Believe I have a hillstream loach?
Hey everyone, today we decided to get a cute little tankmate listed as a zebra butterfly pleco, the closest I can find to it online is a chinese hillstream loach(Looks to be the closest physical match to him/her)
I was just curious if anyone else has had these, or any experience with them, as I probably made a mistake grabbing something without looking up the proper care first.
We intended to get a (young and still small)pleco to go into my 55 gallon tank with my goldfish, the tank is at a regular 76-77 degrees, so it seemed suitable enough, and it is fully cycled, and established as far as I can see(tests for ammonia and nitrites are at 0, and nitrates are low, as well as the very healthy *seeming* goldfish for the past month or so)
We got this little guy assuming he would be about the same as a pleco with just a different body style, but its looking like it is indeed a little different.
It seems recommended they are kept in groups of 3 or more, but I was curious if the zebra variation would be okay if I got normal ones, since the only difference seems to be the more vibrant stripes, I don't know if he would feel just as comfortable with the normal "butterfly plecos" or if he would have to be with more of the ones with the same colors as himself.
It also looks like they stay much smaller, so I may move him into a 20 gallon aquarium in the future if it would be suitable enough for three or more of them(as well as maybe tetras or guppies)
My last concern is that if I do get a normal pleco(which I'm still very hesitant on since I know my tank is overstocked as it is with 6 goldfish, and a larger tank/pond is still not a definite within the next year) would the pleco be aggressive toward the very small hillstream loach, I don't see much on plecos being aggressive toward other species of plecos, but I don't know if anyone has happened to housed both together by chance.
Thanks for any help, and I threw a picture in here to make it a little easier if anyone can definitely identify him, but he does look closest to the Chinese hillstream loach here - http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fres...treamLoach.php
That does appear to be a Hillstream Loach. Please check the profile (click on the shaded name) it will give some info.
My sources say these fish are not suitable for goldfish in spite of sometimes being sold as such. As I have no personal experience with goldfish, I will leave that to those who do to comment further.
Loaches should be kept in a group, they have a high social structure, and this species can be interesting to observe. But rather than getting more, remember the goldfish; this one should probably be returned.
As far as things go in my head, it seems that the 75-77 should be comfortable for the goldfish, since if they were in the recommended pond I should have for them, it would be at least a degree or two hotter, probably more on a regular day, and the conditions seem suitable enough for the loach, since the water quality has been very high for more than a month now, there is a smooth sand substrate, and rocks literally loaded with algae, and I have a spraybar, so hopefully the oxygen level would be good enough.
My biggest concern is the issue of them being in groups and not alone(and whether the normal "butterfly plecos" would be suitable as a group with him), and the water movement being somewhat low.
My best option without spending a fortune seems like using the 15 gallon tank I have, or the 20 gallon tank I have(which I don't know how well it holds water since it is drilled at the top and I would need to seal it up.
I would love to be able to set up my 15 gallon tank with the aqueon 20 HOB filter I used to have in my 10 gallon(kept the tank immaculate with great water quality while temporarily housing three common goldfish) and I could put in one or two small powerheads to ensure a high current, or do the same in the 20 gallon if it hold water, but my main concern is if I need to have several of the loaches, will the 15 or 20 gallons be enough water for them to be comfortable in.
I recently picked up a bunch of used powerheads, and in the mix is a working maxijet 1200, and two maxijet 900s, so I'm planning on either using the two 900s, or the 1200 along with switching out my 1200 for my 55 gallon with the two 900s, so I can have the two 1200s for a nice fast stream feel.
I want to make a pvc manifold as seems to be dictated as the best way to do a river tank, and try to do things the right way(and probably the coolest) since I already have the expensive parts, and I have a bad habit of picking up every slate chunk and rock i think looks cool by the rivers, so I can finally put them to good use.
If I have the 20 gallon, would it be too overstocked to have 3 of the loaches, as well as some danios and or white clouds? And if that's not overstocked, would it become overstocked if I added in several more of the loaches?
I'm hoping to find a 33 gallon long tank, or something bigger(without going taller than 16") and if I do that I will probably expand those numbers, but for now my only 100% thing is that I will have the 20 gallon tank.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for good tankmates in a fast river environment? Just not sure what I'll be able to find at my local fish stores, so it would be nice to know if there is anything they would have if I saw them.
(just looked through and saw they are best in at least 6, so do you happen to know if they would be okay with the non-zebra patterned ones, as I really can't manage to spend 50 dollars on another 5 of them, but 30 would be a little more probable, or does it seem they would be okay in a group of three for a few months perhaps?)
I have not personally kept these, but as noted in the profile in groups less than 6 they can become quite shy and withdrawn. The larger group keeps them interactive, which according to the reports can be quite fascinating.
A 20L is fine for 6 (maybe try 5?). Before finding tankmates, I would get the group up to 5 or 6. As far as tankmates, it is not easy finding fish with similar requirements for the upper layers, though one that jumps out at me is Tanichthys albonubes, the White Coloud Mountain Minnow. See the profile; this seems admirably suited, and a group of 6-7 in a 20L with the loaches--perfect. And White Clouds are generally available, at least in NA they are. And they are inexpensive. And quite attractive colouration. Sounding better and better isn't it.
Not going to be able to get 6 of the zebras, but I plan on getting two more zebras and possibly three of the normal "butterfly plecos" and hoping they make them feel more like a large group, since I imagine the small color difference in the stripes shouldn't be enough to make them feel like strangers, but hopefully I either get some confirmation or suggesting against it before I buy them(won't be until probably next monday since I'm working every day until then) but either way I'm planning on checking through the used tanks, dreaming to find a 33g long or something else shallow narrow and long, and making an awesome river with some pvc and a couple maxi-jet 1200s to really get everything flowing.
I can finally put all those chunks of slate and rock I grabbed to use :)
On another note, unfortunately I haven't seen any white clouds around here, but I have done alot of looking online at them and seen all sorts of beautiful varieties, going to see if my preferred store can ship them in, but that won't be for awhile, no need to rush into them, the main plan is to just make some loaches happier than they will be in a 15 gallon motionless tank at the pet store.
"A 20L is fine for 6 (maybe try 5?)" <--- I'm assuming you meant 20 gallons and not 20 liters!
I would not get butterfly plecos, if you really mean the South American Dekeyseria brachyura [which used to be Ancistrus brachyura, the genus has changed]. These attain over 6 inches (and 3 in a 24 inch tank is crowded, even one would be) plus they need warmth (above 77F). They are not a good mix with the Hillstream Loaches which as I mentioned are basically stand alone on the bottom fish department. Plecos are territorial to varying degrees, and if you did mix these with Hillstreams I couldn't say what the outcome might be, as the pleco is much larger and well able to push its weight around. And the Loaches being naturally shy would probably retreat into hiding spots permanently and be very stressed with any sort of bullying.
There is a lot to think of when combining fish in an aquarium to ensure they will be compatible and thus healthy.
Also with a little more digging, it looks specifially like what I have is Sewellia lineolata, theres a pretty detailed page on them here - http://www.loaches.com/species-index/sewellia-lineolata
And what I wonder about mixing them with, I'm assuming is Beaufortia kweichowensis here - http://www.loaches.com/species-index...-kweichowensisWhich looks to be the same as far as care and environment, but is listed as 3" + as opposed to the sewellia listed at 2.5" max.
If you are getting something as precious as this, please provide a proper home for it so it will live happily. As noted in the comments on that site [I happen to know Mark the owner, he lives in Vancouver and works in one of the fish stores here, and has written (compiled) a book on loaches too] these fish do not travel well, so getting healthy specimens is fortunate but without a proper environment they will not be at their best. Forget the second species, and get 5-6 of these for your 20g, and set it up appropriately. There is alink on the site to photos and description of the habitat that is a good guide to aquascaping a suitable environment.
If I had the opportunity for this species, I would go without a bottle or two of wine in order to do them justice and have a proper group. Well worth it.
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