This months profile was written by fishbro22 an active contributor to the site.




Acanthocobitis botia



    Hailing from rivers in Asia, Acanthocobitis botia could be the perfect addition to your aquarium that is 20 gallons or larger. It is very similar to the Botia striata. The only difference is an eye spot that is very distinctive.

Quick stats:


Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: 3 to 4″ (7.5 – 10cm)
Tank: 24 inches, 20 gallon minimum.
Strata: Bottom
PH: 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 5.0 – 12.0
Temperature: 73°F to 81°F (23-27°C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Cyprinidae
Family: Balitoridae
Sub-Family: Nemacheilinae
Genera: Acanthocobitis
Species: Botia



Common name:

Zipper Loach 

    , Sand Loach, Mottled Loach



     the Indus River and drainages. Thought to be widespread throughout the region.

General Body Form:One of the longer and thinner of the Acanthocobitis, the zipper loach has the classic loach shape. The belly area is fairly straight and the back curves in a convex shape. The mouth has four pairs of barbels. As with most of the family the spine reaches to just below the eye.



The body is brown with many vertical yellow stripes which vary in thickness. The translucent fins are marked with brown bands. The caudal fin is marked with and eye spot. The common name comes from the look of the young who have a pattern that resembles a clothing zipper.

Maintenance:Zipper loaches have no special requirements on water conditions, they do however prefer a certain aquarium setup to be at their best. A tank size of 36 inches with a soft or fine textured substrate as they are continually probing the upper layers with their barbels for food. The tank should be planted, but also provide open areas for swimming as well. Good aeration and good water movement are a must. The lighting in the tank should not be overly bright. Zippers are happiest living in small groups and have been reported to be semi aggressive, sometimes nipping the fins of other species. Feeding is not difficult as they will accept all prepared foods and like all fish relish the addition of live foods especially small worms like tubifex or Blackworms. They are most active at night.


Biotope:Inhabits clear fast water of rivers and streams.


Little (or nothing) is known of their sexing although some say females are fatter than males. Breeding in the aquarium is very rare, or accidental. Breeding is caused by slight changes in temperature and PH. Eggs are laid in hidden spots and left. Parents may eat eggs.

Diseases:None are specific to this species of loach.

References:Zipper Loach (Acanthocobitis botia)
Acanthocobitis botia – Zipper Loach
Zipper Loach (Acanthocobitis botia)

5/5 - (17 votes)


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