Dwarf Chain Loach (Yasuhikotakia Sidthiimunki)
Native Location: Thailand
Maximum Size: 7cm (2.5 inches)
Temperature Range: 20 – 30℃ (68 – 86℉)
Preferred pH Range: 6 –7.5
Minimum Aquarium Size: 114 L (30 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Silver Dollar Fish, Otocinclus, Cory Catfish
Care Level: Intermediate
Dwarf Chain loaches are a high energy species and are always looking to put on a show with their pretty features!
These little guys will need several small meals throughout the day to stay healthy. They will spend most of their time searching for food and will eat almost anything you feed them. As they mature, there may be a tendency for them to get pickier with food. So try different foods to see what your fish will like. Pellets or flakes should make up a bulk of their diet with snacks high in protein like bloodworms and brine shrimp. Dwarf Chains are a semi-aggressive species and will not make the best tank-mate for more docile species. Keep them with fish of a similar temperament so they can all defend themselves against each other. Weaker fish will only become targets. Since Dwarf Chains occupy the bottom of the tank, choose fish who live in different sections of the water column.
Dwarf chains need an abundance of hiding places as they prefer the security of confined spaces, they need this when resting. Use rocks, caves and driftwood to create hiding spots. All crevices with smooth edges to ensure no harm comes to your little loaches. Also, try some planted vegetation like Anubis, Java Fern or Moneywort. Dwarf Chains do have a taste for softer plants but will ignore anything sturdier. For substrate, use fine sand. As Dwarf Chains are bottom-feeders, avoid any hard or sharp gravel that could hurt their belly. They will also need a moderate current.
Dwarf Chains have all the signature physical features of fish in the loach family. Rounded head, underturned mouth and cylindrical body. They also have four pairs of barbels protruding from their mouth, playing a critical role in the fishes scavenging endeavours. Dwarf Chains look as if the bars across their bodies have circular cut-
outs. Hence the "chain" in their name. They are minor physical differences between males and females. Females are bigger but not by much, and males will have pointer snouts and fleshier lips. It is not currently possible to breed Dwarf Chains at home. They are commercially bred utilising hormones. In the wild, their spawning is triggered by migrating, meaning they need to swim upstream to different water conditions to lay eggs.