Zebra Loach “Botia Striata” Care Tips

zebra loach

Last updated on September 1st, 2022 at 01:27 pm

The zebra loach is a popular fish for aquariums. It is a small fish, typically measuring only two inches in length, and has a striking black and white striped pattern. The zebra loach is an omnivorous fish, so it can be fed a variety of foods, including both live and freeze-dried food.

The zebra loach is a hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. It is a popular fish for both beginners and experienced aquarium owners. The zebra fish makes an excellent addition to any tank and is sure to be a favorite among your fish collection.

They are a small fish, typically measuring only two inches in length. They have a striking black and white striped pattern that makes them one of the most popular fish for aquariums. The zebra loach is an omnivorous fish, so they can be fed a variety of foods, including both live and freeze-dried food.

Origin and descriptions

zebra loach

The zebra loach (Botia striata) is a freshwater fish that originates from Southeast Asia. It has a long, cylindrical body with vertical black and white stripes running the length of its sides. They can grow up to 12 inches in length and typically inhabits slow-moving streams and rivers.

They a popular aquarium fish due to their attractive markings and peaceful nature. They are a schooling fish, so they should be kept in groups of at least six individuals. They prefer cool water temperatures (64-72 degrees Fahrenheit) and a pH range of neutral to slightly acidic.

These hardy fish are easy to care for and can be fed a varied diet of live foods, frozen food, and plant matter.

Species profile

zebra loach

The zebra loach is one of the largest species in its genus. This particular fish’s common name comes from the black and white stripes that run along their body, as well as those on their fins.

In addition to this distinctive pattern, they also have a long anal fin with lobes that can be fanned out for display purposes. They reach a size of up to six inches in the wild but can be smaller when kept in captivity.

The zebra loach is a peaceful fish that does well in community tanks with other non-aggressive species. They thrive in cooler water temperatures, so are best suited for temperate climates. As omnivores, they will eat most things that are offered, but prefer live or frozen foods.

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Scientific name

The scientific name of the zebra loach is Botia striata

Range and habitat

Zebra loach is a freshwater fish native to the rivers and streams of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. They can be found in slow-moving or standing water with high oxygen content where they live amongst submerged vegetation and mud or sand substrates.

Zebra loach inhabits water with a temperature of 23-27 degrees celsius and can live in an aquarium as long as the temperature is kept within this range.

Zebra loach size

They can grow up to 12 inches in length, though most aquarium specimens will be around six inches long.

Zebra loach tank size

Zebra loach can be kept in a tank of at least 30 gallons, but the bigger the better.

Tank setup

zebra loach

There are two main types of loaches that can be kept in an aquarium; the first is called a climbing or hillstream loach, and this type requires very cold water (below 70°F/20°C). The second group consists of non-climbing flat bottomed fish. These will tolerate temperatures up to around 80°F/25°C.

The tank should be set up as for any tropical community fish, with a substrate of sand and plenty of hiding places amongst bogwood or rockwork. The loaches will appreciate floating plants to dim the light, but these must be robust enough not to get uprooted by their digging activities.

A good filtration system is essential to keep the water clean and well-oxygenated, as loaches are messy eaters.

Life cycle

Zebra loaches begin life as eggs stuck to aquatic plants. In about four weeks from fertilization, the larvae hatch and are fully capable of feeding themselves at birth. Within two months, they will grow from a tiny inch-long fish into an adult that can measure up to 12 inches long.

They take several years before they reach their full adult size, and during that time, they will change greatly in color from a greenish-gold to the contrasting black and white stripes characteristic of their species.

Are zebra loaches aggressive or peaceful?

Zebra loaches are peaceful. They can be territorial, but this behavior is limited to their own kind and usually just between males during mating season. However, they do have sharp spines on the front of their dorsal fins that can cause injury if not handled correctly or with care.

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This makes them poor choices for households with small children who might be too rough or impatient to handle them.

Zebra loach care

zebra loach

They are easy to care for, but they do require moderate water conditions and a good diet.

They need a pH of around neutral or slightly acidic and a water temperature between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit. They will do well in most aquariums, but be sure to provide plenty of hiding places as they like to hide when they’re stressed.

What they eat

The zebra loach is an omnivore and will eat most things that are offered, but prefers live or frozen foods. They primarily consume detritus and algae in the wild, so keeping a well-maintained tank is essential to their health.

To keep your zebra loach healthy, feed them a diet that consists of both meaty and vegetative foods. They’ll enjoy live or frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and mosquito larvae, as well as freeze-dried tubifex worms, plankton, and krill.

Do zebra loaches eat other fish?

No. In general, they are not carnivores and prefer a diet of small worms or insects. They will eat food that falls to the bottom of the tank if necessary, but it’s best to provide them with a variety of foods. Some have been known to nip at smaller fish within their aquarium, however, most zebra loaches do not generally prey on other fish.

Do zebra loaches eat snails?

Yes, they do. In fact, they love to eat snails and will scavenge for them in the tank. They are one of the best snail predators available and can help keep your tank free of these pests. However, you should still provide some other food items for them as well, since snails make up only a small portion of their diet.

Zebra loach tank mates

Zebra loaches can be kept with a variety of other fish. They are generally peaceful and will not bother most other tank mates. However, they may prey on small fish or fry, so you should exercise caution when choosing companions for them.

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Some good choices include other bottom dwellers such as catfish or loaches, as well as some smaller, peaceful species of fish.

How many zebra loaches should be kept together?

Zebra loaches should be kept in groups of five or more. If you have a large aquarium it is possible to keep larger numbers, but anything fewer than five will cause the zebra loach stress and could lead to aggression between members of the group.

Water conditions

zebra loach

The water conditions for the zebra loach should be kept between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a pH of around six to eight. The water hardness should be medium to hard.

Water changes are necessary every week or two weeks to keep the water quality high and prevent any health problems. About 25% of the tank’s volume should be replaced with fresh water.

The tank should contain a lot of plants and driftwood for hiding places but it is important that the loach has enough space to move around freely because they are very active fish. They will also appreciate open spaces like caves or tubes in which to hide, as well as pieces of bogwood where they can rest.

Breeding zebra loach

They are easy to breed. First, you must obtain a pair or more of zebra loaches and provide them with an aquarium that is at least 20 gallons in size. The tank should also contain lots of plants and hiding spots for the fish to feel comfortable enough to spawn.

Once your pair has spawned, remove the parents from the aquarium. The eggs will hatch in a few days and the fry will be able to eat newly hatched brine shrimp or other small live foods. Be sure to keep an eye on the fry and remove any that are not eating properly.

Zebra loach lifespan

They can have a lifespan of up to ten years if well cared for. They are hardy fish and make a great addition to any tank.

Parasites and diseases

Zebra loaches may be prone to the same parasites and diseases as other freshwater fish. The most common of these is ich. This can easily be prevented by quarantining new additions before introducing them into an existing tank.

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Zebra loaches have a few predators in the wild, but they are not as susceptible to being eaten as some of the other fish species. Their stripes may help them to avoid being seen by predators and make it harder for them to be captured.

In captivity, their biggest threat is from larger fish that may eat them. It is important to keep them with other fish species that are not predatory.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. They are a great choice for an aquarium. They do not need very hard specific requirements, and they can be kept with other fish that have similar requirements in terms of water quality and habitat.

Are zebra loaches rare?

Zebra loaches are not rare, but they are not common either. They are not considered rare fish, but they are not as common as some of the other freshwater fish species, this could be due to their preferences for some specific requirements and habitat.

They can be found in pet stores and online dealers, and they are usually sold in groups of six or more.


Zebra loaches are a great choice for an aquarium, and they make good pets. They are not rare, but they may be harder to find than some of the other freshwater fish species. They can be found in pet stores and online dealers, and are usually sold in groups of six or more.

In general, they will make a great pet for you if proper care is given to them.