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Loaches

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General Information

Loaches are in the same family as Barbs, Freshwater Sharks, Goldfish, Koi, and Danios. They are usually colorful or patterned and take on a variety of forms, from large, broad-bodied species (Clown Loaches) to small, eel-shaped species (Kuhli Loaches). Unknown to most aquarists is the fact that these fishes possess one or two thorn-shaped spines between or just beneath the eyes that they can raise in order to defend themselves. This is their most distinguishing physical characteristic. They are primarily bottom-dwellers and favor soft, sandy substrate or small pebbles in which they can use their barbel-lined mouths and keen sense of smell to forage for uneaten pieces of food. They are both predators and scavengers with voracious appetites and are accustomed to eating continuously throughout the day. Loaches are native to Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa.

Aquarium Care & Feeding

Loaches fare very well in most community aquaria. These fishes will accept most dry flake foods, sinking wafers, and pellets as well as frozen meaty items like bloodworms, daphnia, clams, and brine shrimp. Loaches also will benefit from vegetable matter (various algae) in their diet. For all Loach species, we especially suggest our formulated Tropical Wafers product.