The zebra loach is also sometimes called zebra splendid loach. Its scientific name is Botia striata. It belongs to the genus Botia and to the family of clown loaches. It is a carp-like freshwater fish from the tropics. There the zebra loach is found in the wild in South India, namely in the Indian states of Karnataka and Maharashtra and there often in the Western Ghats and in the Thunga River. It needs fast flowing clear rivers and mountain streams. Its habitat is now threatened. This is why the zebra loach is one of the most endangered species.
What are the characteristics of the Zebra Loach?
The zebra loach must not be kept on its own. Then the fish do not feel well. They need a group. Within the group it is quite possible that fights over hierarchy will occur. Less than 6 zebra loaches should not be kept together, up to 20 fish in a group is optimal.
Because the favourite food of zebra lobsters are snails, they should not be kept together with other species in an aquarium, which also like to eat snails, otherwise disputes among the species will arise. As in its home country, the zebra loach also needs clean, clear water in the aquarium. Due to its beautiful pattern this species is a strikingly colourful fish in any aquarium.
The appearance of the zebra loach
The zebra loach grows to a length of 6 to 8 cm and belongs to the particularly high-backed fish. Its mouth is underdeveloped. There are three pairs of short, thin barbels on the mouth. Even though the body of the zebra loach appears smooth, it is covered with many small scales.
Only the head and cheeks are free of scales. The colour of the zebra loach is very striking. Its body is covered by light and dark vertical stripes, mainly in shades of brown and green. In adult animals the stripes sometimes appear reddish. Only the fins of the zebra loach show horizontal stripes composed of dots.
As already mentioned, it is important to keep zebra lobsters in groups of 6 to 20 fish so that they feel comfortable. There should be no sharp-edged stones in the aquarium, otherwise the animals easily hurt their barbels. The zebra loach loves an aquarium plantation that is easy to swim through. It also likes hiding places such as hollowed-out decorative objects, where it likes to rest.
When feeding, you have to make sure that zebra loach are omnivores. When socializing, you should make sure that there are no other species in the aquarium that are particularly fond of snails, as they are the zebra lobsters’ favourite food. The water must be very clear and clean.
- Zebra loaches need company
- There must be no sharp-edged stones in the aquarium
- It must be possible to swim through the aquarium planting
- Hollowed decorative objects as hiding places are ideal
- Not to add other snail eaters to the socialization
- The food must be suitable for omnivores
- The water must always be clear and clean
- With good husbandry, zebra loaches can live to be 20 – 25 years old
There are almost no gender differences between males and females. Only when the animals get older, females can become a bit bigger and fuller than males.
Water values for the zebra loach
The zebra loach is a freshwater fish and comes from the tropics. The optimal water temperature is 25 to 30 degrees Celsius. The optimum pH value is 6.5 to 7.
Food and nutrition of the zebra loach
Zebra loaches are omnivores. They eat aquatic plants present in the aquarium, both live and frozen food and dry food, and snails in particular.
The ideal aquarium for the zebra loach
The ideal aquarium for zebra lobsters should not be too small and should have at least 200 litres of water capacity. Sand or pebbles are ideal for the substrate. Small mounds of cairns and decorative objects as caves are well suited. The planting should be dense in places, but also leave enough space for quick swimming in places. It is important to have good filters to keep the water clean and clear.
Special features of zebra loaches
The breeding of these fish has so far proved difficult or even impossible.