Types of loaches are a very popular aquarium fish for good reason, they’re a joy to watch and can help keep the tank clean. But it is important to do your research and understand the needs of each species to make sure you can provide them with a happy life in your home.
There are many different types of loaches but they all share common features. They are bottom-dwelling fish that feed on particulates and invertebrates on the substrate of rivers and streams. They are elongated in shape and have barbels that they use to dig out food from the substrate.
Most loach fish do best in a tank of at least 30 gallons and should be kept with at least one other loach of the same species, or a similar-sized fish. Ideally the tank should be large enough to provide a wealth of hiding places for each fish, including rock crevices, logs and plants.
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In addition to the normal bottom-dwelling foods, most loaches will also accept small pieces of vegetable. Cucumber, courgette (zucchini), marrow, romaine lettuce, cabbage and peas are all popular choices. Some hobbyists have also tried giving their loaches banana, but with mixed results.
Like most freshwater fish, loaches are susceptible to a number of health issues, such as parasitic infections and nutritional deficiency. If you notice any of these symptoms in your loach, it is important to take immediate action by performing a 40%-50% water change and addressing the underlying cause.