Yoyo loach

Aquarium fish: Yoyo loach (Botia almorhae)
Size: 10 – 16 cm
Origin: Asia
Water temperature: 19-27 ° C
Aquarium volume: 100 l

Yoyo loach (Botia almorhae ) – a small, freshwater fish from the boci family (Botiidae) .The nomenclature is not entirely clear. The current division is adopted by Steven Grant (2007), who distinguished 5 different species from B. almorhae: B. almorhae, B. birdi, B.

lohachata, B. sp. Kosi, B. sp. Teesta .

The last two, however, can only be a variety of B. almorhae. The species differ slightly in pattern and color intensity. Unfortunately, there is currently no photographic documentation confirming the separated species of B. lohachata and B.

birdi . Only the species B. lohachata, B. sp. Kosi, B.sp.

Teesta and their hybrids.


South Asia. A widespread species. It occurs in the areas of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh. It lives in stagnant or slowly flowing waters.

Fish gather mainly in pools and backwaters with rocky ground. They migrate up rivers to spawn.

Characteristics and disposition

It can be up to 16 cm long, but usually less in an aquarium. Coloration of silver, white, yellow, golden or light green, with dark vertical stripes that together with the spots form lines resembling the letters “Y” and “i”. In some individuals, the mesh pattern on the body forms the word YOYO, hence the common name of this species.

In dyed specimens, a beautiful shimmering blue color can be seen from the dark stripes of the pattern to the light flesh color. The caudal fin is very indented, with dark spots. There are four pairs of whiskers by the mouth. There are sharp spines around the eyes , usually hidden under the skin, and lifted during stress, e.g. fishing out of the water (be careful not to get tangled in the mesh).

Fish dimorphism poorly visible . Adult females are slightly larger and fuller than males. In nature, they lead a nocturnal, bottom-line lifestyle. They live in large groups with hierarchies and complex relationships. After acclimatization in the aquarium, they are also very active during the day.

It is recommended to keep at least 5 individuals, preferably 10 or more. In smaller numbers, they are shy or aggressive towards other similar species. In the case of keeping 2 or 3 fish, the dominant one may intimidate the rest and stop eating. The largest female is most often the dominant fish. Loons show interesting behaviors – they swim to imitate movements, make clicking sounds or rest in strange positions, e.g.

on their side or back. On average, they live from 5 to 8 years, but sometimes they live up to 16 under optimal conditions.

Nutrition and feeding

Omnivorous. In nature, they eat mainly molluscs, insects, worms and small invertebrates, but they also do not despise delicate plants. They are not picky in the aquarium, but should be provided with a varied diet.

You can give good-quality dry food, supplemented with frozen, live (e.g. bloodworm, pipe, artemia) and vegetable food (cucumber, melon, spinach, zucchini, etc.). Their delicacy is rarely desired in the aquarium snails , but they should not be chosen as a solution to fight them – usually they will choose more available food.


They require a spacious, long aquarium at least 120 cm long, preferably with a sandy or gravel surface and numerous hiding places. For decoration, you can use roots, smooth stones, pots or PVC tubes.

They love to visit and stay in hard-to-reach places, which is why any gaps must be large enough so that the fish do not get stuck in them. The light shouldn’t be too bright. If you want to place plants, choose only those with hard leaves that can grow attached to the decoration. The more delicate ones, planted in the ground, will sooner or later be dug up or eaten. The cover will prevent the fish from jumping out of the aquarium.

Water for reticulated loaches should be oxygen-rich, with moderate current. They do not tolerate any kind of pollution. Efficient filtration and regular large water changes (30-50%) are recommended. They should never be introduced into newly established aquariums. They are not particularly aggressive, but smaller fish can be stressed by their size and activity.

They tend to nibble on other fish . Therefore, they should not be in the company of free-swimming fish with long, veil-like fins, e.g. fighters, guppies and cichlids. They can be combined with deep-swimming, gentle cyprinids, and in larger reservoirs with the genus Barilius, Luciosoma, Balantiocheilos , Barbonymus , other sea bots ( Magnificent Loaf ) and catfish.


There are no known cases of reproduction in aquarium conditions.

Commercially available fish come from harvesting or breeding farms, where they are bred using special hormones, unfortunately often with a sloppy approach, and many hybrids appear on the market.


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