freshwater community4


Polka-dot Loach

polka-dot loach

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Scientific Name:  Botia kubotai      
Min. Tank Size:   60 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful     
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   6.0-7.5/2-10°dGH     
Size:   5"      
Diet:   Omnivore     
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with at least 6 of its own species; can be kept with Rasboras, Danios, Catfish and other Loaches.

Polka-dot Loach

This species of loach was introduced into the aquarium hobby before being officially described. Thus, it is known by several different names included Leopard Loach, Angelicus Loach and Marbled Loach. The Polka-dot Loach typically exhibits a black or dark brown body ornamented with a variety of yellow blotches. As these fish mature, the yellow blotches may shrink and additional small yellow stripes may appear on the body. Polka-dot Loaches are believed to be endemic to the Salween River basin between Myanmar and Thailand. These fish tend to inhabit slow-flowing waters where the substrate is sand or gravel and the water is highly oxygenated.

Tank Set-up

Polka-dot Loaches prefer tanks decorated in a natural style with fine substrate, stones and driftwood roots or branches. These fish also require plenty of cover in the form of live plants, rocks and terra cotta pots. Because they come from river habitats, these loaches prefer some degree of flow to tank water and may benefit from weekly 30% to 50% water changes. Like most loaches, Polka-dot Loaches may intimidate smaller fish with their larger size and rapid movements. The best tankmates for this species are cyprinids and other loaches.


These loaches are carnivorous by nature but will also feed on vegetable matter in the wild. In the home aquarium, Polka-dot Loaches should be offered a staple diet of high-quality sinking foods supplemented with live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, Daphnia and Artemia. You may also offer your loaches chopped earthworms as an occasional treat. Fresh fruits and vegetables will help these fish achieve their best coloration.


There are limited reports of success in breeding this fish in the home aquarium. Some cases have been noted, however, of small numbers of young being found in large community tanks. In these cases, the pH in the tank was between 6.0 and 7.5 and the temperature was kept between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Feeding these loaches a varied diet may also help to encourage breeding.

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