Max Size: 10cm

Skunk Loach (Yasuhikotakia morleti)

The Skunk Loach is considered one of the smaller of the Botias. It is considered pretty and easily distinguished from all others. This fish is very long-lived, hardy and an undemanding little fish.

The Skunk Loach spends most of the day hiding but will become more active at dusk. It is a spirited fish, and though generally peaceful it can become aggressive towards its own species, especially if there are not sufficient hiding places.

They can be kept with other tank mates, but it is most beneficial to have just one of this species, especially in a smaller aquarium. In a tank with lots of space and decoration that offers each fish its own place to retreat, you can put them in large groups. But there will need to be at least six to spread out aggression throughout the tank.

This Skunk Loach is an evenly creamy-tan to light brown colour. Its distinguishing feature has to be the dark stripe moving across its back from the tip of its nose to its caudal fin. There is also a broad dark band surrounding the base of the tail. The caudal fin is forked and yellowish and may have some pretty rows of brown dots. Juveniles usually have dark vertical striping on the sides, but this disappears as they mature.


Skunk loach
Quick Facts
Scientific NameYasuhikotakia morleti
Other NamesSkunk Botia, Hora's Loach, Cream Loach
OriginsCambodia, Laos, Thailand
Aquarium LevelBottom
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan5 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.0
GH5 - 12
TDS36 - 215
79 - 86℉
26.1 - 30℃


In the home aquarium, the Skunk 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.

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.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Skunk Loach could include:

Narayan Barb(Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively difficult to differentiate males from females; however, sexually mature females usually grow a little larger than males and typically are fuller-bodied.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Chinese Hillstream Loach(Pseudogastromyzon cheni)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
Fork Tailed Loach(Vaillantella Cinnamomea)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 16/10/2020 - Updated: 10/08/2022 10:24:22