Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

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

Moderator: LoachForumModerators

Post Reply
BanalityBob
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:41 pm

Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by BanalityBob » Sun Feb 12, 2012 12:25 am

I am a loach noob. In my ignorant fishkeeping years, I had a five clowns and a Dojo in a 29 (the poor babies died to the red-tailed shark from hell in under a week), a Blue Boita alone in my 90 (he's now living with 15 others in a 210 gallon with a good friend), and a solitary Dojo Loach named Gandalf that lived with me in my 20 gallon long community tank for five years before I gave him away to the same friend who got the Blue. Despite my atrocious fishkeeping habits (I've gotten better, I swear, thanks to several patient forums), I've been amazed by the activity, playfulness, and general awesomeness of the loaches I've cared for. I'm hooked, and I want more, and after a move, selling my old tanks due to having to move back with my parents, I'm in a position to get an aquarium again.

Due to size constraints in my living conditions/odd landlord rules on what constitutes a "pet", I'm restricted to a 29 gallon (or less, but that means I'm getting a 29 ;) ). The only stock list I have is whatever loaches will fit, plus maybe some danios or barbs for variety (but the non-loaches aren't necessary). I'm planning on a sand substrate, rocks, driftwood, lightly planted with a little Java Fern, but very clean and river-ish looking. It's definitely going to be overfiltered with an appropriate sized cannister and a HOB (I have awful luck with filters, & I prefer having 2 so I can overfilter and have a backup in case I kill one), and I'd prefer it to be slightly understocked. The going plan is two 25% water changes a week and a 10% as often as I can get it in.

My question to all of you is what loaches should I get based on the following criteria?
1) I'd prefer deeper bodied botia style loaches (If I had my way, I'd have a giant tank of B. modesta), although I'm not opposed to other sorts.
2) Fits a decent school of at least 5-6 in a 29 gallon (36"x12"x16" aka standard size)
3) I understand loaches are nocturnal mostly, but I'd like some that came out in the day too
4) Friendly wet pet personality
5) Preferrably relatively common in the pet trade. I don't want to get fish shipped to me.

I've been thinking of Zebra or Skunk loaches, because I've seen them in local stores. I'd love either input on those two species as to how many I can have in a 29 gallon, or suggestions for other species that would work for me. I'm not opposed to Kuhli loaches either. Also, I'd love to hear what other tankmates I could get. I have a ton of experience with Zebra Danios (love them), so they're the more likely tankmates, but I might try my hand at Tiger Barbs or something (suggestions welcome here too).

Anyways, thanks in advance.

User avatar
Jim Powers
Posts: 5208
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:15 pm
Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by Jim Powers » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:06 pm

I would suggest you look into Y. sidthimunki. They are small (better for a 29) lively, and active in the day.
http://www.loaches.com/species-index/ya ... idthimunki
Image

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

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by starsplitter7 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:34 pm

I agree with Jim. Sids would be the best fit. I think Zebras would also fit. Much better than skunks which can have terrible attitudes and terrorize the other fixh. I have two and they are prefectly well behaved, but that's up to the individual fish, and I warned them if they were mean they would go back to the store. I would have more to have a school, but the status quo is established, and I don't want to rock the boat.

For most loaches youa lso need a school of dithers, aka the all clear fish. Loaches look for these fish. When those fish are out swimming calmly, the loaches know it is safe to come out. I have rainbows in my 55, but I think some nice danios would do the trick.

Finally I would have a small school 5-6 of Otocynclus (Oto Cats) for algae control. They must be in a group, and don't add them until the tank is well established. Don't forget to feed them too. If you don't want more fish get a few cool snails. I have xebra nerites. They lay eggs, but need brackish water to reproduce (so you're never over run). But your loaches may eat them. I also use mystery snails. They need a partner to reproduce, and they need to leave the water to lay eggs (keep the water up in the tank, and there's no where for eggs.

BanalityBob
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by BanalityBob » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:57 pm

Sids are freaking adorable. Now if I could only find a place around me that sells them. How many would be a good sized school for a 29 gallon? That being said, how many would be a good sized school of Zebra loaches for a 29?

I was planning on having a school of dithers. I was thinking either Zebra Danios, Harlequin Rasboras, or Cherry Barbs. As for algae control, I'm not a big fan of Ottos. I was thinking a Rubberlip Pleco or a Bristlenose Pleco.

User avatar
ClownLoachSharky
Posts: 381
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:27 pm
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by ClownLoachSharky » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:43 am

i reckon one bristlenose, 10 harlequins and 10 sids or 6 zebras if your tank is over filtered
Image
You wouldnt have that problem with a V8

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by Diana » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:37 pm

Very good to be asking for some ideas so the tank will work out better. With Loaches, it is better to get more of them so there is a good social group. Of course in a small tank this means a small species so you can get more of them.

An adult Bristlenose is a bit much for a 29, I moved mine up to a larger tank when she reached about 3", which is only half grown for these guys. As much as you don't like Otos, I think they really are the best option, unless you have a dealer locally that can get some smaller Loricariads such as Paraotocinclus. Rhineloricariads are another possibility, they tend to be thinner than the Bristlenose. Farlowella is another option. Although long, it is very thin, so less bioload than the much heavier Bristlenose. May not be such a great glass cleaner, though.

Sids are a great idea for a 29. They are one of the few Loaches that are commonly found swimming in the mid regions of the tank. About 6-8 would be really good. Zebras will also fit, but they are more bottom oriented, and seem to hide more. They are slightly larger than Sids, so perhaps 6 is the most I would want, and still have room for other fish.
Other small Loaches are more of a specialized set up, but Schistura and their relatives are quite bold, and Hillstream Loaches are commonly out during the day. Read more about these, though. I do not think they meet your requirements.

Schooling fish such as Danios (cooler water fish), the smaller Barbs or Rasboras would be compatible with the Asian theme of the Loaches, Tetras (There are South American and African) are another group that have some possibilities, and the SA idea fits in with the Loricariad. Any of these, I am thinking fish that are pretty close to 1" long get 8-10 to make a nice school.
Pristella Tetras
Ember Tetras
Pentazona Barbs
Some of the less common Danios, or maybe the long fin Zebras
Harlequin or Espei Rasboras
Any of the Dwarf Rasboras
There are several fish with the name 'Blue Eye' or similar that might work, and the blue eye is glowing and very showy.
Or slightly larger, fewer (no more than 6) fish something like the Bleeding Heart Tetra, or Ruby Barb, Black Phantom Tetras.
If it is a covered tank, Hatchet Fish.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

piggy4
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:25 pm
Location: manchester

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by piggy4 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:59 am

Bob , this is the boring bit :) if you are getting Botia loaches in that tank I'd practice keeping you PH at between 7.0 and 7.5 otherwise you'll struggle :!: if you are using an external filter put coral gravel in the middle compartment :!: if you are using an internal there might be a place to put some coral gravel :?: regular weekly water changes help ,but best to filter with a buffer[coral gravel] always have some bicarbonate of soda on hand to boost if neccassary , small tanks can be harder to care for than big tanks :!:

Good luck :!:

BanalityBob
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 11:41 pm

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by BanalityBob » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:14 pm

piggy4, my water in my area is pretty hard generally (PH over 7 normally), but good looking out. I'll keep some limestone on hand and my API test kit at the ready. Would this be bad for the schoolers I was planning on putting in with them? I was thinking of Cherry Barbs and Sids.

Also, I may have found another apartment option in my price range that will let me have whatever I want, so I may be able to get a larger tank in the near-ish future instead of the 29. A friend said she was selling her 55gallon, and if it all works out (I'm so hoping for this, because it's a perfect apartment), I may just try something a bit different and larger.

piggy4
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 12:25 pm
Location: manchester

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by piggy4 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:45 am

I think those fish would be happy in that water :!:

Diana
Posts: 4675
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:35 am
Location: Near San Franciso

Re: Loach Stocking for Loach Noob

Post by Diana » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:20 pm

If your tap water is somewhat hard (check GH and KH, not pH) then you will not need to add limestone, coral or anything else. The fish are not as interested in the pH as they are that the mineral level is right.
If the GH and KH are anywhere from 5 German degrees of hardness to 9 degrees, this is a great range for these fish (sids, and most of the commonly available schooling fish)
Some of the more delicate schooling fish (Rummy nose Tetras, Cardinals...) would prefer much softer water, GH and KH closer to 3 degrees.

pH is not the same thing, and while it can be related (especially to KH) it is not always.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests