Butterfly Hillstream Loach

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Butterfly Hillstream Loach

The Butterfly Hillstream Loach is also known as the Spotted Loach, Butterfly Algae Eater or the Chinese Butterfly Loach, of which there are many varieties - the most common being yellow-patterned and spotted. The unusual cupped fins of this species account for many of its common names, functioning as suction cups to hold the fish in place on a rock or driftwood in heavy currents. The fins may also provide negative lift, using the water current to hold them securely in place. 

Hillstream Loach need highly oxygenated water and a ready source of algae - ensure you have a steady water flow, or an air stone bubbling in order for it to thrive. Rocks plants and driftwood make an ideal habitat for Hillstream Loaches. They are adaptable to lower temperatures, but are not entirely suitable for cold water setups. Please ensure you mimic our conditions (below) before gradually acclimatising to a lower temperature, and take care not to exceed the minimum required temperature.

Do Butterfly Hillstream Loach eat a lot of algae?
The Butterfly Hillstream Loach is primarily an algae eater, so yes indeed. It will also take all types of catfish and algae based sinking foods, so plant-based items should make up the bulk of its diet. This fish will graze algae all day, but must also have an alternative source of food if your aquarium lacks natural algae growth.

Approx. supplied size: 2" / 5cm
Maximum size: 5" / 12cm
Origin: China and Vietnam
Family: Gastromyzontidae
Latin name: Beaufortia leveretti
Temperament: Peaceful
Ideal number kept together: 1+

Water conditions
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 22 °C
Ideal pH: 7.0-8.0
Ideal temperature: 18–23 °C
Water flow: moderate to fast
Lighting: low

Ease of care
Moderate. They can be difficult or slow to acclimatise to new aquaria but will thrive once established. Try and mimic its natural conditions in the wild as much as possible, and avoid adding to biologically immature or newly established aquariums.

Feed Hillstream Loaches small sinking pellets and algae wafers. Butterfly loach will feed on algae present on aquarium glass and plant leaves, please ensure a steady supply of nutrients. Driftwood provides an ideal shelter and grazing environment.

Peaceful, community temperate or tropical aquarium. They live well with tank mates such as Tetras, Rasbora, Livebearers, Danios, etc - fish of a similar size. Avoid housing with larger algae-grazers who may out-compete the Hillstream loach for food.

Not likely to spawn in home aquaria, ideal conditions are difficult to replicate in captivity. 

Life Span
The average lifespan of a Butterfly Hillstream Loach is 5-6 years in perfect conditions.

For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.

Photo credit(s): Shutterstock Dan Olsen (1), L Chinnery (3), Canva Pro Licence (1)

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