Dwarf Loach

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Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki - (Klausewitz, 1959)
Dwarf Loach

A small, attractive loach for communities of peaceful, non-predatory fishes. Neil Hepworth


The smallest member of the loach group, the Dwarf Loach also has a repertoire of unique behaviors and makes a droll, entertaining resident of a peaceful community aquarium. Although this is an endangered species in its native Thailand, large numbers of commercially bred individuals are now available.

Family: Cobitidae

Other common name(s):

  • Dwarf Botia

Native range:

Habitat: An aquarium for the Dwarf Loach should include fine-grade or rounded gravel substrate in order to protect the fish's delicate sensory barbels. Include driftwood, rocky caves and aquatic plants as hiding places. Excellent filtration is a must.

Maximum length: 6 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

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

General swimming level: Bottom


Easy to feed, the Dwarf Loach will accept most small foods offered, including sinking catfish pellets, micropellets, flakes, algae wafers and small-size frozen foods, such as Daphnia, Cyclops and brine shrimp.

Aquarium Compatibility

Unlike many of the others in their family that wait until after dark to become active, these little loaches like to school in the mid-water environs of their aquariums during the day.


None, although some aquarists have reported pre-spawning activity in their fishes.


Like all loaches, the Dwarf Loach should be kept in groups of at least three to make them comfortable enough to exhibit their wide array of behaviors.

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