The Fish Guru

Loaches: A Guide to Care and the Best Species for Your Aquarium

Introduction to Loaches

Loaches are a type of catfish that come in many different species! These relatives of the catfish have unique care requirements that are dependent on the particular kind of loach. Understanding the general care that loaches need can help you take care of these fascinating fish.

In this article, we will discuss the basic insights on how to take care of loaches, from feeding to fish-tank conditions.

Loach Care Requirements

Giving loaches proper care requires understanding their needs according to their species. In essence, you will need to create an environment thats safe, enjoyable, and healthy for them.

To do this it means planning for housing, aquarium conditions, and feeding habits.

Species requirement

Loaches require different water conditions, temperatures, and sizes of aquariums. For instance, some loaches are more sensitive to water temperature fluctuations than others.

Loaches like the Kuhlii Loach and the Hillstream Loach need colder water than common tropical fish, with a temperature ranging between 68F (20C) and 73F (23C). Keeping your aquarium between these temperatures and ensuring that the pH levels are just right is a key component of keeping your loaches healthy.

Loach Diet

Most loaches are omnivorous and eat a variety of live and dried food. Loaches prefer live food specifically, such as worms, brine shrimp and bloodworms.

You can add commercial flakes or pellets, or make your own fishy food so that the fish gets the required diet. Be careful, as some loaches are fussy eaters, and if there are any other fish in the tank, they might eat the food first, leaving the loaches hungry.

Alternate different types of food to keep the diet varied. Loach Sensitivity & Medication

Loaches are sensitive to copper and difficult to medicate, so its essential to research any medicine you want to give them thoroughly.

The amount of copper in some chemical treatments can harm your loaches and can be fatal. Similarly, loaches are difficult to medicate if any parasitic fish come into the tank.

Its important not to use aggressive chemical treatment for medication, and to identify the root of the problem beforehand. Be sure to change the water regularly to ensure a good level of hygiene and avoid unwanted bacteria buildup.

Loach Algae

If you’re hoping to keep your aquarium clean from algae using loaches, think again. Not all species of loach feed on algae (such as the clown loach), and not all algae is safe to be eaten.

While a few selected types of loaches specialise in protecting the environment from specific forms of algae, the majority wont generally eat all of them.


In conclusion, keeping loaches requires a certain level of care and attention, and its important to ensure a stable environment with the correct water conditions and diet. A healthy tank ensures the longevity and health of the loaches.

Understanding the particular species of loach you have is key, so that you carefully cater to each ones unique requirements. With these insights and tips, you can create a safe environment for your loaches, and watch as they grow and prosper.

3) The Best Freshwater Loaches for Your Aquarium

Whether you’re starting your first aquarium or adding to an established one, loaches are a great choice for a variety of reasons. These fascinating fish come in various colours and sizes, and can provide a lot of interest within your aquarium.

In this section, well take a closer look at some of the best freshwater loach species you could add to your aquarium.

Kuhli Loach

The Kuhli loach is a popular species in Southeast Asia. It is a slender, eel-like fish with a brown and yellow striped pattern along the body.

They prefer cooler water temperatures, and having hiding areas of the tank is a must. Kuhli loaches are nocturnal, and prefer to come out in the dark.

In addition, they are peaceful creatures that thrive in groups of five or more, so ensure your tan can accommodate this.

Yoyo Loach

The Yoyo loach is a semi-aggressive fish originating from China. These fish are silver and brown with black bands and spots that resemble a yoyo pattern.

They are active swimmers and love to play with other fish in the aquarium. Ideally, they require a planted aquarium with large rocks, plenty of hiding spots and a strong filter to simulate their natural river environment.

Yoyo loaches are not fussy eaters, so any type of nutritious food will work best for them.

Zebra Loach

Zebra loaches, named after their striking black and white stripes are native to Indonesia. Sadly, these loaches are considered an endangered species in the wild.

By creating a captive environment in your aquarium, you will be contributing to their preservation while enjoying their beauty. Zebra loaches are active swimmers, however, they require hiding places such as water pipes, aquarium rocks, or driftwood to escape from direct light.

They enjoy eating worms, vegetables, and other quality dried food.

Dojo Loach

Dojo loaches are burrowing fish found in Asia. They have long, slender bodies and range in colour from a light brown to olive green.

These loaches are one of the few species that can tolerate slightly brackish aquarium water, and prefer a depth of at least 20 inches. You can create an environment for your Dojo loaches by giving them hiding areas to burrow, and providing a healthy diet of live insects, worms, and vegetables.

Clown Loach

The clown loach is one of the most popular loach species. As a monster fish, they can grow up to 12 inches long and require an aquarium of at least 55 gallons.

These fish are social creatures and require several others of their species to be happy. Clown loaches are omnivores but prefer a meaty diet with insects being a staple; they require a varied diet with regular feeding.

They come with a mixture of red and yellow stripes across its body that gives it its distinctive appearance and makes it a mesmerising addition to your aquarium. 4)


In conclusion, adding loaches to your aquarium can add an entirely new level of interest to your fish tank.

These unique fish come in various colors and sizes, each with different temperaments and care requirements. When choosing a species of loach, its critical to consider your tanks size, the species’ school requirements, and their feeding and habitat needs.

By providing a clean and nurturing environment, you will be able to watch as your loaches grow and thrive in your tank. Loaches are fascinating catfish that come in many species with unique care requirements.

To care for loaches, create a safe environment that offers hiding places and specific water conditions. Feeding and medication should also be taken into consideration.

The Kuhli, Yoyo, Zebra, Dojo, and Clown are among the best freshwater loach species you could add to your aquarium for different reasons. When adding loaches to your aquarium, its essential to consider the tank size, species’ social requirements, and feeding and habitat needs.

By following these tips, you can ensure your loaches will be healthy while providing an eye-catching addition to your aquarium.

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