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Loaches for your aquarium

They could not be more different: Loaches in aquaristics are diverse and varied aquarium fish. A loach can be recognized by its sub-eye sp ines and its underslung sucking mouth, with which it can defy the current and hold on very well. Otherwise, there are no similarities even in body shape: There are the very typically fish-shaped loaches, the snake-like spiny lo aches, and the flat fin suckers. There are very small, very slender and also giant-sized species among the loaches and monochrome, splendidly colored or contrastingly patterned ornamental fish. Omnivores can be found here, but also specialized snail e aters and algae eaters. The loach family is fascinating and varied and offers some highly interesting speciesfor aquarists.

They could not be more different: Loaches in aquaristics are diverse and varied aquarium fish . A loach can be recognized by its sub-eye sp ines and its underslung sucking mouth , with which... learn more »
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Loaches for your aquarium

They could not be more different: Loaches in aquaristics are diverse and varied aquarium fish. A loach can be recognized by its sub-eye sp ines and its underslung sucking mouth, with which it can defy the current and hold on very well. Otherwise, there are no similarities even in body shape: There are the very typically fish-shaped loaches, the snake-like spiny lo aches, and the flat fin suckers. There are very small, very slender and also giant-sized species among the loaches and monochrome, splendidly colored or contrastingly patterned ornamental fish. Omnivores can be found here, but also specialized snail e aters and algae eaters. The loach family is fascinating and varied and offers some highly interesting speciesfor aquarists.

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Loaches in nature

The loach family is huge, we are talking about nearly 1200 species in over 120 genera. Loaches can be found from Europe to Asia, from small to huge in size, from solid colored to contrasting patterned, from easy to keep to downright complicated in requirements. Loaches typically have an under-eye spine that can be unfolded and erected when threatened, and a sucking mouth that sits on the underside of the head and is therefore referred to as under-eyed. Because of the pointed under-eye spines, loaches should therefore never be handled; the risk of injury is high!

Most loaches tend to live oriented to the bottom of the water. Because there are so many species of loaches, not much can be said about the habitats in detail, but typically the ornamental fish are found in very fast flowing, oxygen-rich waters with rocky bottoms where they are exposed to a strong current. With their powerful sucking mouths, they can hold on very well to defy the current. You can't go wrong with humic substances in the water. Loaches are intestinal breathers and therefore always need access to the water surface.

Behavior of loaches in the aquarium

Especially the loaches and also the loaches that are often bought as algae eaters can be very rough with each other and with other fish in the aquarium, especially if they are not kept properly. Here it is particularly important to keep a group of the animals, so that they live out their territorial behavior and their social behavior among themselves and no by-fish are affected. Keeping clown loaches individually is absolutely not species-appropriate and can lead to very strong aggression against other aquarium inhabitants. On the other hand, if they are kept in a large enough group in a large enough aquarium that is well structured with roots, rocks, plants and caves, a pecking order will form and they will no longer be aggressive towards other fish.

Other loaches like the group of spiny loaches or the small fin sucker on the other hand are very peaceful and compatible for the community aquarium. However, they also always need the security of the group!

Loaches in the aquarium

Since some loaches, such as the Botia macracantha, grow very large and must also be kept in a group, these aquarium fish need a sufficiently large tank. Fond of current, loaches are optimal stocking fish for a stream aquarium or current aquarium. Plenty of oxygen in the water is also a must! Loaches like to hold on to large pebbles in the current with their sucking mouth. They like to rummage through sand for food, so a sand corner is very useful. Most loaches need soft to medium hard water, but some species do well in hard water. An addition of humic substances to the aquarium water is advisable, the importance of these substances has been neglected in aquaristics for a long time. They have proven to be very useful in keeping ornamental fish. Good structuring not only by stones, but also by means of wood and aquarium roots can prevent stress and provides good hiding places for loaches. Fine feathery plants can be eaten by some species of loaches, so give preference to hardier aquarium plants such as Anubias, Bucephalandra or Java fern, fast growing Vallisnerias and bitter tasting Cryptocorynes. Some loaches are very lively jumpers, for this reason open tanks are not as suitable for loach keeping as aquariums with a cover.

Breeding loaches in the aquarium

Breeding loaches in the aquarium is difficult and even impossible for most species. There are always reports about accidental breeding, for example with the spiny loaches, and breeding programs with rare species like the panda mountain loach. In breeding farms in Asia, for example, loaches are subjected to hormone treatment so that they can be bred in captivity; in the aquarium at home, such a procedure is self-explanatory.

Socialization of loaches

Many loaches are very compatible with a community aquarium, while others would help themselves to dwarf shrimp and small fish, and pretty much oppress shy fish with their rowdy nature. Here you should definitely pay attention to the individual item descriptions in our online store, there you will find more detailed information on the socialization of your loaches. Mostly a socialization with invertebrates like crayfish already fails because of the stronger current in the aquarium, which the loaches would like to have - besides, the rather bottom-oriented loaches are a welcome prey for large crayfish or aquarium crabs.

Feeding loaches correctly

Here the feeding habits of the species vary so much that no generally valid statements can be made. While there are the distinct algae eaters among the loaches, which can be fed very well with catfish sticks and algae plates, the snail eaters among them should be fed with live snails or food sn ails in addition to good live food of high quality. Soft, scalded vegetables are also a fine dietary supplement for these fascinating aquarium fish. NatureHolic main feed is particularly suitable as a staple food, in addition to the above-mentioned feeds. 

Conclusion

Loaches are great aquarium fish, which are unfortunately often misunderstood and not kept species-appropriate. If the conditions fit and the ornamental fish have a shoal of conspecifics in the aquarium, they are wonderful aquarium companions that are great to watch and always provide a great spectacle. Moreover, among them there are effective algae eaters and snail eaters. In Garnelio online store you can buy vital loaches for your aquarium.

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