Blue botia

Aquarium fish: Blue botia (Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Size: 18 – 25 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 23-28 ° C
Aquarium volume: 280 l

Blue botia (Yasuhikotakia modesta ) – quite large aquarium fish of the Botiidae family, attracts attention with its red, contrasting with the rest of the body, fins.

Occurrence

Asia. The species is found in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Malay Peninsula. Found in larger rivers with muddy bottoms and in flooded areas. During the rainy season, they migrate to smaller streams and watercourses to flooded areas during their breeding time.

Most often found in flowing waters, they seek shelter during the day between tree roots and stones.

Characteristics and disposition

One of the biggest loaches. In the wild, it reaches up to 25 cm in length, and in an aquarium it is often shorter (17-20 cm). The color of the body is quite diverse, from blue to gray, sometimes with a slightly greenish tinge. At the base of the tail there is a generally inconspicuous vertical dark stripe.

Orange or red colored fins. In juveniles, they may be green iridescent with visible, narrow stripes. Unfortunately, this species is also subjected to artificial dyeing . In trade, the pink, green, orange and turquoise forms are found. Artificially colored fish have discoloration and stains visible on the skin, and in addition are more susceptible to diseases and have a shorter life span.

Sexual dimorphism is poorly visible. Adult females are slightly larger and fuller than males. They lead a nocturnal, bottom-line lifestyle, but after acclimatization in the aquarium, they are also active during the day. In nature, they live in numerous groups with complex hierarchies and relationships. It is recommended to keep at least 5 in the aquarium , preferably 10 or more.

In smaller amounts, they can be skittish or, on the contrary, show more aggression towards similar fish. By holding 2 or 3 animals, the strongest (usually the largest female) can dominate the rest and will not eat. Interesting behavior can often be observed in gray loaches when, for example, the younger ones swim alongside the older ones, imitating their every move. It is probably a means of communication of some kind, as is the occasional clicking noise that increases with satisfaction. They also often rest in unusual positions for fish, at different angles or even on their backs.

They usually live from 5 to 12 years, sometimes more.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous. In nature, they mainly eat worms, crustaceans and insects, but they also do not despise green foods, algae or even delicate plants. In the aquarium, they are not picky and eat most of the available dry, live and frozen foods, e.g. dry flakes, granules, spirulina tablets, mosquito larvae, artemia, tubifex, daphnia, vegetables (cucumber, zucchini, spinach).

They are also happy to eat snails . They can be used to control them, but should never be chosen as a solution to fighting them – they will usually choose food that is more accessible. A varied diet will ensure their best condition.

Aquarium

A small group of gray loaches requires, above all, a long aquarium (at least 150 cm), with a soft, preferably sandy substrate and a lot of hiding places and nooks. Plants can also be used for decoration, but only those with hard leaves that grow attached to objects.

Others can be destroyed and excavated. These fish are eager to explore all kinds of grottos and crevices. We can put into the aquarium, for example, a larger root, pots, PVC tubes, smooth stones. At the same time, remember not to leave too narrow, tight spaces where the fish could get stuck. A cover is also recommended, as, for example, frightened, they may jump out of the aquarium.

First of all, the water should be clean and well-oxygenated. Efficient filtration and regular water changes (30-50%) are essential. They do not tolerate high concentrations of nitrogen compounds. They are not recommended for a social aquarium. They cannot be kept with fish that are much smaller, that are free swimming or have elongated fins.

Good cohabitants will be larger fish of the genus Devario, Rasbora, Barilius, Puntius and Danio , as well as bottom loaches and catfish.

Breeding

They do not breed in aquariums . Commercially available fish come from harvesting or breeding farms, where they are reproduced with the help of special hormones. In nature, they migrate to spawn and spawn.

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