Psuedogastromyzon cheni



      1. One of the more popular loaches on this site. The Cheni loach is best for the specialist and kept in a

    river tank set up

      1. . Much of this information was gathered from a chat transcript, hosted for badman’s and the speaker was Martin Thoene, probably the most knowledgeable expert in the river loach field. You can view the

    transcript here

Thank you Craig for the photos.



Quick stats:


Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 2.5″ (6cm) Total Length
Tank: 55+ gallons
Strata: Bottom
PH: 6.5 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: to 9.0
Temperature: 72°F to 76°F (22-24°C)


Family: Balitoridae
Order: Cypriniformes
Class: Actinopterygii
Genera: Psuedogastromyzon
Species: Cheni




Common name:


General Body Form::

Streamlined and aerodynamic the hillstream loaches are perfect for their environment. Flat on the bottom with a large rounded head and a trailing body.


    Not a striking fish the body is basically brown with an interesting molted pattern. The Dorsal fin is often fringed with a bright red edge.


    The most important aspect of keeping the Cheni is water quality. The aquarium must have fast flowing water from one side to the other This not only serves to keep the fish active but keeps up the oxygen levels they need. The substrate should be small rounded pebbles, with driftwood and larger stones placed in areas directly in the water flow but not enough to hinder it. Plants may be added in the sheltered areas where the current will naturally be less. Bright light is needed to promote a nice growth of algae on the rocks and wood. The Cheni will graze on the algae but it should not be considered the staple of its diet. High quality flake food as well as brine shrimp and frozen food should be given regularly. The temperature needed by these fish is not really tropical and if you try to keep the water warmer its ability to absorb oxygen will be reduced and the fish will suffer. Hillstreams are not schoolers but will tolerate others of the same species. Good tankmates could include the White cloud mountain minnow, Zebra danio and the leopard danio.


    Algae covered wood and stones in fast flowing clear streams of southern China


    Pseudogastromyzon cheni have been bred by quite a few people. Their courtship consists of the male dancing around the female, fluttering his fins. He digs a spawning pit under the edge of a rock with his tail. The fish spawn, then bury the eggs. Babies hatch and are quite big when they first appear above the gravel.The babies are quite slow growing



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