freshwater community4


Skunk Loach

skunk loach

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Scientific Name:   Yasuhikotakia morleti      
Min. Tank Size:   50 gallons      
Personality:   Can be feisty      
Temperature:   75-82°F      
pH:   6.0-7.5/2-12°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with at least 6 of its own species; choose other tankmates carefully. Can be kept with Rasboras, Danios, Catfish and other Loaches of similar size and robustness. Stay away form slow moving fish with long fins.

Skunk Loach

The Skunk Loach is named for the black stripe running down its back and it is a very popular species in the aquarium hobby. These fish typically exhibit light brown or cream-colored bodies ornamented with a black stripe down the back and a black vertical band at the base of the caudal fin. The caudal fin may also exhibit dark spots and juveniles of this species may have dark vertical stripes which fade with maturation. Skunk Loaches are native to Cambodia but have also been found in parts of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. These fish tend to inhabit both flowing and still waters where they often hide in crevices and underneath rocks.

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, Skunk Loaches prefer fine substrate, driftwood branches and some live plants. These loaches require well-structured tanks and high water quality which can be achieved through weekly water changes of 30% to 50% of the tank volume. Unlike some of its relatives, the Skunk Loach tends to be somewhat combative - it is likely to nip at the fins of tankmates. This behavior is typically worse in smaller groups, so these fish should always be kept with at least six of their own species.


Although Skunk Loaches are carnivorous by nature, they will also eat vegetable matter if they come across it in the wild. To promote good health and coloration, offer these fish a varied diet of prepared and live/frozen foods. Use a staple diet of high-quality sinking foods supplemented with plenty of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworms, Artemia and Daphnia. These fish will also benefit from some fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet.


There are no known reports of successfully breeding this species in the home aquarium, likely due to the fact that these fish are migratory spawners. Most specimens available for the aquarium hobby are wild-caught or farmed commercially through the use of hormones.

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