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Rainbow Loach

rainbow loach

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Scientific Name:   Traccatichthys pulcher      
Min. Tank Size:   50 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature 70-78°F     
pH:   6.5-7.5/5-18°dGH      
Size:   4.5"     
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer    


Best kept with at least 6 of its own species; can be kept with Cyprinids, Characins, Gouramis, Livebearers and other Loaches.

Rainbow Loach

Also called the Mountain Loach or the Beautiful Hillstream Loach, the Rainbow Loach is named for the rainbow-like sheen its body may exhibit along the lateral line. These fish typically have light brown bodies with pale bellies and black spots at the base of the tail. These loaches have light-colored, transparent fins and possess three pairs of barbels. Rainbow Loaches are native to China where they can be found in the Guangdong Province and on Hainan Island.

Tank Set-up

Rainbow Loaches thrive in cool, river-like tank setups that provide plenty of water movement and subdued lighting. These fish also prefer sandy substrate and a large number of hiding places in the form of rocks, plants and driftwood. Though typically peaceful in nature, Rainbow Loaches may nip at long-finned species of fish but this behavior is typically limited to their own species. These loaches tend to thrive when kept in groups of at least six other Rainbow Loaches - groups of this size may also help to reduce fin-nipping behaviors.


These loaches are omnivorous by nature, feeding on a variety of insects, crustaceans and insect larae in addition to plant matter. In the home aquarium, however, Rainbow Loaches do not tend to be picky. Offer your loaches a staple diet of high-quality sinking foods supplemented with plenty of live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and Daphnia.


These fish are not common in the aquarium trade and have not been known to breed in the home aquarium. Because this species is not yet being bred commercially, most specimens available to aquarium hobbyists are wild-caught.

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