Common name: Polka-dot loach, Angelicus loach, Kubotai loach
Scientific name: Botia kubotai
Distribution: Salween River headwaters in Myanmar and Thailand
Habitat: Well-oxygenated, flowing shallows with a sandy riverbed dotted with leaf litter, river stones, and driftwoood
Temperature: 76 – 80°F
pH: 6.5 – 8.2
Adult size: 5 inches
Diet: Accepts flakes and pellets, prefers frozen or live invertebrates such as blackworms and brine shrimp as well as blanched vegetables. Will prey on small snails but should not subsist entirely on them.
Conspecifics: Highly social and large groups will develop a complex pecking order with ritual behaviors. Provide many hiding spots so that less dominant individuals can escape during social in-fighting. Must be kept in groups of at least 6-10, lone individuals may become reclusive or bother and nip at other fish.
Tankmates: Treat them like a school of similarly-sized barbs, be careful with tankmates that are too timid or have long trailing fins.
Notes: Like most botia loaches, Botia kubotai demand clean, well-oxygenated water and seem to enjoy a bit of water flow. These fish are very gregarious and boisterous—like barbs, compatibility issues such as fin-nipping and aggression towards tankmates is often attributed to having too few fish in a group. Botias can produce a “clicking” or “crackling” sound by grinding their pharyngeal teeth. They will usually make these sounds when excited, such as during feeding or social interaction.
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