Species group: Loaches
Other common names: Candystripe Loach; Thinline Loach
Scientific name: Botia striata
The Zebra Loach is a small member of the Botiidae family of fish, and is native to the clean and shady waters of the Tunga River in southern India. The Zebra Loach is a nocturnal feeder, and needs a substrate of fine sand and plenty of rock and driftwood to hide in.
They often chase each other around the tank. Sometimes, they may playfully nip at the fins of other fishes but this is generally restricted to members of the same species.
The Zebra Loach's body is elongated and laterally compressed. The underbelly appears almost straight while the back assumes a convex shape. The body is dark greenish brown with thin, vertical, yellow stripes. Its fins are a translucent color, with the caudal fin having dark bands or spots. The mouth faces downward and has three pairs of barbels.
The Zebra Loach is a peaceful and active fish which can be easily kept in a community aquarium with other fishes of a similarly peaceful nature. These fish live in schools and hence need to be kept in small groups of four or more.
This fish is a bottom dweller, requiring a tank that is at least 36 inches in length. The height of the tank can vary. In their natural habitat, they live in slightly muddy and still water. The bottom of the tank is lined with a finely textured soil in order to protect the delicate barbels of the fish when it probes the bottom of the tank in its search for food. A few plants in the tank are sufficient to suitably dim the lighting, since these fish are nocturnal in habit. They also need to be provided with dark, shady areas like caves or rocks behind which they like to hide.
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