Although wild specimens can grow up to 25cm (10 ins) captive specimens rarely exceed 17.5 cm, (7 ins). Red finned loaches are nocturnal by nature but most will adjust after a short time and come out to feed during the day time. It is important to use a soft substrate like fine sand to prevent damage to their delicate barbels. They love to dig in the substrate looking for food items, due to their size and strength this means that most real plants won't thrive in their tank.
Wild red finned loaches feed at night on worms, crustaceans and insects. In captivity they are greedy eaters and will accept small earthworm, chopped prawns, shell fish, blood worms, sinking pellets of a suitable size, algae wafers and flake food. Feed them just before the aquarium lights are turned off initially, they will eventually learn to come out to feed during the day time.
Red finned loaches are big strong fish and they are quite boisterous. It is likely that delicate fish such as Discus would be intimidated by them so only keep them with other lively species of a similar size such as medium sized barbs. Red finned loaches tend to live in groups with a strong pecking order and they will be seen at their most natural by keeping them in a small group of about five individuals. Once they have established a pecking order they will live quite happily along side each other.
Unknown, there are no reliable external differences between the sexes.
This species has a complex breeding pattern which involves the fish migrating at certain times of the year in order to spawn. Red finned loaches have not been bred by hobbyists yet.
The red finned loach has a wide distribution. It is heavily fished for the aquarium trade but the impact of this is uncertain without more research. Given the wide distribution, it is assessed as Least Concern by the ICUN Red List of Endangered Species at present.
This whole family of fish is prone to having the very rare rogue among its numbers. Very very occasionally a fish will be noticed missing an eye. Invariably there is usually a Botia type loach in the tank when this happens usually at night. If this happens to one of your fish the only solution is to rehouse the loaches or there is a very real chance of a repeat. I must stress this is very rare but it is better to know in advance just in case.
pH: 6.5 - 7.5
dGH: 4 - 12
Temperature: 22 - 28°C (72 - 82°F)
Size: 25cm (10in)
Min tank size: 675 litres
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: Lower
Origin: Asia: Mekong, Chao Phraya and Mae Khlong basins
Habitat: Usually found in large rivers with a muddy substrate also occurs in flooded fields
Species: Y. modesta (Bleeker, 1864)
Other common names:
Red tail Botia
Synonyms: Botia modesta, Botia rubripinnis