- [6:05:20:] <craig> Gooooooooood evening everyone! Welcome
to this weeks Live! Fish Chat!
- [6:06:15:] <craig> Our guest speaker tonight is the our very
own Jessica, she'll be speaking on a favorite subject of mine: Botia
- [6:06:26:] <craig> Jess, when ever you are ready. :-)
- [6:06:47:] <Jessica> It's ging to be a little short today,
feel free to ask questions at the end ;-).
- [6:06:56:] <Jessica> Today, I am talking about the Botia Kubotai.
Though it has been available for about 2 years in pet shops, this
fish has only recently received its scientific name. As a result,
it seems to have more than the usual number of common and alternate
names. These include: Botia "angelicus," angelicus loach,
polka dot loach, and burmese border loaches. Also, Petco has recently
began selling these fish under the name "marble loaches."
- [6:07:15:] <Jessica> I was introduced to these fish last year
when Craig and Russ were discussing what was the prettiest loach.
I fell in love, but a high price tag and shipping costs held me at
bay. One LFS started carrying them a couple months afterwards, but
I wasn't prepared to spend 80$ for a group of 4 small loaches. When
my closer LFS got a shipment in of large beautiful kubotai, I jumped
at the chance.
- [6:07:35:] <Jessica> They had a buy three freshwater fish,
get one free offer going, and I had store credit. In the end I paid
30$ for 4 fish with a 25$ price tag each. They were in Quarantine
for 10 days and then mysteriously dropped like flies. I was devastated,
and pretty convinced I wasn't going to mess with them.
- [6:07:56:] <Jessica> Somehow, about a month later, when I
was in the LFS which had been carrying them for awhile, three 2.5"
individuals followed me home where they set up residence in the 125
Gallon tank. They were joined a bit later by 7 more when I "couldn't
pass up the deal" on aquabid. Dad took 3 at my recommendation,
where they enjoyed a 90 Gallon tank, and eventually an All-You-Can-Eat
- [6:08:25:] <Jessica> My group of 10 was my pride, and I have
kept them growing, getting fatter and healthier for many months. Disaster
struck a few weeks ago, when after feeding them, I failed to pull
the lid forward, ensuring all cracks were covered.
- [6:08:49:] <Jessica> I found a piece of kubotai jerky much
to my horror. Then a week later, when juggling them around in my tank
adjustments, I had one die in transfer. He had been one I'd been worrying
a bit about as he resembled many pictures I've seen of kubotai with
the skinny disease.
- [6:09:08:] <Jessica> There is a definite relationship between
my clown loaches and my kubotai. When I removed the kubotai, the clowns
pouted, and hid, which I'd expected, but when I returned them after
concluding I needed to get rid of my smaller tanks, the clowns began
dancing very shortly there-after. It was comforting to know that they
enjoy their lazy little companions. :-)
- [6:09:34:] <Jessica> Botia kubotai come from the Ataran River
basin in Myanmar. You'll find them in clear swift water, which explains
why mine love laying on the 'arms' of the driftwood enjoying the current.
I'd keep this in mind when placing them in a tank and try to have
at least 7-10 times turn over rate, if you need it or not.
- [6:09:53:] <Jessica> The Zootaxa article advised a rocky substrate
as well. I have not seen my loaches have any great interest in the
substrate, and many have kept them on gravel with no issues. The fish
seem to prefer lounging about on the driftwood and plants and filter
pray bars as opposed to hiding in cover.
- [6:10:12:] <Jessica> Others have had issues with these fish
hiding all the time. The best suggestion I have for that problem,
is to make sure that they Have the option of hiding. Mine prefer tight
places, little nooks and crannies in the driftwood as opposed to the
wedges created from stacking rocks that the clown loaches like.
- [6:10:31:] <Jessica> I also have a well planted tank, but
most of the loaches do not hide in the plants and i am not certain
how great of a security blanket live plants offer. However, they offer
many of the same benefits that they offer to other fish, and a planted
tank is recommended.
- [6:11:00:] <Jessica> My fish are in a tank that runs 80-85F
with no ill effects. Aim to keep their temperature 72-86F. Hard or
soft water doesn't seem to be a problem, just keep it clean.
- [6:11:15:] <Jessica> These fish are one of the smaller botias,
only getting to be 4-5 inches long. they also are a narrower fish
than the famous clown loach. Minimum tank size would be a trio in
a 29 Gallon, but I would recommend getting a three foot long tank
or larger for these guys as they do better in the largest school you
- [6:11:36:] <Jessica> These fish take comfort from knowing
others are around. It certainly seems similar to the way a prairie
dog burrow works, as long as you can see others in sight and lounging
around, life is good.
- [6:12:17:] <Jessica> I also have witnessed on a couple occassions
a strong schooling behavior with synchronized swimming when it was
- [6:12:37:] <Jessica> The fish stopped schooling as soon as
one found the food and they converged upon it
- [6:12:48:] <Jessica> Feed these fish a normal loach fare.
That is a combination of flake, frozen, pellets, live and vegetables.
mine love zucchini and blanched kale. When you first bring these fish
home, there is a good chance they will not eat flakes. Offer a variety
of frozen, algae wafers and fresh veges until they start eating the
- [6:13:21:] <Jessica> Another thing to keep an eye out for
in new fish, is for the skinny disease. Here is a picture of a botia
who has serious problems:
- [6:13:27:] <Jessica> http://groups.msn.com/DEATHFROMEVERYWHERE/shoebox.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=169
- [6:13:45:] <Jessica> note the whiteness and quality of the
head. as opposed to here:
- [6:13:52:] <Jessica> http://www.loaches.com/portraits/botia_angelicus_closeup.html
- [6:13:52:] <Jessica> and
- [6:13:52:] <Jessica> http://www.loachtank.com/displayimage.php?album=6&pos=2
- [6:14:14:] <Jessica> I'll wait a few so you can look and see
- [6:15:29:] <Jessica> I do not know positively that the kubotai
in the first pic has the skinny disease, but it is advised not to
purchase any fish who look that bad.
- [6:15:37:] <Jessica> Standard medication for skinny disease
is a 10 day treatment of Maracyn I and II. Quarantine all kubotai
before adding them, as it seems to be a problem of late.
- [6:15:50:] <Jessica> When choosing tankmates for these fish,
keep in mind that they are not as docile and lazy as they appear.
They will not bother larger tankmates, but those that can be considered
food, will be hunted by small groups of these fish.
- [6:16:06:] <Jessica> Even though I have had 13 kubotai and
a histronica who was convinced he was a kubotai, i never saw a group
larger than 4 hunting the smaller fish. They are relatively slow and
lazy about it, but when you have 4 larger fish after you, you will
- [6:16:23:] <Jessica> I'd not keep any fish under 3/4 of an
inch with 2.5-3.5" kubotai. I keep beckford's pencilfish with
my loaches with no interest on the kubotai's part in hunting. They
will eat any and all fry.
- [6:16:36:] <Jessica> They also love snails, but do not show
an interest in the larger snails. I.e. for the same sized loaches,
they left 1cm ramshorn alone. However, placing them with snails is
putting them in at your own risk. ;-)
- [6:17:35:] <Jessica> These fish really are awesome. If you
have the opportunity to get them and have the room and non-food fish,
go for it.
- [6:17:56:] <Jessica> and if you have them, and can afford
tank-wise and money -wise to get more, do so well.
- [6:18:43:] <Jessica> I am a big proponent of keeping schools
as large as you can. With these fish, who eagarly eat from my fingers
the day after they're moved, and while the clowns are pouting, you
will find the rewards are great indeed.
- [6:18:54:] <Jessica> thank you, and if you have any questions,
now is the time. :)
- [6:19:04:] <craig> Thank you Jessica. :-)
- [6:19:20:] <craig> If you have a question for Jess, please
type: /query craig I have a question
- [6:19:43:] <craig> Whilst we are waiting..
- [6:20:15:] <craig> These fish will also get along quite nicely
with other similiar Botias.. E.G; Botia Dario and Botia Histrionica.
- [6:20:51:] <Jessica> indeed. Like i mentioned above, I have
a botia histronica who would swear he was a kubotai with messed up
- [6:21:40:] <Jessica> However, I have noted on several occassions
tiffs between the kubotai and striata. Mixing them in a small tank
might have bad results. But, like always, YRMV.
- [6:21:43:] <craig> I've often wondered, as have many other
loach fanatics, about the genetics of these loaches.
- [6:22:21:] <craig> They do bear a striking resemblance to
a cross between b. histrionic and b. rostrata.
- [6:23:18:] <craig> And since I am babbling, everyone else
might as well have a chance..
- [6:28:10:] <betsy> How much color variation does one typically
see in this species?
- [6:28:32:] <russ> Jess, you mentioned that these fish became
more avail in the past two years. I think I ran across them about
ten years ago when John Kuhns, in Kansas City was just dealing in
the rarer fishes.....more...
- [6:29:04:] <Jessica> marking variation is incredibly varied.
there isn't much difference in color, but there are some mutations
- [6:29:31:] <craig> Betsy, with the exception of size and placement
of spots, color variation is rare. Like Jess said. ;-)
- [6:29:54:] <Jessica> lol.. while we wait for russ, i'm going
to find one of the rare examples
- [6:29:55:] <russ> At that time they were going for about 40.00
wholesale. I didn't wish to take a chance on them putting the 'kinny'
on me at the time, and lost a chance to obtain a few:-(
- [6:30:13:] <Jessica> wow, russ. thats neat.
- [6:30:14:] <russ> 'skinny', sorry keybaord issues again
- [6:30:18:] <betsy> So the goldish tint in the "healthy"
picture is typical of the species?
- [6:30:49:] <craig> Russ, I was one of the first in the U.S.
to get them after wholesale introduction into the trade began. I paid
$45 each for my first trio.
- [6:30:49:] <russ> From the pics you provided, I'm sure they
were the ones.. Very nice looking fish:-)
- [6:30:53:] <Jessica> it they have a pasty white, it isn't
healthy, but yeah, healthy kubotai will have a bit of a shine to them.
- [6:31:53:] <russ> Craig, that sounds almost like a steal:-)
- [6:32:10:] <craig> It was worth it. :-D
- [6:32:26:] <betsy> Ah. Very nice. Fish with sheen are always
so much prettier than fish without sheen, if you know what I mean.
- [6:33:07:] <russ> they had appeared sparingly on some list
right before I retired, but I just couldn't bring myself to get them
at the time.. Wish I should have now.
- [6:33:27:] <craig> IMHO, as with all botias, they are fascinating
- [6:33:29:] <Jessica> russ, they are still available ;-)
- [6:33:41:] <Jessica> they have a unique personality, as well.
- [6:33:55:] <craig> Mine think they are clown loaches. :-D
- [6:34:00:] <Jessica> hehe
- [6:34:20:] <Jessica> betsy, here's a look at a very rare color
- [6:34:26:] <betsy> Don't all your fishes think they are clown
- [6:34:32:] <Jessica> lol
- [6:34:35:] <Jessica> not mine ;-)
- [6:34:58:] <Jessica> though the striata pout as good as a
- [6:35:07:] <betsy> Wow. I hope he was for sale as a pet, not
- [6:36:10:] <russ> Jess, they are on my future , amoung a few
others on my wish list:-)
- [6:36:25:] <Jessica> cool :D
- [6:36:40:] <craig> Which brings up an interesting point, unlike
dojo loaches and clown loaches, these fish do not (or least as they
are known now) get large enough to be considered food fish.
- [6:37:40:] <Jessica> finger foods? ;-D
- [6:37:42:] <betsy> I think that concept depends on the size
of the person expecting to eat the fish, not the size of hte fish
- [6:37:48:] <Jessica> lol
- [6:38:17:] <craig> Well, that would also depend on the effort
involved in catching them in relation to the return.
- [6:38:49:] <betsy> Lets face it, people eat some wierd things
from the aquatic world- from the sea version of the cockaroach to
the noble whale, they all tend to end up on somebody's plate somewhere.
- [6:38:52:] <Jessica> Right now, there's a definate flood of
them, seeing them appearing in Petcos and some Petsmarts.
- [6:39:28:] <craig> I think you will in short order see that
- [6:39:42:] <Jessica> which is good.
- [6:40:38:] <craig> Recently an importer of these wonderful
fish passed away, what you are seeing now is the wholesale sell off
of one stock of these guys.
- [6:40:56:] <Jessica> I remember reading that on LoL
- [6:41:26:] <betsy> How sad.
- [6:41:40:] <russ> Have you seen pic of all those beautiful
Afican cichlids being fried up in a pan?
- [6:41:56:] <Jessica> no, i haven't
- [6:41:59:] <craig> Sad in one respect, but it has also served
to introduce a very nice loach into the trade.
- [6:42:04:] <betsy> It's like sending all your stuff to auction
once you die to see how much somebody would pay for your second best
- [6:42:13:] <russ> I just couldn;t imagine these cute little
guys ending up like that.
- [6:42:54:] <Jessica> craig, there are indeed many people who
have them now who wouldn't have otherwise. If not for that, I likely
wouldn't have a dozen.
- [6:44:04:] <craig> I think one of the most fascinating things
about them is they way they do their little loachy dance across the
- [6:44:14:] <betsy> I wonder how many other species have become
"available" in just such a way.
- [6:44:17:] <craig> Scooching along. :-D
- [6:45:23:] <betsy> If you could coreograph the loachy dance
into human movement, what would it look like?
- [6:45:29:] <Jessica> Mine'll dance along the glass.. how the
jerky happened :-(
- [6:46:00:] <craig> Betsy, this 'event' was pure chance, the
person (the wholesaler's significant other) didn't know what she had.
She sold them off purely in the interest of getting rid of the stock.
- [6:46:38:] <betsy> Well, I guess if she wasn't prepared to
deal with them that it wasn't such a bad thing, then.
- [6:47:16:] <craig> Honestly, I'll be glad when they get back
onto seasonal trade.
- [6:47:29:] <betsy> I mean, at least she didn't turn them into
the next popular snack food- fried fish bits or something like that.
- [6:48:16:] <craig> Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that
there was a mass introduction of them, but I also cringe at the thought
of them being sold through chain pet stores.
- [6:48:24:] <Jessica> oh, totally
- [6:49:03:] <russ> :-O
- [6:49:07:] <Jessica> lol russ
- [6:49:10:] <betsy> Well, chains are what most people are familiar
with. THe general public trusts a chain store more than they would
trust a mom and pop establishment.
- [6:49:22:] <craig> I can't tell you how many clown loaches
I have seen perish by being sold through Petsmart.
- [6:49:33:] <betsy> Which is backwards and sad, but it's the
truth as I see it at the moment.
- [6:49:37:] <russ> or any X-Mart
- [6:50:12:] <craig> Its all about education. :-)
- [6:50:21:] <craig> <shameless plug alert>
- [6:50:24:] <Jessica> its really irrelevant that. Many chains
are death traps, disease and such. While not true for EVERY, I'd prefer
not seeing some of the rarer species in there.
- [6:50:30:] <betsy> So Jess, what draws you to this particular
type of loach as opposed to other types of loaches?
- [6:50:43:] <craig> If you are interested in a flyer to promote
Badmans, please contact either Jess or myself.
- [6:51:03:] <Jessica> lol, craig. Betsy, to your question..
- [6:51:07:] <russ> Craig, are you serious about that?
- [6:51:13:] <craig> Straight up Russ.
- [6:51:18:] <russ> :-)
- [6:51:35:] <craig> I have them posted at the store I work
- [6:52:02:] <Jessica> many loaches exhibit 'hidy' behaviour.
You rarely see them, or perhaps only at food times and a couple other
- [6:52:12:] <craig> One of them is being held up by a Badman's
- [6:52:33:] <Jessica> My kubotai are anything but hiders. I
can have all 12 and the histronica laying around in the open.
- [6:52:45:] <Jessica> when they see me, they'll start dancing,
irrellevant of the time
- [6:53:06:] <betsy> Ever dance back?
- [6:53:27:] <Jessica> Each botia and loach has their own reasons
for my likeing them, this along with being among the most beautiful
is the reason for the kubotai
- [6:53:35:] <Jessica> and no, i haven't danced back :-)
- [6:53:58:] <craig> Bah, you should give them a show!
- [6:53:59:] <betsy> For shame- you could be dubbed "Dances
- [6:54:20:] <russ> Jess, you should try dancing back ounce
in a while:-)
- [6:54:26:] <Jessica> LOL
- [6:54:27:] <russ> 'once'
- [6:54:34:] <betsy> Or even Jessica, Loach Dancer.
- [6:54:39:] <Jessica> lol
- [6:54:40:] <craig> That's 3 votes yes. :-D
- [6:54:52:] <Jessica> you guys are silly :D
- [6:55:22:] <betsy> I've been known to make the fishy face
a time or two at my aquatic friends. Why not dance?
- [6:55:38:] <craig> I do finger puppets at my fishies..
- [6:56:03:] <Jessica> because there's bits of dog bones and
dog biscuits over the floor.. quite painful if you're not looking
- [6:56:16:] <Jessica> and i do wave and waggle fingers at my
- [6:56:21:] <betsy> ummm- vacuum?
- [6:56:37:] <Jessica> I'm not going to on a 2Xs a day basis
- [6:56:47:] <betsy> (and I do hope you mean bones for dogs,
not bones of dogs)
- [6:56:52:] <Jessica> LOL
- [6:56:54:] <craig> No one said you had to do a full stage
production of ballet, just a little jig would do. ;-D
- [6:57:02:] <Jessica> ROFL craig
- [6:57:42:] <betsy> I can see it now... Dance of the Loaches,
by Jessica. A broadway production.
- [6:57:49:] <Jessica> eep!
- [6:57:51:] <Jessica> lol
- [6:58:03:] <Jessica> we'll but loach costumes on you all ;-D
- [6:58:09:] <Jessica> put, too
- [6:58:17:] <betsy> Tony Awards (or whatever awards go with
that), here we come.
- [6:58:55:] <craig> "Tuck those arms in! Have you ever
seen a kubotai wag its fins like that!"
- [6:59:02:] <Jessica> rofl!!
- [6:59:32:] <Jessica> then we'd have "sids" on wires
- [6:59:43:] <Jessica> so they could dash madly across the back
of the stage
- [6:59:45:] <craig> "I'm afraid you are going to be cut
from the production, these are loaches, not flounders."
- [6:59:57:] <russ> lol
- [7:00:05:] <betsy> too funny
- [7:00:05:] <Jessica> we can set them up as beaus, craig
- [7:00:13:] <craig> Pfft..
- [7:00:19:] <Jessica> LOL
- [7:00:37:] <betsy> All the untalented people (me) could play
driftwood or rock pieces.
- [7:00:57:] <craig> Oh no Betsy, you could play one at rest..
- [7:01:02:] <craig> Fins up..