Zebra Loach (Botia striata)
The Zebra Loach is an excellent freshwater fish that is only really suitable for aquarists with experience as they have no scales and require pristine water conditions. However, they are stunning, peaceful, active, and non-aggressive. These loaches will help maintain your tank by eating algae and organic matter that accumulates over time and they will also eat snails, making them ideal for snail control.
One of the smaller species of the Botia family, The head of this Loach is round with three pairs of barbells that grace the snout, one maxillary set, and two rostral pairs. Young individuals have a red nose that fades as they mature.
Zebra Loaches are prominently marked with vertical stripes, giving them their common name. The lines on their head slant backwards, while the bars in the mid-portion slant forward and those near the tail are almost vertical. These stripes vary in width, from narrow to thick, sometimes dividing up in such a way as to give the appearance of a maze.
This Loach is striped over the whole body; this includes the head and fins, but not the abdomen, which is cream-coloured and free of any patterns or stripes. The colour of the lines alters, from pale yellow to deep brown to grey, and may even take on a blue or greenish tone.
Their fins have some stripes on them as well, but these are different than that of the body. Their fins are semi-translucent, so the lines you see are black. They tend to be thicker on the pectoral and caudal fins, and thinner on the dorsal fin. They sport a forked caudal fin, and a half-fan dorsal fin and the ventral and pectoral fins are relatively wide with a decent surface area.
|Scientific Name||Botia striata|
|Other Names||Candy Stripe Loach, Crossbanded Loach, Lined Loach, Striped Loach, Tiger Loach, Zebra Botia|
|Best kept as||Groups 5+|
|Lifespan||8 - 12 years|
|PH||6.0 - 7.5|
|GH||5 - 12|
|70 - 79℉|
21.1 - 26.1℃
In the home aquarium, the Zebra 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.
There are no noticeable external differences between males and females that can be seen; however, mature females are slightly more rounded in the abdomen than males.