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Dwarf Chain Loach

Picture of Dwarf Chain Loach, Ambastaia sidthimunki
Photos © Sean Evans

Common name:Dwarf Chain Loach
Scientific name:Ambastaia sidthimunki
Synonyms:Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki, Botia sidthimunki
Origin:Thailand (wider distributions reported may reflect confusion with A. nigrolineata).
Size:6cm (2.5")
Recommended tank size:75 x 30cm (30 x 12") or larger.
Tank setup:Use plenty of decor to provide several refuges and a stimulating environment. This could include rocks and pebbles, driftwood and robust plants. A sand substrate is ideal, or fine smooth gravel.
Compatibility:Keep in a group of their own kind, preferably six or more. Unlikely to bother most tankmates.
Temperature:24-28oC (75-82oF)
Water chemistry:Soft to slightly hard and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.0-7.2) would be ideal.
Feeding:Feed a varied diet including flake, granular and pellet foods as well as frozen foods such as bloodworm, mysis and artemia (brine shrimp). Include some vegetable component in the diet, may nibble soft-leaved plants.
Sexing:No obvious differences, mature females are likely to have a heavier body shape.
Breeding:Bred commercially using hormones, and some hobbyist breeding has occurred, usually by 'accident' where larger groups have been kept together.
Comments: An entertaining loach that makes a great addition to a mature, partially or fully planted aquarium. A group will usually become quite bold once settled, and will swim mid-water to compete for food. Ideal companions could include rasboras, danios and smaller barb species.



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