Spilotas do not require torrent-like conditions; however, it would be best if the aquarium had a high proportion of dissolved oxygen as well as some water movement. Therefore, you should use air stones, filters or an additional powerhead as necessary.
These Loaches can be intolerant to the accumulation of organic pollutants and will require pristine water to thrive; therefore, you should perform weekly water changes of around 30 to 50 per cent.
Schistura Spilotas have a striking colour pattern that consists of 7 to 10 dark round blotches along their lateral line and several external features. These include 12 soft dorsal rays, eight soft anal rays, eight branched dorsal rays and an almost complete lateral line. These Loaches also have a slender caudal peduncle. The body of the Schistura Spilota is a greyish-silver, and their fins have an orangy-yellow hue.
|Scientific Name||Schistura spilota|
|Difficulty||Intermediate - Advanced|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||3 - 5 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 12|
|TDS||36 - 215|
|68 - 79℉|
20 - 26.1℃
Photos of Schistura Spilotas
Schistura Spilotas is only known from the tributaries of the upper Mae Nam Ping River Basin, a significant branch of the Chao Phraya River in northern Thailand. They inhabit medium flowing stretches of clear, well-oxygenated streams around headwaters and watersheds. These habitats are shaded by forest cover and have substrates composed of sand, gravel, stones and rocks with very little to no aquatic vegetation.
Other Loaches of interest
What to feed the Schistura Spilota
Schistura Spilota are omnivores. In the wild, these fish will mainly eat crustaceans, insects, worms and other zooplankton and only occasionally graze on organic detritus and plant matter. These Loaches will readily accept dried food of a suitable size; however, you should not feed them this exclusively. Instead, provide them with daily meals of live, frozen or freeze-dried food such as brine shrimp, bloodworm and daphnia as this will help your fish develop their best colours and keep them in excellent health.
How to Sex the Schistura Spilota
Young Schistura Spilotas can be challenging to sex accurately; however, fully grown males tend to possess noticeably enlarged cheeks, which become more apparent when they are viewed head-on or from above. In addition, the females are usually slightly thicker-bodied, especially when they are gravid.
How to Breed the Schistura Spilota
Unfortunately, there are no records on the successful breeding of these Loaches, so, therefore, there is no information available on how to breed this fish.