Max Size: 10cm

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.


Schistura Spilota
Schistura Spilota
Quick Facts
Scientific NameSchistura spilota
Other NamesNone
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.5
GH5 - 12
TDS36 - 215
68 - 79℉
20 - 26.1℃


In the home aquarium, the Schistura Spilota 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.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account 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.

Sexual Dimorphism

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.

Other Loaches of interest

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Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Chinese Hillstream Loach(Pseudogastromyzon cheni)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
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Date Added: 22/12/2021 10:50:26 - Updated: 22/12/2021 16:42:58