shy zebra loaches

The forum for the very best information on loaches of all types. Come learn from our membership's vast experience!

Moderator: LoachForumModerators

karl71
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:26 pm
Location: Dundee

shy zebra loaches

Post by karl71 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:42 pm

I have have a 125 litre tank and have barbs,Gouramis and siamese algae eater with 5 zebra loaches. I've had them for 2 months and they are very very shy. They hide most of the day and only one of them seems to come into view. Is this quite normal? I'm quite disapointed as i bought them as i thought they would be active during the day.
K Ahmed

User avatar
Emma Turner
Posts: 8901
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK
Contact:

Post by Emma Turner » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:30 pm

Hi karl71, welcome to Loaches Online. :D

When you say Zebra loaches, I take it you are referring to Botia striata? http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-striata

I do not keep B. striata myself, but my parents do. Whenever I visit I like to try and take photographs of their loaches (they have a shoal of Botia histrionica as well as the shoal of B. striata) and it is usually virtually impossible for me to get pics of the B. striata under the main tank lighting as they are so shy. They are much more confident under blue moon lighting and this is when my parents tend to see them more.

Do you have plenty of current and lots of hiding places in the tank? Loaches tend to be more confident if they know they have mutliple hiding places to run to if they become scared for whatever reason.

Most of the botiid type loaches tend to be fairly nocturnal, and you will see more of them first thing in the morning and in the evenings/overnight. A blue moon light timed to come on for a few hours just before the main lights switch off at night is a good way to encourage them out so that you can observe their antics.

Hope this helps,

Emma
Image
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
Image

User avatar
Keith Wolcott
Posts: 720
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:49 pm
Location: Charleston, Illinois USA

Post by Keith Wolcott » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:06 pm

My Botia striata have at times been reclusive, but I have experimented quite a bit and they are now out and about all the time. For me, five different things have all made a difference.

1. Lots of cover and hiding places.
2. Lots of current. It really brings them out.
3. Dither fish. Without some upper water fish swimming around the striatas do not come out much.
4. Low stocking levels. When I had them in a tank that was a bit crowded, they did not show themselves much.
5. Have five or more so that they are comfortable in a nice group. I have not tested this one since I have always had more than five, but from watching them, I think that this is important. They like to be together.

I think that they are great loaches and are very interesting to watch. As in the another thread here, I have had no trouble with any aggression from them towards other fish. They are peaceful and playful and actively all over the tank.

User avatar
bslindgren
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada

Post by bslindgren » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:58 pm

My experience is a bit different from Keith's. I originally had my ten striatas in a 50 gal tank out of the way, so the minute there was any movement outside the tank they vanished. Nevertheless, they were always curious, and if I sat still they would come out to see what was going on. In my current setup, I have a tangle of driftwood, and they hang out in that all the time. At feeding time they are very active and if I attach freezedried tubifex to the glass, they are right there trying to get it out of my hand (and trying to eat my hand at times as well). They are actually really entertaining in that it at times seems more like them checking me out than the other way around.

Emma, I have taken pictures of them both in daylight and at night, but always with full lighting, and my main problem is getting the to be still enough. Mind you, my standards may be somewhat lower than yours.....I'll post some recent pics tonight. But they really need the security of hiding spots - they won't come out in the open, or at least not very far from the overhang when I'm taking pictures.

There is a lot of individual differences as well. Both with striata and kubotai, it seems like you mostly get pictures of the same individuals. Some are just a bit more curious than others!

And Keith, my tank would probably be rated as overstocked - I have about 30 dithers, including very boisterous giant danios (I refer to them as "the sharks" as they go into a feeding frenzy at feeding time). So I think the key is lots and almost continuous cover for them to feel secure.
Why does my aquarium always seem too small?

karl71
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:26 pm
Location: Dundee

Post by karl71 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:01 pm

Hi, Thanks for all the replies. I hope my tank isnt overstocked, 5 botia stritia, 5 odessa barbs, 2 moonlight gourami and 1 siamses algae eater.
There are a couple of my loaches, one in particular which is very active and the other 3 come out ocasionaly when I do a water change. Are there any other suitable loaches for my tank? I have another 125 litre tank.
K Ahmed

User avatar
bslindgren
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada

Post by bslindgren » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:11 pm

Here are some picture of my setup plus some portraits showing that these guys really like to be in front of the camera!!

Here's the whole tank, which I've shown in another post:

Image

and then some shots from the middle, where the striatas tend to hang out a lot:

Image

Image

As you can see they are checking out what is happening, but not leaving the security of the driftwood!

Image

And finally some portraits:

Image

Image

Image

Eye-gouging or not, you have to love them, eh!! It's like having a cat that catches birds or a dog that chases squirrels. They are just part of the family, so what can you do!!!
Why does my aquarium always seem too small?

User avatar
Emma Turner
Posts: 8901
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK
Contact:

Post by Emma Turner » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:15 pm

I should probably point out that my parents tank (4ft) has lots of current, a huge amount of hiding places, and plenty of dither fish - but their B. striata (they have 6 I think) have always been very very shy. I will see if I can find any pics of the set up. One of their fish is the second pic on the B. striata species page that I linked to earlier.

Emma
Image
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
Image

User avatar
Emma Turner
Posts: 8901
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK
Contact:

Post by Emma Turner » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:02 pm

Here's some old threads where I mention that the Botia striata in this tank are very shy, and a load of pics to accompany it (of course the pics are mainly of the B. histrionica as the B. striata are so shy): Dec 2007 http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=11105, Dec 2006 http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=4195 and Sept 2006 http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=2763 . Conditions in this tank are excellent, so I wonder if in this instance it is the combination of B. histrionica that makes the B. striata more retiring? Anyone else keep B. striata and B. histrionica together? Helen has kept B. striata for a long time, with B. rostrata and B. almorhae, so I'd be interested to hear how shy hers are.

We have an 8ft display tank at work, which has had big groups of B. striata, B. histrionica, B. kubotai, B. dario and C. macracanthus in it (plus peaceful dither fish), and again the B. striata are by far and away the shyest fish in there. I remember some years ago, we had a monster sized B. striata in that tank, but it never made an appearance when anyone came especially to see it. I'd often see it later on in the evening under blue moon lighting, whilst we were working late sorting out fish shipments.

Emma
Image
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
Image

User avatar
bslindgren
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada

Post by bslindgren » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:12 pm

Interesting. Mine are cautious, but really curious, but not shy exactly! Mine (as you can see above) are kept with clowns and kubos, and quite a few dithers (giant danios and black ruby barbs being the most notable ones in terms of activity). I hope you get responses to your questions!

BTW Emma - don't you ever sleep??
Why does my aquarium always seem too small?

User avatar
Emma Turner
Posts: 8901
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:07 pm
Location: Peterborough, UK
Contact:

Post by Emma Turner » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:15 pm

bslindgren wrote:BTW Emma - don't you ever sleep??
I'm well known for not sleeping. :? :wink:
Image
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
Image

User avatar
bslindgren
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:36 pm
Location: Prince George, BC, Canada

Post by bslindgren » Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:17 pm

Well, we sure appreciate every moment you spend on this forum!!
Why does my aquarium always seem too small?

karl71
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:26 pm
Location: Dundee

Post by karl71 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:54 pm

Mine are very shy and are in a 125 litre tank. They are extremely young though, only about 2 inches i think. Are Queeen loaches or chain loaches are lot more active?
K Ahmed

starsplitter7
Posts: 5054
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:04 pm
Location: Tampa, Florida

Post by starsplitter7 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:39 pm

My Queen Loaches (B. dario) that are young are very active and out in the open. And like to lay on their sides and back wedged between rocks. Still Scares me. But when they are up, they are out and about. My bigger/older B. dario are only out for dinner and after lights out.
http://www.loaches.com/species-index/botia-dario

If you mean Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki a.k.a. chain loaches, mine are super active, out all the time, busy, active loaches.
http://www.loaches.com/species-index/ya ... idthimunki

But people have different experiences. :)

karl71
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:26 pm
Location: Dundee

Post by karl71 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:18 pm

Would they both be ok for a 125 litre tank?

raving_wayne
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:44 am
Location: kent UK

Post by raving_wayne » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:04 pm

i have just read this thread right through and have to make a small comment i have 3 striata along with 4 kubs 11 clowns, 17 yoyo's, 1 sumo and 2 dario and i would actually say my 3 striata are the most outgoing fish they are out and about 99% of the time. they are housed in a 450 litre setup (looking at a 1000 litre custom built soon) they are alwasy swimming about in and out the caves but its rare to look in the tank and not see 1 or all 3 of them playing,


rave
If Life is simple...... Why are there so many clever people about?!!!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 18 guests