Bengal Loach

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Botia dario - (Hamilton, 1822)
Bengal Loach

A captivating aquarium species that performs a "loach dance" when kept in schools. Aaron Norman


This is one of the truly delightful loaches and a favorite fish of all who have kept it. When acquired in groups of at least three, the Bengal Loach will provide the aquarist hours of entertainment, swimming in the characteristic loach “dance,” as it is commonly referred to, in which a group swims up and down in the water in figure-eight patterns.

Family: Cobitidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Because they are bottom dwellers that burrow in the substrate, the Bengal Loach tank should consist of fine-grained, round-edged gravel. Include numerous hiding places in the form of driftwood or inverted flowerpots to make them feel secure enough to exhibit their natural behaviors.

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 208 L (55 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Bottom


Omnivore. These are bottom feeders that spend much of their time foraging for bits of food in the substrate. They will accept a wide variety of commercial flake foods and sinking pellets, as well as live or frozen bloodworms or brine shrimp.

Aquarium Compatibility

Bengal Loaches are often seen “play fighting” over bits of food when kept in groups of three or more in a community setting, but don’t be alarmed—it’s just an act and no one gets hurt.


Not reported in the aquarium.


These are scaleless fishes that are particularly susceptible to ich. Use only medications designated for scaleless fishes.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: AN
Text credit: KW