freshwater community4


Zipper Loach

zipper loach

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Scientific Name:   Acanthocobitis botia      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   70-79°F      
pH:   6.0-7.5/5-12°dGH      
Size:   3.5"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Well suited to the community tank; can be kept with Danios, Tetras, Cyprinids and other Loaches.

Zipper Loach

Also known as the Mottled Loach, Sand Loach and Striped Loach, the Zipper Loach is widely distributed. These fish can be found in parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan as well as in parts of Thailand. Zipper Loaches tend to inhabit streams and small rivers where they can take cover under leaf litter and in sandy substrate. These fish are named for the zipper-like pattern exhibit by juveniles of the species. Adult Zipper Loaches tend to have grayish-green bodies and white bellies ornamented with dark splotches. The dorsal fin and tail may also be striped or spotted.

Tank Set-up

Zipper Loaches are most likely to thrive in large tanks that provide plenty of cover in the form of plants and driftwood branches. Because these fish are sensitive to water quality, weekly 30% to 50% water changes are recommended. These fish are typically peaceful in nature and, as such, are well suited to larger community tanks. Because they can be shy, this species should be kept singly or in groups of six or more.


In the wild, Zipper Loaches are micropredators, feeding on small insects and insect larvae. In the home aquarium, however, they are likely to accept sinking dried foods. Offer these loaches a staple diet of high-quality sinking ofods supplemented with plenty of live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, Daphnia and Artemia.


There are no known reports of successfully breeding this fish in captivity - most specimens available in the aquarium trade are wild-caught. There have been reports, however, of fry being found in mature tanks but because this species tends to eat its own eggs, only a small number were recovered.

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