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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

My tank is stocked with mostly Asian fish (thick-lipped gourami, harlequin rasbora, badis badis, one bamboo shrimp), along with some BN plecos given to me by a friend. Another friend wants the plecos, and I'd like to replace them with something from Asia. I really like hara, but my tank is kept at pretty tropical temperatures and I understand they like it a little cooler. Even without a heater, my tank sits at 78-80F in the summer and I don't want to mess with chillers. I also like dojos, but same problem with the temp, and I understand they are also egg eaters, which could be a problem with the badis and the gourami.

I've had kuhlis in the past, and I never saw them, so I'd like something a little more visible. It's a 50 gallon tank so nothing too big.

Does anyone have any recommendations for something that would work for the bottom of the tank: Asian, warm temperature tolerant, and peaceful?
 

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I have 4 botia kubotai, aka angelicus/polka-dot/Burmese border loaches in my community tank. Love them, beautiful and quite entertaining. They make quick work of pond snails, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have 4 botia kubotai, aka angelicus/polka-dot/Burmese border loaches in my community tank. Love them, beautiful and quite entertaining. They make quick work of pond snails, too.
These are lovely. I do keep livebearing trapdoor snails in the tank. The adults are too large for anything to eat, but I imagine these would eat the babies. That wouldn't necessarily rule them out for me though.

I don't have a lot of flow in my tank due to the gourami. Do you think that would be a problem?
 

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I have a 50 gallon tank with a very similar stock (different gouramis, Badis badis, bamboo shrimp) with a group of Botia striata (Zebra Loach). Great fish, interesting behavior, peaceful, not too big, not too small.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really like glass cats, but how much do they stay at the bottom? Whenever I see them it seems like they are mid tank. Love them though.

I am starting to also consider shrimp. I want something that mostly stays at bottom and is a little calm to offset the mid-tank activity of the rasbora.

Bump:
I have a 50 gallon tank with a very similar stock (different gouramis, Badis badis, bamboo shrimp) with a group of Botia striata (Zebra Loach). Great fish, interesting behavior, peaceful, not too big, not too small.
I'll take a look. What kind of flow do you have in your tank? I have a sponge filter so I don't have much and a lot of what I read on loaches seems to indicate they need some water flow. Not that everything I read bears out in reality.
 

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No, they don't really need much flow (if any at all). I don't have much flow as this tank is kind of dedicated to Asian fish and plants from slow moving and black water environments. Soft water, lots of driftwood, planted and floating plants, limited water flow (EHEIM 2217 with enlarged holes on the spray bar to reduce current speed). May be they'd prefer a bit more flow but I never saw them show any particular interest into more high flow areas of the tank, if anything, they prefer to hang out around driftwood. Botias need some space to hide, preferably big enough for all of them to fit together but they go in it only to sleep, afraid etc. - normally they are all over the tank, not hiding at all. Very social fish. Sometimes they even try to school together with badis and Trichogaster fasciata :grin2:

As for glass cats, I don't think they are bottom fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fasciata? I was looking everywhere for them and couldn't find any. I finally got some labiosa females although the one male I already have is supposedly fasciata. I ordered a male labiosa with them but he was DOA and I don't want to pay shipping again for one fish. :( My new females are too young for breeding anyway, so I'll get a male later (the fasciata is probably too old to breed so I'm not really worried about hybridizing).

I'll see what I can find for the botia. I don't know that I've seen them in any shops here, so I may need to order them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Take away the asian requirement and it sounds like Corys would be exactly what you want.
The Asian requirement is pretty firm. The plecos do a pretty good job already of filling in the bottom but they just don't go with the other fish in the tank. It sounds like loaches are pretty similar in activity to corys. I viewed my kuhlis pretty similarly when they were active, but they were just too shy for me overall.

Also corys and my water just don't get along. I used to be into South/Central American fish and corys were the only fish that just didn't seem to do well for me.
 

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I would love to have them. I already stocked my tank though. I went the South American route.


Not to discourage you from loaches, loaches are cool fish. Alot of nice patterns and colors. Just remember that they're usually listed as semi-aggressive. If not kept in large enough numbers they tend to turn into terrors from what I've experienced. I know Badis are pretty shy fish, I doubt they'd make ideal tank mates for a bamboo shrimp as well.

This has some good info on Zebra Loaches. http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/botia-striata/

Nothing is set in stone. What works for one might not work for others and vice versa.
 

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Having kept a lot of Botia (into loaches), I would recommend Botia kubotai or Botia histrionica, over Botia striata.
B. striata while peaceful, I have noticed they do cause a little more trouble, once in a while nipping at fish or being more dominant/territorial towards other Botia (their own species as well).
The other two look better as well, more peaceful and their pattern changes as they age is a lot cooler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will probably put off the loach or catfish buying for a little bit, as I just put out a somewhat significant amount on a recent shipment. I do buy in groups if that's what fits the species temperament, so there's a pretty significant chunk of change based on the pricing I've seen currently and the options presented. I do really appreciate the advice and input. I now have several options to look for locally and at the fish club meetings, as sometimes unexpected fish show up. If I don't find anything easily within the next month or so I'll put in an order somewhere.
 

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Fasciata? I was looking everywhere for them and couldn't find any.
I'm really not 100% sure, this is what I think. I just don't know how to distinguish from labiosa for sure as I never saw natural color labiosa in person. He looks very much like this: http://www.akvarieforum.dk/images/Fish Freshwater/Trichogaster fasciata 11.jpg Basically a shiny, neon blue fish (especially anal fin) with a bit of orange on the body and fins, very bright orange stripe along the edge of anal fin.
I found them by accident in a bad condition with a very upset seller who had no idea how they were called - he told me that he ordered some other fish from supplier and got "this" by mistake. I took a chance and bought five - I really wanted to have natural color labiosa or fasciata, didn't really care much which. Unfortunately, four of them didn't last long but the last one survived and looks like he is doing great. I probably have him for about a year already.

I'll see what I can find for the botia. I don't know that I've seen them in any shops here, so I may need to order them.
Hmm, striata and other recommended small botias are pretty common here (around NYC). No any problems with their aggression towards other fish so far (~ year) and they (as well as all other fish) completely ignore bamboo shrimp. I was actually afraid about shrimp myself - badis, botia, sparkling gourami - all of these are known to eat small shrimp. Not bamboo - they never even look at it.

BTW, be careful with this Hyalobagrus flavus (if you'll find it - I never saw it anywhere). Its maximum size is listed as 1.8", so they'll probably come less than an inch from a store. Badis can try to prey on them. At least my badises (I have two in this tank) were doing this with my sparkling gouramies until gouramies grew up bigger. They were not very successful but they were definitely trying. One gourami that was not careful lost an eye.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I had a hard time finding too much on how to distinguish fasciata and labiosa. There's even some speculation they may be the same species. I had a pair of fasciata from a friend, but lost the female in a recent move. I had them for about a year and saw no real movement toward breeding and I have no idea how old they are. I'm not 100% certain he's fasciata but I know that Wet Spot sold him as such when my friend got him and I usually trust them to know.

I ordered a quad of wild labiosa this week, and the male was DOA. The three females are beautiful though. Almost glowing. They're still juveniles, but I'm hoping that they at least get the male back out in the open. He's gotten timid again since losing the female. When they get bigger I'll look for a male again.

The problem with finding botia is that I'm in a part of San Diego County that's pretty sparse in local shops vs. chains. The one that is near me wasn't very good, but it just changed ownership and is having a grand opening on Saturday. I'm going to go and be optimistic. I do see botia from time to time in the chains, but usually singly, so I'd be in a position of buying them one at a time and scouring the stores for more. That may still happen because if I see one, I'm pretty likely to buy it impulsively.

I haven't had too many problems with my badis trying to prey on anything but I only have one male (four females) and he is not very aggressive. No one cares at all about the bamboo shrimp. He might as well not exist.
 

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I had 4 Hara Jerdoni in my 30G years back, You'ld hardly know they were there in the tank, until the lights when out.



Very shy and they don't compete well against bolder bottom feeder like Pekoltia Vittata. Mine liked staying in a drift wood 'cave' with a tangle of Java fern/moss smothering it. They'd be piled on top of each other in that cramped space. Pretty secretive really interesting shape and behavior, I'd watch them with a red flashlight just to make sure they were getting food and were OK. They are really tiny, and you'll rarely get to see them, which is a shame.
 
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