Now the gravel is gone, the natural behaviour returns. Loaches ought to be kept in a group, preferably 6 or more, and is not, some can get overly agressive. Remember, living in a group is intended to be a protection. Failing such, the fish, any fish, can react by getting more carefull, that is hiding more, or getting agressive - doing it to them before they are doing it to you.
On a first sidenote, I wonder whether loaches and shrimp is a good combination. Loaches might eat them
my second sidenote is that a group of loaches can be rather intimidating. I have Rasbora borapetensis combined with Schistura bachmaensis, 8 of both, and this cvombinaton does not work, the Rasboras are very shy, sitting in the darkest place of the tank, doing nothing, while they ought to be active quite close to the surface. I think the Schistura, which are very active during feeding are to blame, and I will remove the Rasboras. Soon
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According to this website, which I feel is authoritative:
"As always, thorough research prior to selecting a community of fishes is the best way to avoid problems.
Botia spp. are gregarious, form complex social hierarchies and should be maintained in groups of at least 5 or 6 specimens, preferably 10 or more.
When kept singly they can become withdrawn or aggressive towards similarly-shaped fishes, and if only a pair or trio are purchased the dominant individual may stress the other(s) to the extent that they stop feeding."
There is also a guide here on Loaches Online.
I think I would rehome the loach unless you can offer more (5-6) of the same species...& you tank is pretty small for all those loaches...You didn't know, there's no need to feel guilty about it but fix it soon.
That's the problem with common names such as "golden zebra loach". What could this be?
I am Dutch, not a native speaker of English, and I have not a clue what species is involved. On one hand this does nopt matter indeed, as the mentioned problem is common for (almost) all loaches. But on the other hand, even in small areas common names can differ. Thayeri boekley has some 10 common names in the Netherlands, a country with 17 miljon people in it, and an area as big as Maryland in the USA.
Imagine the number of names in the English speaking world. It is so much better to use the latin names.
Loaches are not very common in fish keeping. That could even result in fish store owners invening their own names, and these names could be reused for later shipments, with other species involved.
Especially in an international forum we should all try to use latin names in addition to "common" names when possible although some are easier than others. "Sids", "yoyos" & pangios (often just called "kuhli" loaches for any of the genus) are fairly easy to understand but "hillstream" is a habitat, not any genus or species, there are many.
It's hard for new people to go beyond what the shop may call a fish & lfs may have gotten a mixed species grouping as a single "common" name. This especially difficult if the fish are young & small. I've seen this more & more often the last few years.
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