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FAQs About Yo Yo Loaches

Related Articles: Loaches, A New Look At Loaches By Neale Monks,

Related FAQs:  Loaches 1, Loaches 2, Dojos/Weatherfishes, Clownloaches, & Loach Identification, Loach Behavior, Loach Compatibility, Loach Selection, Loach Systems, Loach Feeding, Loach Disease, Loach Reproduction,


Yoyo loaches becoming friends with a zebra loach? And also, company for kuhlis? 3/4/11
Hi! I've just found this excellent website and would love to get some advice about my loaches. Have looked in the archives but to my knowledge nobody has asked this question before so here we go:
When I first set up my aquarium I was persuaded by the LFS to buy a (one) zebra loach for the tank to keep any snails at bay.
<Mmm, like most cobitids, social animals>
He seemed to be doing the job as I've never had an infestation yet, but he also hid away all the time.
Sometimes I didn't see him for days on end and if I did he'd very quickly scurry away again when he noticed my presence. So, very skitty and scared. It was only months later that I realised that they like to be in groups, and I only noticed this after I'd bought a couple of yoyo loaches and one (again, one!) Kuhli
loach. The yoyos seemed happy enough - really gregarious and getting on great.
The Kuhli immediately hid away not to be seen for weeks (I thought he'd been eaten before he suddenly popped up again). I was a bit worried when I realised what I'd done by just buying one of the zebras and the Kuhli, because I have a 250l tank that is basically fully stocked already (with Danios, Platies, guppies,
a frog and a couple of Corys). Still, I was willing to go to get at least a couple of zebra and kuhlis to make sure they didn't remain totally traumatized by their enforced solitude. Went to the fish shop and got a couple of kuhlis that weren't stripy but which were, so I was told, the same species (like for example Platies in different colours are).
<Might be, might not>
Again, they get on great together, but it's not done anything for the striped Kuhli, making me think that they
are not the same species after all. So now I've actually added to my problem because I'm rapidly running out of space in the tank. So my first question is - should I go and get more kuhlis to give them all a chance as separate species?
<I'd just wait, be patient for now>
My second question concerns my zebra loach. As I said, he didn't mix at all with the yoyos, initially, but in the last week or so he's suddenly emerged from his hiding place and seems to swim and interact with them all the time. Is he accepting them as company?
<Appears to be>
Does this mean that he will be OK with the yoyos for company and doesn't need more of his own type?
<Likely so>
Or is this stressing him out more?
<Not really>
Sorry for the long email - ideally I would of course just go out to buy 4 more of each species, but as it is that would totally overpopulate my tank I think so I'm hoping that maybe I can at least have the zebra and the yoyos as a team?
Maybe the striped Kuhli will come round to the idea of having non-stripy mates too?!
I'd be grateful for any advice you may have
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Feeding YoYo loaches  4/10/10
Hello its me again thanks for your help last time. I bought ten Yo Yo loaches (B. almorhae) which I placed in a quarantine 10 gallon tank. I plan to keep them there for a week before moving 5 of them to a 55 gallon and the other 5 to another 55 gallon tank.
<Very good.>
They seem healthy and they are swimming a lot but I'm not sure what to feed them.
<Most anything! A mix of algae wafers, catfish pellets, chopped seafood, and any frozen krill, bloodworms and so on are all good foods. Like snails and earthworms are enjoyed.>
I tried throwing a sinking shrimp pellet but they ignored it (they had only been in the tank for an hour when I did that) so I took it out.
Should I try algae wafers, vegetables, or maybe get some Ramshorn snails and throw them in there.
I do want them to get use to regular dried food, since my snail supply is not infinite. Furthermore, the tanks they are going in have fast swimming barbs which do not leave many leftovers so it is important for them to like dried food before I put them in the main tanks.
<Feed the loaches at night.>
I'm open to feeding them vegetables since I have an Ancistrus Plec in a main tank which I read like them. Am I supposed to boil them before though or just throw it in the tank raw? Not sure about that.
<Cooked peas and spinach should be taken, and raw cucumber may be nibbled on, but green foods are a minor part of the dietary requirements of this species. Whatever you give your Ancistrus will be eaten by the loaches
should they want it.>
Thanks for your help.
<Cheers, Neale.>

Can I add Yo Yo loaches to this tank? -- 3/31/10
Hello, your website is very helpful and well done.
<Thank you.>
I wanted to ask a question about adding 5 B. almorhae to my tank. I have a fully cycled 55 gallon tank that has been running for 9 months. It is heavily decorated with jungle vals, a ton of java ferns, two large pieces of driftwood, a large Anubias, a piece of rock, a center decorative cave thingy, as well as a melon swordplant. It has two filters running on it, an emperor filter meant for 90 gallons of water and a smaller filter meant for 20 gallons from an older tank. It is a tropical tank kept at 79-82 degrees.
I have never had a problem with ammonia, nitrates, or dead fish (except one I accidentally killed while cleaning). I perform a 25% water change every week and 50% once a month.
<Very good.>
My current fish stock is mostly south east Asian fish. I have 6 Tiger barbs (P. tetrazona), 3 Red Tiger barbs, 3 Green Platinum Tiger barbs, and 1 Green Moss Tiger Barb. The Red and Green Platinum ones were rare color
morphs I found at my LFS.
<Hmm... not *that* rare.>
I am certain that they are tiger barbs since they look and behave as such only with different colors.
<Correct; all are Puntius tetrazona.>
They are a happy healthy group that has been together as a whole for 4 months. I also have a second school of 4 Red line torpedo barbs (P. denisonii) (all about 4-5 inches long, they are very beautiful) which get along 'swimmingly' with the tiger barbs. I have 1 (3-inch) red-finned rainbow shark (Epalzeorhyncus spp) which used to be territorial when there were 5 tiger barbs, with 13 that is no longer the case.
<Sounds about right.>
He usually hangs around near the center decor inside the cave, grazes on algae and occasionally comes up to eat the regular flakes. Lastly I have a newly acquired 4 inch Bristlenose Plec. (Ancistrus spp.), which sort of killed my whole southeast Asian theme but he is an amazing fish. Anyways sorry about the detailed long info, but I've always wanted to keep a Botia fish, but clown loaches get too big (they aren't even considered Botias anymore).
<But they are Botiine loaches, a reference to a grouping of Botia-like loaches within the loach family Cobitidae.>
The Yo Yo loaches seem like a good fit as far as tankmates.
<Yes, should be.>
I dont really have any true bottom dwellers (so there wont be much competition) and all the fish I have, except the Plec, are endemic to similar river like environments. My only concern was the stock in my tank being too large.
<No, not a problem. The only sticking point is the Rainbow Shark. Loaches and Shark-minnows don't get along. I have a Garra cambodgiensis alongside three Cherry-fin Loaches, and the Garra is often chasing the loaches about.
In a big tank, and with a group of 5 loaches, I think the risk of serious damage is minimal. But you might want to remove the Rainbow Shark, move the rocks and plants around, and then re-introduce the Rainbow Shark at the
same time as the Yoyo Loaches, so no-one is holding a territory. That will minimise the risk of fighting.>
My filters are strong (my tank is definitely over filtered, I also replace the carbon monthly), the water current in the tank is very strong as well, and my tank is crystal clear with a ton of healthy fertilized plants and no sing of bad water parameters. I'm not sure if this compensates for overstocking as I am aware that adding 5 Yo yo's (although initially 2 inches but eventually 5-6 inches) will definitely overstock the tank. So what is your advise? Thank you in advance.
<Good luck, Neale.>

Yoyo loaches ok or not? Hi! <Hello there> I stumbled on your website while looking for clues as to why my yoyos are acting the way they are. I bought them about 2 weeks and a half (I got 3), they have always been active, rummaging around, swimming about and everything has been going great. We've even heard them click. <Neat> Today, I'm a little worried, ok a lot worried. They don't look so hot. 2 of them are faded. They all have enlarged stomachs although one especially. It seemed like it happened overnight. I fed them last night and I didn't notice anything strange. I've been feeding my other fish flakes and I have been dropping shrimp pellets and algae wafers depending on the day but I don't think they are eating any of that. I do have snails though. One of them is just laying on the rock, sometimes on his side, sometimes normally and I'll watch him and he'll be on his side and then all of a sudden, he'll just roll over and be "normal" again. <Not uncommon loach behavior> One doesn't look discolored much although he does seem a little plump. He is swimming around doing his thing and the other 2 are just laying there. The 2 that are just laying there also seem to be opening their mouths more than the others. <"When in doubt, do a water change"... Something may be amiss with dissolved oxygen...> I have a 55 gallon community (with angels, tetras, 1 Farlowella) that has been running for about 3 months. My tetras have even spawned twice. The water is fine, ammonia +nitrate levels are good. I'm not sure what's going on but I am freaking out. I read your Q&A and I really don't know about them sleeping? I mean, could that be all there is to it? I sure hope so :( Thank you for reading this and I hope you can help me, Marie <Do keep your eye on them, change ten, twenty percent of the water... Bob Fenner>

Re: yoyo loaches ok or not? I appreciate your reply and I did a 20-30% water change, I do a water change every 7-10 days and check my levels. Still all fine. I do have a bubble wall going so I'm not sure that there is a problem with the oxygen level. <Likely not here> How often to they sleep? For how long? <Sort of like dogs, cats... at different times, night, day... minutes to hours> I love my loaches and I would hate for something to be wrong with them. And again, I really appreciate you emailing me and answering my newbie loach questions :) Marie <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

YoYo Loach Question Hi there, I have a yo yo loach that I've had for about 6 months and he/she seems to be getting extremely thin and very sluggish.  It still eats and swims around, but more often now I see it hiding with my Kuhli loaches.  Any idea what illness my poor loach might have? Thanks, Jackie <<Dear Jackie; First you need to test your water for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. The first two should be zero, and the nitrate level should be kept between 20-60ppm. Higher readings will require multiple back-to-back water changes to lower it. Once you have determined the state of your water, you can add medication. Meds are not going to be too effective if the reason the fish got sick was due to water quality, which, left unremedied, will simply hinder the cure. At any rate, the most logical culprit is an internal parasite. Your LFS should carry a medication with Metronidazole as an ingredient, ask them for it. Follow the instructions to the letter, and hopefully things will improve. And keep testing your water :) -Gwen>>

Yoyo Loach and other questions Hi I emailed you a couple of weeks ago. I have the over-population of snails. I called about 11 different pet stores that sold fish. Finally I found a Aquarium store. Well no one has Skunk Botia's. The people at the fish store told me to get the Yoyo's because they are smaller and won't kill my baby fish. Yeah I'm experimenting with breeding fish. Well I have 5 guppies and I have no clue how many babies. I have 2 from almost a month ago but I saw some really small ones today. I have 3 yoyos and 2 shrimp. I can't remember what kind it is. It isn't a ghost shrimp. Also I have 2 big snails.. They sell them at pet smart. Will the Yoyo's do the job?  I read that they don't like Malaysian snail. Could that prove a problem. My fish tank is 15 gallons. Is it too over populated? If so what is a good way for catching baby fish? Or what would you recommend. I have a 2 gallon in my kitchen I can transfer them to. It is empty. thanks <Should work out. Bob Fenner>

Is it a YoYo Loach? Ok. I've just left my LFS and they have what is being called a yoyo loach in their display tank.  If this is a yoyo, then he's unlike any that I've ever seen.  He's absolutely stunning!  He's got similar markings of a yoyo (I have 3 of them) but he's much more elongated. <Ironically you are the second person in a month to have contacted me stating that they have seen a "yoyo" for sale like that.  I had done a search on it, and unless it's a new subspecies that isn't identified yet, then there isn't anything online that resembles the loach you have described.  I have yet to see these "new" Yoyo's, but they sound quite impressive.  My yoyo is "standard", maybe when I want another one I'll try to find myself one of these.> I've spent the last 2 hours searching all of the loach sites that have pictures and I haven't been able to find out what he really is.  Do you know of a loach that has similar markings to a yoyo, but is longer and much thinner.   <I have seen Rostratas sometime confused with them at stores like Petco.  But, it was something that was easily identified to anyone who knew what a YoYo looked like.  I think that it might just be a unique YoYo.  Perhaps something you shouldn't pass up.> Even his tail fins seemed a bit longer than any yoyo that I've seen.  I know for sure it's not a Tiger or Rostrata. Thanks! Sherri <Wish I could give you a definitive answer what this loach might be, but I don't know many other Loaches with that distinctive "Y" and "o" patter where the YoYo gets it's name from.  Good luck -Magnus>

The Weird Yo-Yo, Continued Thank you...this unique 'yoyo' is in the display tank - they won't sell him!  Darn!  Thx again! <Do take a look here for some more on Botia almorhae (the yo-yo): http://www.loaches.com/species_pages/botia_almorhae.html  They have some neat pics and some good text on this fish and its color morphs.  Might also look on what they have to say here, regarding the "angelicus" loach, as it is *somewhat* yo-yo-like in patterning:  http://www.loaches.com/species_pages/botia_sp_myanmar.html .  And of course, play around from the homepage:  http://www.loaches.com/ .  There's a lot of good info there, and it's well kept up and usually quite up-to-date.  Hope you can find some insight on this strange fellah!  Enjoy.  -Sabrina>

Going Planted; Yo-Yo Loach  Hello,  <Hi>  I have a 46 gallon community tank with Cardinal Tetras, Zebra Danios, Cory Cats, a Yo-Yo Loach, a Gourami, and pair of Kribensis. The tank has been established for about a year, and I'm now transitioning my tank to a planted tank. I have purchased new lights that holds 3-36" 30 watt bulbs. I have also purchased a Hagen fermentation style CO2 kit. Does my lighting sound adequate?  <That really depends on what plants you want to keep; with your lighting, I'd stay away from plants that have high light requirements. There are gobs and gobs of plants you can play with for this setup.>  I'm also curious if the Hagen will inject enough CO2 into the tank.  <This depends on how heavily you wish to plant the tank; you might want a second such system, or a DIY CO2 generator in addition to the one Hagen generator.>  I'm a little torn on what kind of fertilizer I should use (liquid/solid). Any suggestions that may help?  <Well, to be honest, I use both. I'd recommend liquid fertilizers regularly, and any particularly picky plants, give a fertilizer plug.>  One of my Danios is much larger than the others in the chest area (for lack of the appropriate term). It almost seems to be swollen. Do Danios swell during reproduction,  <Females will get rather plump, so yes.>  ...or does my fish likely have some kind of disease?  <Without seeing the fish, there's no real way I could tell you; but if the fish is otherwise acting/looking/eating well, I'd wager it's just a robust female.>  Ammonia and nitrites are at 0, nitrates are acceptable, and pH is 7.4.  <All good, though the cardinal tetras would appreciate a lower pH, but if you're planning on CO2 injection, that should help.>  One more thing - have you heard of yo-yo loaches being aggressive. He seems to be the bully of the tank, and seems to pick on weaker fish.  <Certainly sounds like a yo-yo loach! They do tend to be a little boisterous as they grow; not aggressive so much as insanely hyper-active.>  Over the past year, I've had some fish die and look mangled. I'm not sure if they died for other reasons, and the scavengers started working on them, or if the loach had something to do with it.  <I would certainly bet the first idea is the likeliest, though I'm sure the loach probably does cause the other fish some stress. Loaches do better in groups, so he's probably just making up for that by playing with the other fish instead - much to the other fishes' displeasure, I'm sure. If you like loaches but want something a little more laid back, consider Botia striata; they stay a bit smaller and are a little less, uh, annoying, to other fish - and on top of that, they're quite attractive.>  The Kribs are a relatively new addition, so I can't blame them. All other fish are extremely docile.  <Though I doubt the loach outright killed anyone, he might've stressed 'em to the point of illness/weakness, and eventually death, but that's only one possibility. If you really think he's a danger to any of the other fish, it might be a good idea to remove him. Otherwise, you *might* try adding a couple more, see if they share their attentions with one another, or if they still harass the other fish; that might be a touch risky, though.>  Thanks for your help.  <Hope all goes well, and that you enjoy the world of plantiness! -Sabrina>  Jeremy Lane 

YoYo Loaches 5/28/2009
Hello Crew, Before I ask my question I want you to know up front how much I appreciate you being there to help people like me. You have made a big difference in my aquarium keeping.
<You are welcome! Thanks!>
I recently bought a yoyo loach to eat snails. I asked the LFS manager if it was OK to have just one and he said yes. Later after doing some research I found that is not true. I found that they need to be in groups but some things I have read say 3 is OK and some others say a minimum of 7.  Please tell me what you recommend. I have a 75 gallon tank. Also, I have read they dig up plants. All mine are artificial and situated pretty well in the sand substrate except for some java fern on a piece of bogwood. Do I need to worry about my artificial plants continually getting uprooted or my java fern getting eaten? Thanks you so much for your help.
<In your tank I would recommend putting at least five together, and for the plants, the java fern will not get eaten just uprooted sometimes along with your fake plants. Loaches love to dig around in sand substrate, that is just typical loach behavior.>
<You are welcome! Merritt A.>  

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