Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

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aquapalomino
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Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:11 am

Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by aquapalomino » Tue Sep 22, 2020 5:15 am

Hi there to all the loach caretakers,

I have two juvenile (about 3.5 inches) horseface loaches along with some other community fish in a 55 gallon aquarium, and I have a few questions:

1. Is two enough for them to be happy? Aqadvisor.com tells me that horseface loaches should be in groups of at least three in order to be content. I had two in another aquarium years ago, and they seemed to love each other--curled around each other at times. These two never seem to be together at all.

2. How long can they be okay in a 55-gallon tank with sand substrate? Will they need a larger tank as they grow bigger, and what is the cutoff on size for their health and happiness?

3. My tank is moderately planted, and the plants are looking a little sad lately. I would like to use some root tabs, but I worry about harming burrowing loaches. Many of the plants have rhizomes and won't need root tabs, so I could use the tabs sparingly, in only some parts of the tank, but I don't want to use them at all if they will harm my loaches. Is it safe to use any kind of root tabs with horseface loaches who might burrow near or into them? I have osmocote tabs but could get other types if there is a safer type.

4. My loaches usually eat regular flake food that falls to the bottom of the tank, and algae wafers. I occasionally put raw vegetables in the tank. Is there anything else I should be doing for them? I love these little guys.


Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

Bas Pels
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by Bas Pels » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:52 pm

Firstly, 2 is always a bad number, as 2 implies 1 stronger than te other. 3 is better but 4 or more is much better

I can´t tell you how fast they are growing, but whether the plants are damaged by them? You could make zo nes with only sand, and others with pebbles, places the loaches will not like to burrow.

Lastly, these Acantopsis have very short intestines. That is, they are carnivorous. Therefore adding veggies - while a good idea for many fishes, will not help these.

Feeding wormlike foodstuffs would be the best idea. As they burrow, it will not be a problem if the food wuld try to excape into the sand, ad tubifex does. But frozen would be a good replacement.

If you feed after light out, they would get a much lager percentage

aquapalomino
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:11 am

Re: Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by aquapalomino » Wed Sep 23, 2020 6:26 pm

Thanks very much for your response. It sounds like maybe I misunderstood the wrapping around each other thing my previous loaches did as affection, when it might have been a strength contest? Oh, my.

The loaches are not damaging the plants now. I am more worried that the loaches might be harmed if I add root tab fertilizers for the plants. The poor condition of the plants has nothing to do with the loaches. The plants are just yellowing or losing leaves, a sign of poor nutrition. I will have to think about rearranging the tank, but I am still unsure about whether it would be safe for the loaches to use root tabs at all.

I did not realize they are carnivorous! Thank you for clarifying that. I have noticed that they poke around in the evening when the light is dim. I will look into getting them some worms.

Thanks!

NancyD
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Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: SF bay area,US

Re: Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by NancyD » Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:48 pm

I would suggest live blackworms if they're available to you. I haven't kept horse faced loaches but I introduced a blackworm colony into my river tank. 6-7 years later they're still some there if any fish want to try them. I haven't seen any fish eat them...
Image

aquapalomino
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:11 am

Re: Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by aquapalomino » Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:15 pm

Thanks very much for the input, Nancy. I will keep blackworms in mind. I can't believe I went for so long thinking that these loaches were vegetarians! I was able to pick up some bloodworms but haven't seen them eat any yet.

I am still hoping someone here might have an answer to my root tabs question. I guess I will refrain from trying them in the meantime, since I'm just not sure if they are safe.

Bas Pels
Posts: 318
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:08 am

Re: Horseface loaches and root tabs? And some general questions.

Post by Bas Pels » Fri Sep 25, 2020 2:34 am

I did not go into the root tablets as I have never used them.

But if you bury them deeply, they will have far less effect on the fish than if shallowly buried.

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