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Small is relative terminology. They may be small in comparison to others in their genus, and may do well in a relatively smaller tank. However considering that they do need to be in a minimum group of at least six, a ten gallon would be too small.

Big loaches: 120+ gallon tank
Medium loaches: 75+ gallon tank
Small loaches: 35+ gallon tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Small is relative terminology. They may be small in comparison to others in their genus, and may do well in a relatively smaller tank. However considering that they do need to be in a minimum group of at least six, a ten gallon would be too small.

Big loaches: 120+ gallon tank
Medium loaches: 75+ gallon tank
Small loaches: 35+ gallon tank
Thanks. That is reasonable. Thanks to everyone else as well for their opinions and thoughts. :)
 

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Also, you might want to reconsider keeping them with a betta. I had a school in a 55 gal tank, and had to relocate them to their own tank because they were nipping the Angel's fins. In my experience, they are best kept with small fish fast enough to outrun the loaches. Danios and Harlequins and similar fish are great because the loaches can play with them without doing any harm.

My particular school of Sids love to filter surf with the Glofish in their tank.
 

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I have 5 of these in a 75 gallon. They zip across the 48" distance in about 2 seconds, if it takes that long.
I think it would be cruel to keep them in anything smaller. But that's just me.
 

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I have 5 of these in a 75 gallon. They zip across the 48" distance in about 2 seconds, if it takes that long.
I think it would be cruel to keep them in anything smaller. But that's just me.
Bigger is always better. Once you start getting bigger tanks you seem to realize how awfully overcrowded your smaller tanks were! Well at least that was the way I was before I was on the forums. If they like to dart all the way across, my oddball 40G long tank might be a good compromise, only 40G but still 48". Actually I have a couple oddballs for 48" both the 40G and a 150G, both 4 foot long but BIG difference lol!

My favorite loach for small tanks has to be the Zebra (Botia striata), and it doesnt often dart around. I'll probably include a couple dozen of them maybe in my 240g as well. But alas, a 10g is still to small for these, with a group of 5 I'd say ~30G at the minimum.

<one of my Botia striata [click]
 
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