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I.D please

Darkest Minnow

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Hello all,

I visited what I thought was a reputable aquarium shop and asked for an algae eater. I was sold what was advertised as a ‘hugh’s sucking loach’ and was told it would grow no bigger than 3-4 inches and was peaceful. After doing some reading I’m now worried I’ve got a chinese algae eater on my hands- please can you ID? If so I’m going to ask to return it.

Thanks all.
 

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Colin_T

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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

I can assure you the fish in the picture is not a Chinese algae eater. I have no idea what it is but it has the same body shape as a flying fox but they don't have vertical bands. I did a google search for Hugh's Sucking loach but did not get any useful hits.

I think it's a cool little fish that shouldn't get much bigger than 4 inches, but it could also be a baby monster :)

Grow it up and see what it turns into.
 
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Darkest Minnow

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Hi Colin,

Thanks very much for putting my mind at ease. I haven’t found much online either- I wondered if it was a Siamese loach, but it doesn’t quite look like them either. It’s very pretty and very small currently, so we’ll watch it and see what happens! It was sold as a temperate fish.
 
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Darkest Minnow

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Hovering Zebra Loach! Grows to 1.38” max!

Thank you so much, Double Dutch!
 

Byron

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Agree, it is Micronemacheilus cruciatus. You absolutely must get another four or five (no less than five in total) or this one will not last long. These fish are highly social. I had a group of five (originally six, lost one after a few months) for several years. A 3-foot tank length, lots of chunks of wood with tunnels is essential, sand substrate (dark) is best. This species loves to play "tag" and chase one another through the chunks of wood. This is one of the nicest of the "dwarf" loach species.

Turning to the algae issue...this species will not eat algae. And when it comes to algae, acquiring any fish to deal w2ith algae is usually inadvisable, depending upon the algae. Some fish will eat common algae and diatoms, and very effectively, but not touch "problem" algae like brush or beard. But algae eating fish have specific requirements for their maintenance that you need to thoroughly investigate before acquisition. Never trust what store staff may tell you without first confirming with a reliable site like Seriously Fish or on this forum.
 
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Darkest Minnow

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Agree, it is Micronemacheilus cruciatus. You absolutely must get another four or five (no less than five in total) or this one will not last long. These fish are highly social. I had a group of five (originally six, lost one after a few months) for several years. A 3-foot tank length, lots of chunks of wood with tunnels is essential, sand substrate (dark) is best. This species loves to play "tag" and chase one another through the chunks of wood. This is one of the nicest of the "dwarf" loach species.

Turning to the algae issue...this species will not eat algae. And when it comes to algae, acquiring any fish to deal w2ith algae is usually inadvisable, depending upon the algae. Some fish will eat common algae and diatoms, and very effectively, but not touch "problem" algae like brush or beard. But algae eating fish have specific requirements for their maintenance that you need to thoroughly investigate before acquisition. Never trust what store staff may tell you without first confirming with a reliable site like Seriously Fish or on this forum.
Hi Byron,

Many thanks. I’m very taken with the little fish so will happily get more. He’s currently being very sociable with the platies I got with him. I have to say the platies have cleared up all of the algae on my spiderwood- they have been feasting away!

I really appreciate your advice, I have been doing lots of research on potential fish I’d like, but got talked into the loach by someone who I thought was very knowledgeable- clearly they don’t know this species very well!

I am planning to get some cherry red shrimp and Amano Shrimp which I believe will enjoy munching on algae too.
 

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