The eel-shaped weather loach, or pond loaches, are native to Myanmar, much of North-eastern Asia and down towards central China. Weather loach are found in many different habitats from flowing rivers and streams to stagnant waters of swamps, ponds, and rice fields.
Weather loaches are so-named because of the belief that they are able to predict changes in barometric pressure. For example, when a storm is approaching, we generally experience 'low pressure' weather fronts. It is believed that weather loach can sense low pressure and will swim about frantically, sometimes jumping and splashing. In good weather, they are docile and relaxed.
Being soft-skinned, weather loach will thrive in soft leaf litter or silt and sandy substrate, often burying themselves. Weather loaches are peaceful and hardy, so make an ideal species for the aquarium. Weather loach are are easy to care for and will interact socially when kept in small groups.
When kept indoors in aquaria, weather loach can tolerate and thrive in temperatures of 12 degrees up to 26°C. So they make ideal tankmates for fancy goldfish. However it is not recommended that they are over-wintered in outdoor ponds, as they are unlikely to tolerate our harsh winter low temperatures.
Do Weather Loach eat algae?
No, weather loaches do not commonly eat algae and should not be considered for the purpose of algae control in an aquarium.
Do Weather Loach eat snails?
Yes, weather loaches will often use their barbels to search for small snails and food. They do not eat snails on a huge scale however, and will commonly leave larger snails and shrimp alone, such as ramshorns and river shrimp. They are rather fond of fish eggs too, so be aware of this if kept with egg-layers.
Approx. supplied size: 3-5" / 8-12cm
Maximum size: 12" / 30cm
Lighting requirement: low
Ideal number kept together: 1+
Our conditions: pH 7.5, temp 25 °C
Ideal pH: 6.0–8.0
Water flow: low, moderate or fast
Temperature: 12–26 °C
Ease of Care
Easy. Can grow moderately large but at a fairly slow rate. Will tolerate both slow and fast flowing water. Ensure they have plenty of space to explore, and a secure fish tank lid to prevent jumping.
Feed sinking catfish pellets, with frozen shrimp and bloodworm to supplement.
Weather loach are peaceful community loaches and can be kept with a range of fish from goldfish to livebearers like mollies and platy. Avoid aggressive tankmates, or really small fish that might become unsettled by the weather loaches behaviour.
Egg layers, very rarely bred in captivity although not impossible. Spawning in the wild occurs during dramatic seasonal change, to mimic these conditions can be challenging.
Weather loach can live 5-10 years in perfect conditions.
Photo is for illustration only - one supplied.
Photo credit(s): thanks to Vijay from Wycombe for his photo of his weather loach relaxing with his goldfish, Boris.
For more information on general fishkeeping and our shipping procedures click here.