They are somewhat reclusive so I would recommend hiding places that you can look into. Lean a few pieces of slate against the glass, or provide a cave or piece of driftwood. Mine have grown well since I got them last year and the orange dorsal has intensified in color. I have only seen them eat bloodworms, brine and mysis shrimp.
Good luck! I hope you can find them. Mine, were sold as "forked tail loach".
At first mine wouldn't go near or attempt to eat commercial preparations (flake/wafers/pellets). But now after a good few months if not nearly a year, they do often have a nibble at them. What they will eat is a varied of insect larvae, crustaceans and detritus. Most liked is the good old frozen Bloodworm's and Shrimp. Nothing that stands to going for any vegetable matter. Since mine have a favorite area under a piece of wood, i drop the food around that area and watch them basically "snap" out and eat some, then retreat just as fast. But in the evening or late at night i often see them out and about "sniffing" for food.
In there natural habitat they live with many Pangio's and some Nem's, also some Betta species. I have a pdf file if you would like to read it. Behavior with Pangio's and Pepper loaches (in my tank) have no problems what so ever with each other. I often see them all "huddled" together and sliding around and up and over each other. I do have two that always seem to be together and what a times looks likes they are sparing each other. They sometimes are side by side and start "nudging" each other and little bites to each others faces. No damage is seen. Two males fighting for a female? Or a male and female? I'll have to wait and see. Another interesting sighting was the way they often "air off" their stomaches. They perch their frontal part of their body up in the air with their Ventral fins and slowly sway their body from side to side. It often makes me think of them eating like this in the wild with them half out of cover whilst doing this.
Leaf litter is loved by Pangio's and V. maassi and other fish species (even Apistos). I did keep Oak leaves in some of my tanks, but the maintenance of them is extra. Although Pangio's and V.Maassi come from them conditions in the wild a good water changing regime will be needed. I changed the Oak leaves every 4 weeks before they start or when they start to decompose. I've also herd of people boiling their leaves before placing them into their tanks.
The nares is a key to a strong sense of smell for fish. The ability to move water rapidly over these sensory pads increase their sense's. So could we say that they have good eye-sight with poor sensory pads meaning the need to do this "air off" position for food. Their coloration is a form of camouflage in the the wild with leaf-litter and twigs etc. Perhaps one of the reasons why we don't see this amazing loach in hobbyist aquariums.
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