In The Trade: Golden Zebra Loach, Sinibotia robusta

15 Oct, 2020

via Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale

Joe Hiduke, Sales Manager for Nautilus Tropical Fish Wholesale, recently highlighted a brilliant Asian import. “Gold zebra loaches came in from Hong Kong. They’re very pretty and generally hardy, they look great. Available in very limited numbers…”

Following up with Hiduke to get more information, he shared what he could about these stunning Asian loaches.

“The botia is actually Sinibotia robusta, or a closely related species,” he started. “There are several Sinibotia species, they’re pretty similar, and I don’t have a key handy to ID these. The camera pic of the ‘Botia robusta‘ is of a smaller fish. Apparently, as they get bigger the dark bars split. Or at least they do in some populations.

A slightly smaller specimen than the one shown above.
A slightly smaller specimen than the one shown above.

Husbandry of these Sinibotia

“These are temperate fish from China so they can handle cooler temps. They can probably handle hot summer temps too, as long as there’s plenty of surface water movement to keep the dissolved oxygen levels up. They stay fairly small; Fishbase tells me over 7” but most references list a max size around 4”. These gold zebra loaches are not picky feeders, they’ll eat about anything that gets to the bottom of the tank. They are known to be a social loach that appreciates being in small groups.”

These well adjusted gold zebra loaches appear spry, but a bit washed out in a wholesale holding tank. Once settled in at their final destination, they will really shine!
These well adjusted gold zebra loaches appear spry, but a bit washed out in a wholesale holding tank. Once settled in at their final destination, they will really shine!

Further Reading:

Sinibotia robusta on Seriously Fish

Sinibotia robusta on Loaches.com

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About the author

Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

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