Dwarf chain loaches are a unique freshwater species that flies under the radar within the aquarist community. Many people haven’t heard of them (unless they’re a loach-lover), and we think that’s a shame!
This species is very pretty and will be put on a show due to its high activity level. However, there are some things you’ll need to know before you own some.
This guide breaks down the crucial elements of dwarf chain loach care to make you a more prepared and confident future owner. It has all the info you’ll need to get started!
Dwarf Chain Loaches are an ideal choice for the smaller peaceful aquarium community. They are best maintained in large shoals, 5 being considered the minimum number. The substrate should consist of fine sand in order to protect the delicate barbel area, and it should be furnished with numerous hiding places amongst bogwood, caves, and aquatic plants. Dwarf Chain Loaches exhibit an unusual trait for Botiid loaches – that of shoaling above the bottom of the aquarium, and often openly during daylight hours. Clean, well-aerated water is essential, and 10-15% water changes should be carried out twice weekly. This species is considered Critically Endangered in its native Thailand and is now being bred on a large scale (thought to be via some form of hormone treatment) in the far East, in order to take pressure off of the remaining wild stocks. Virtually all fish now offered for sale in the trade are captive-bred.
Sinking catfish pellets, micropellets, algae wafers, small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, baby brine shrimp, daphnia, cyclops, etc. Will eat baby snails, but due to their diminutive size, cannot manage the adults.
Some aquarists have reported possible pre-spawning behavior in their Dwarf Chain Loaches. Others have reported a sudden increase in numbers when cleaning out their well-established heavily planted species-only aquariums – although such breeding reports have not really been documented with definite details.