Interesting Facts About Loaches
- Jun 10, 2021
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Loaches are in an interesting group of fish from the supergroup called Cobitoidea. The word ‘loach’ is often used to refer to an incredibly wide range of fish. There are over 1200 known species which are divided into 107 genera among 9 families.
Read on to find out a few more facts about this incredible, wiggly fish.
By Edited by Davidaboyd - Made from the following free images, some cropped and/or rotated (clockwise, from top-left):Chromobotia macracanthus.jpg by Vlad ButskyFile:JugendlichesDornauge.jpg by Robert MollikWilhelma Schmerle.jpg by XocolatlBeaufortia kweichowensis by DaijuAzuma.jpg by Daiju Azuma, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77755287
1. The yoyo loach was named after the black pattern on its side
The thin black pattern on a yoyo loaches side runs across its little body in such a way that it appears to spell out the word yoyo. The body of this fish is silver in colors. The name was given to the fish by a photographer called Ken Childs.
2. Loaches do a happy dance
The loach best known for ‘dancing’ is called the black kuhli loach. You will notice this loach swimming in large circles in your tank after you did a water change or just after you fed them. They can be incredibly entertaining to watch. Make sure your tank has a lid since they do occasionally accidentally jump out of the water.
3. They can predict bad weathers conditions
Loaches are quite sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and can often be seen swimming frantically just before a storm hits. They may also do this if the water quality in your tank suddenly declines, but if it’s not the water, it’s probably the weather.
4. They look like little eels
Not all the loaches resemble eels, but there are quite a few species, like the kuhli loach, that has a very close resemblance to them. Like eels, loaches are also bottom feeders which means they primarily exist at the bottom of your tank.
5. Bottom feeders
Loaches are scavengers that live at the bottom of your tank. They will eat anything that settles to the bottom including other creatures. Leaches are omnivores that can survive on plant material as well, but this shouldn’t be their only source of food.
6. Can breathe air
Loaches primarily breathe through their gills, but there are a few species that can survive by breathing air. These species, like the weather loach, can gulp down air, use the oxygen and then expel it through the anus.
7. Non-Schooling Fish That Likes Companions
Loaches are usually kept in groups of six or more. They are not schooling fish, but do better when kept with companions of the same species. If kept in smaller groups, you may see some aggression towards their own kind even though they are known as peaceful fish.
8. Japanese delicacy is known as dojo
The dojo loach, also known as the weather or pond loach, is eaten as a delicacy in japan usually in early summer. The dish is called dojo nabe and the loaches are usually caught wild and can be anywhere between six to 12 inches (15-30 cm)
By hirotomo t from japan - dozeu nabe (tweaked), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12736127
9. Some live up to 14 years
Depending on the species of loach you’re keeping and how they are cared for, your loach can live anywhere from 8 to 14 years. Clown loaches usually live for 10 years or more.
10. Loaches are escape artists
These creatures are great at getting away when you’re trying to catch them. They will dive underneath rocks and logs or just into the sand or gravel. You will often need to remove the sand or gravel wiling trying to catch a loach.
There you have it guys if you would like to have one of these creatures in your tank, check out our guide on keeping loaches. Enjoy your new fish!