Species group: Loaches
Other common names: Yo-Yo Loach; Pakistani Loach; Almora Loach; Reticulated Loach
Scientific name: Botia almorhae
The Yoyo Loach is a bottom-feeding, schooling fish which is native to slow moving waters in the Ganges River drainage in northern India and in Nepal. In freshwater aquariums, the Yoyo Loach is prized for its handsome appearance, peaceful nature, and snail-eating abilities. It does best in groups of 5 or more fish, and is a nocturnal feeder. Like other loaches, the Pakistani Loach accepts various types of food. The diet includes flakes, freeze dried brine shrimp and tubifex worms, sinking pellets, and algae wafers. These loaches also appreciate natural food like snails, chopped earthworm, and freshwater shrimps.
Pakistani Loaches have the characteristic torpedo-shaped body with barbels around the mouth. A juvenile Pakistani Loach has distinct black and white patterns along the sides that seem to spell “yoyo”, giving the species the common name “Yoyo Loach.” As the fish matures, the markings blend into a more reticulated pattern, giving the species the other common name “Reticulated Loach.” Pakistani Loaches have the characteristic torpedo-shaped body with barbels around the mouth. A juvenile Pakistani Loach has distinct black and white patterns along the sides that seem to spell “yoyo”, giving the species the common name “Yoyo Loach.” As the fish matures, the markings blend into a more reticulated pattern, giving the species the other common name “Reticulated Loach.” Interestingly, fish that come from Pakistan are darker than those that are native to India.
Pakistani Loaches are inherently shy. They require numerous hiding places to retreat to when they feel threatened by the presence of humans or aggressive tank mates. Eventually, they get acclimated and come out to feed or explore their surroundings. They are nocturnal but are often seen scavenging in the daytime. These loaches can be housed in a community aquarium but preferably not with highly aggressive fishes because they are often seen “lounging” or sleeping on their sides, almost looking dead.
Yoyo Loaches are best kept in at least a 20-gallon tank heavily decorated with plants, caves, and rock and driftwood formations that will serve as hiding places. Because loaches are typically burrowers, the plants and décor should be well grounded, and the substrate preferably fine sand with no sharp edges. Loaches also prefer to school, therefore, keeping several Pakistani Loaches in a relatively large tank is recommended. Lighting should be somewhat subdued, and the water quality strictly monitored, with water changes performed weekly if necessary.
handsome, good snail eater, pest snails, playful fish, tank cleaners
dusk dawn fish, shy little fish, delicate barbels
sandy substrate, smaller loaches, Pakistani Loach, active dusk dawn, suckingclicking sound