Dwarf Chain Loach Botia sidthimunki

fish tank loach snail eater tropical fish

For me, Dwarf Chain Loaches are the king of the loach and are a wonderful addition to most community aquarium set ups. They are phenomenal snail eaters so if you have a snail problem in your fish tank these little fish are worth looking into. 

The Dwarf Chain Loach is not fussy when it comes to decor and tank setup so this can be done to individual taste. From observations, they prefer a sandy substrate with smooth rocks, driftwood and other decors to provide lots of areas to explore as they are very inquisitive. Because they can squeeze into small spaces, make sure there are no sharp edges to damage themselves on or small gaps they can get stuck in. They prefer low light so be sure to use plants that can withstand this lighting level.

These fish can be kept in a community aquarium but it has been noted they can pester other sedentary or long-fined fish. It is best to keep them in groups of 6-10 due to their complex hierarchy but also because they will become withdrawn or even aggressive if kept singularly and have been known to pull eye balls from corydora if group numbers are to low. They can reach a size of 5-6cm so with this in mind as well as the number of fish required to live in harmony, an aquarium size no smaller than 140L is recommended
These fish tend to lay on their side when resting so do not be alarmed thinking they are dead! Also be very careful when handling because these loaches have a sharp spine located in a pouch just below the eye which will extend when stressed or removed from the tank and may puncture your skin or become entangled in the net.
The Dwarf Chain Loach prefer very clean, well oxygenated, aged water with a stable water chemistry as they are very sensitive to a buildup of organic wastes. They are not fussy eaters so will readily take any prepared foods including sinking spirulina discs, shrimp pellets and quality flake food. Dwarf Chain Loaches are considered carnivorous so love to eat earthworms as a treat and also frozen bloodworms. However, they will also eat other vegetable matter like courgette, blanched spinach and cucumber.

Ideal water conditions are 20 - 27°C and 5.5 - 7.5pH

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  • Karen McKechnie on

    Hi, I have tried several times to keep chain dwarf loaches, but to no avail they keep dying. the temp is 27C. Is it too warm? I also only feed once per day, flakes. Have I starved them. The PH is pale orange. Thanks

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