View Full Version : Borneo sucker/hillstream loach/butterfly loach
02-12-2010, 09:27 PM
Yesterday I went to a local aquarium centre to get some supplies for my 50L (10 gallon) tank that is cycling at the moment. I've been looking for somewhere for healthy fish for when my tank is ready. The other local place has unhealthy looking fish and dead fish in the tanks so I will avoid that one, but this one looks much better.
Anyway, while I was there I saw some very cool looking little fish I hadn't seen before. They were labelled as Borneo Suckers but some online research revealed that they are also known as Hillstream Loach, Butterfly Loach and some other names.
There seems to be conflicting advice about their needs - some say they need cool/subtropical temperatures and are unsuitable for community tanks. Others say they are OK in tropical community tanks.
Has anyone had any experience (good or bad) in keeping them in a community tank? I'd like to get one because they're so appealing, but not if conditions aren't going to be OK for it.
02-12-2010, 09:40 PM
They need cooler, fast moving water. I do not think a ten gallon tank is appropriate for them but I could be wrong.
02-12-2010, 09:42 PM
The Hillstream loach does prefer subtropical temps and a high current since it does come from mountain streams. The water must be kept clean and have plenty of oxygen for them to be healthy. I don't know how much experience you have but I would not recommend them for beginners. There are some members on AC that have tanks specifically set up for them known as river tanks and I am sure one of them will have much more knowledge than I do and will post about how to care for them. They are my favorite fish and someday I will set up a river tank.
02-12-2010, 09:52 PM
Actually my conversion was a bit off - 50L is about 13 US gallons. The loaches were about an inch long.
My filter swirls the water round in the tank quite well (leaves broken off the plants etc are continually circulating round the tank) and I have a 60 l/h airstone.
I haven't chosen what fish to get yet as my tank is still cycling - obviously the temp. can be set as appropriate.
I'm not a beginner but not an expert either. I've kept tropical fish before with some success, but not for a little while.
02-12-2010, 09:58 PM
That size tank would be ok for the smaller species but you would need to meet thier needs. They are not tropical, they need cool temps and fast moving waters. They will not live long in a tropical community setup. If you really do like them I suggest getting a 20 long and setting it up as a species only river tank.
02-12-2010, 10:09 PM
the current they required would be ripping leaves off the plants:hmm3grin2orange:
02-12-2010, 11:49 PM
In the General Aquarium Forum/Aquarium journals there is a post of a river tank set up using a 20gal long you might be interested in. I would post the link but don't know if I am allowed since it is not my thread.
02-13-2010, 05:14 AM
They're not a good choice for a new setup, better chances of survival when the tank is well-established. Here's a link you may find interesting if they're the same species: http://brianstropicals.com/sewellia.html
02-13-2010, 11:56 AM
Thanks for all the replies. Now you can see why I'm confused - some say strong water currents are essential but this other fellow breeds them with just an ordinary filter in a 15 gallon tank.
Maybe it depends on exactly what species it is, but the fish shop doesn't give the scientific name.
So it looks as though I'm going to have to do some more research. Nothing worse than rushing out and buying something that doesn't survive long.
02-14-2010, 11:08 PM
Just a quick update. I have got some advice from people who have even bred these fish in 10 gallon tanks without special water flow (like in the link by toddnbecka). Apparently they all have similar needs, but Sewellia breeding is not too rare, while Gastromyzon breeding in captivity is uncommon.
They recommend waiting three months or so from setup of the tank to allow the tank to mature and grow sufficient algae for the loaches, so some patience is needed. I'll probably end up filling the tank with something else by then!
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