What's new

Dwarf Chain Loach Numbers

๐Ÿ  March TOTM Starts Now! ๐Ÿ 
FishForums.net Tank of the Month!
Click here to enter!

Circus

Fish Herder
Pet of the Month ๐ŸŽ–๏ธ
Fish of the Month ๐ŸŒŸ
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,572
Location
Washington State, USA
So, I finally have a chance to get more dwarf chain loaches. When I first purchased the 3 I have, they were the last of them. It has been just the trio for several months, and there has been very little aggression (one gets left out a bit, though).

I plan on getting 5 more, to make a total of 8. Should I separate my current loaches to break up the hierarchy? I do plan on rearranging the tank to change the territory, will that be enough?

The tank is a standard 29 gallon, 30x12x18.
 
Generally speaking, this loach species (Ambastaia sidthimunki) is not as defensively territorial as many (if not all) of the botine species (Botia genus). However, here we come to tank space.

I would not have this large a group (8 in total) in this small (to the loaches) a tank. It is an active mid-water swimmer. My group of five were with me for 11 or 12 years in a 3-foot 33g tank. They had great fun playing "tag" through the multitude of tunnels in the chunks of Malaysian Driftwood that literally covered the entire substrate area except for the immediate front.

But, aside from that, if you do add however more (two or three would be my suggestion, plus the existing three), completely rearrange their "homes." Meaning the chunks of wood (or artificial substitutes) completely, so all five or six together are looking for new accommodation. Sometimes this works with territorial fish, sometimes not, but in my view it will more likely work here. I would net out the three to a temp tank (give them one piece of decor to settle them, and floating plants if possible) then rearrange the aquacape, and introduce all five or six together. The existing three will not appreciate all this commotion, but it may take their mind off things when they suddenly have new companions.
 
One of my favorite species! I never saw any sign of aggression or territoriality in mine outside of a bit of chasing now and then. However, I had them in a 55 gallon tank with a ton of structure. In a smaller tank, I agree with Byron's advice on introducing the new ones. I found that seven is the magic number for this species: Less than that, they were shy and hiding out most of the time; seven or more, and they were out front all the time socializing and looking for food. If you listen, you can hear them clicking at each other at feeding time. :)

Byron, it's interesting what you said about mid-water swimming. Mine would pass through mid-level (and I had two and learned to flip upside down and feed from the surface! They are highly motivated by food), but they definitely hung out on the bottom.
 
Thank you! I will pick up 3 more, then, to make 6 in the tank. I have a 10 gallon for temporary housing that should work.
 
One of my favorite species! I never saw any sign of aggression or territoriality in mine outside of a bit of chasing now and then. However, I had them in a 55 gallon tank with a ton of structure. In a smaller tank, I agree with Byron's advice on introducing the new ones. I found that seven is the magic number for this species: Less than that, they were shy and hiding out most of the time; seven or more, and they were out front all the time socializing and looking for food. If you listen, you can hear them clicking at each other at feeding time. :)

Byron, it's interesting what you said about mid-water swimming. Mine would pass through mid-level (and I had two and learned to flip upside down and feed from the surface! They are highly motivated by food), but they definitely hung out on the bottom.

Yes, I found over time mine also became more secretive, not sure why, except that my tanks were in a dedicated fish room, and I only entered that room for the fish, once a day feeding and check-up, more on water change day obviously...but it is true that fish that are not used to people outside the tank do become easily spooked by them. When I had my tank in the living room before my move in 2000, the fish were always scampering about. So there is some truth in this.
 
Yes, I found over time mine also became more secretive, not sure why, except that my tanks were in a dedicated fish room, and I only entered that room for the fish, once a day feeding and check-up, more on water change day obviously...but it is true that fish that are not used to people outside the tank do become easily spooked by them. When I had my tank in the living room before my move in 2000, the fish were always scampering about. So there is some truth in this.
Interesting. Mine were also wild-caught (all there was back then), so perhaps that was a factor in their getting less secretive over time.
 
I have an unspecified number in my tank (I can count 14 visible now, but I bought over 20 initially). They're absolute terrors in my tank, to the point where it's absurd. Someone always has a nipped fin or tail from them. They swarm my other fish and dominate the water column during feeding. The clicking while they feed is ridiculous and had my checking my tank for faulty equipment at first.
 
They seem completely non agressive in my tank. I have longfin leopard danio, betta, mystery snails, and cherry shrimp in my tank. They will eat shrimplets, but leave the adults alone. They do eat ramshorn and trumpet snails, though.
 
I have an unspecified number in my tank (I can count 14 visible now, but I bought over 20 initially). They're absolute terrors in my tank, to the point where it's absurd. Someone always has a nipped fin or tail from them. They swarm my other fish and dominate the water column during feeding. The clicking while they feed is ridiculous and had my checking my tank for faulty equipment at first.

Every reliable source (Loaches Online, Seriously Fish) will caution that this behaviour is possible with this loach. I have not seen it myself, but as already mentioned circumstances can/may affect behaviours.
 
I have an unspecified number in my tank (I can count 14 visible now, but I bought over 20 initially). They're absolute terrors in my tank, to the point where it's absurd. Someone always has a nipped fin or tail from them. They swarm my other fish and dominate the water column during feeding. The clicking while they feed is ridiculous and had my checking my tank for faulty equipment at first.
Yeah, I've heard of that sort of behavior too, but I've never seen it. You must have gotten the rare Ambastaia sidthimunki ver. Gansta subspecies.
 
Every reliable source (Loaches Online, Seriously Fish) will caution that this behaviour is possible with this loach. I have not seen it myself, but as already mentioned circumstances can/may affect behaviours.
I'd wager it's the size of my group that's given them the confidence. It's been trial and error, but the current stock right is boisterous enough that they aren't severely impacted. It's amusing having a massive swarm attack me whenever go in the tank though!
 

Most reactions

trending

Members online

Back
Top