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Maximum size : 28 cm

Sucking Loach - Gyrinocheilus aymonieri : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The sucking loach (Gyrinocheilus aymonieri) is an intriguing and versatile species that can be a wonderful addition to any aquarium, but it requires special care and attention. Sucking loaches can become aggressive towards other fish if they are not fed properly or if they do not have enough space and hiding places. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with a spacious aquarium with plenty of hiding spots and suitable tank mates. Although they are known for being great algae eaters, the sucking loach prefers a meaty diet as it matures. They will happily accept a variety of foods such as algae wafers, sinking catfish pellets, flakes, and frozen or live foods like mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, and daphnia. Sucking loaches are also available in three different colours, including natural brown tones, golden orange with red eyes, and a golden-brown part-albino variation. Their unique appearance adds a touch of vibrancy to any aquarium. Overall, if provided with adequate care, feeding, and suitable tank mates, the sucking loach can be a wonderful addition to your aquarium.

Sucking Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexing sucking loaches accurately is difficult when they are juveniles. However, mature females tend to have a thicker body than males. During spawning, males develop tubercles on their nose, which is a noticeable feature that can help differentiate them from females.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameGyrinocheilus aymonieri
Year Described1883
Other NamesGolden sucking loach, Chinese algae eater, Sucker loach
OriginsCambodia China Laos Thailand Vietnam
Max Size28 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom
Best kept asLoners
Lifespanup to 15 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 8.5
GH4 - 25
TDS36 - 357
77 - 82
25 - 28

Natural habitat

The Sucking Loach originates from the breathtaking mountain streams and medium to large rivers of Southeast Asia. In their natural habitat, these fish thrive in fast-flowing freshwater and can be found darting around substrates of pebbles, boulders, sand, and gravel, often taking shelter in the company of submerged tree roots or driftwood. The shallow, clear water of these streams allows for ample sunlight to penetrate the surface, creating a rich biofilm upon which these fish graze. Interestingly, the Sucking Loach is known to undergo seasonal migrations, during which it ventures into deeper waters. However, these fish are well adapted to their environment, and their unique characteristics and behaviours have captivated the hearts of aquarium enthusiasts worldwide.

How to breed the Sucking Loach

Regrettably, there is limited information available on the breeding habits of the sucking loach. It has been reported that adult fish may develop tubercles on their nose, indicating their readiness to spawn. However, successful breeding of this species in the aquarium hobby remains uncommon, with only a small number of individuals reportedly achieving success, primarily through the use of hormone treatments in farming settings.

Diet & feeding

While the sucking loach is classified as a vegetarian, it's worth noting that they tend to prefer meaty foods as they mature. In addition to vegetable-based foods, this species will readily consume sinking catfish pellets, flakes, and algae wafers. They also enjoy live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and daphnia.

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