Zebra loach Care – Temperature, Food Complete Guide

The Zebra loach (striata loache) is a beautiful Freshwater fish very peaceful and ideal for community aquariums although it needs good water conditions to stay happy and healthy.

In the wild, the Zebra loach’s habitat is quite limited as it can only be found in streams that flow through the mountains of Maharashtra and Ghats in India. The streams have clear water and slow or moderate flow, in addition to rocky or sandy bottoms. In addition, there are a good number of tree leaves at the bottom of these rivers.

Due to the excessive development of the region, deforestation and pollution, the population of Zebra loach has decreased significantly. This fish is now on the list of endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Keep reading the article for more information about the species.

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Name: Botia Zebra, Zebra Loach, Candy Stripe Loach, Crossbanded Loach, Lined Loach, Striped Loach, Tiger Loach;

Scientific name: striata loache (Narayan Rao, 1920);

Family: Cobitidae;

Origin of Species: Asia (Maharashtra Mountains and Ghats, India);

Length: Up to 9 cm;

Life expectancy: Between 8 and 12 years;

Difficulty level: Easy / Moderate;

Water Parameters

pH: Keep between 6.0 – 8.0;

water hardness: Between 5 – 12;

Temperature: Keep between 23 – 26°C;



Zebra loach has a beautifully patterned coloring. Its body is greenish-yellow and has nine thick blue-green vertical stripes. These stripes are striped with white lines, giving the appearance of a zebra. The stripes slope slightly in front of the eyes, then change angles backwards on the rest of the body.

The Zebra loach dorsal and caudal fins are translucent and feature brown or black bands that continue the body pattern.

Its head tapers towards its mouth, which has four pairs of very sensitive barbels.


Omnivorous. The Zebra loach will accept virtually all types of food, but its basic diet should consist of a good feed for omnivorous bottom fish.

You can supplement the diet of this fish by providing live and frozen foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia and larvae. In addition, some vegetables such as cucumber, zucchini and lettuce can also be served for the species.

Read More – Blue Velvet Shrimp Care, Food, Temperament Complete Guide

Temperament / Behavior

In the wild, the Zebra loach is nocturnal, but in an aquarium it can be quite active during the day. He tends to stay in the lower area and loves to spend his time exploring every nook and cranny of him.

As it is a schooling fish, it is best to keep a group of at least five fish.

Occasionally, the Zebra loach will fight among themselves, but will rarely bother their tankmates. Also, he loves to eat snailsso be careful if you’re thinking of adding this kind of invertebrate.


The best aquarium companions for the Zebra Botia are four more loaches. Still, he is a peaceful fish and can live in a community aquarium with other species.

Some excellent aquarium companions for the Zebra loach include, for example:

I recommend that you only avoid:

sexual dimorphism

There are no external differences between males and females that can be easily seen; however, adult females are slightly more rounded in the abdomen than males.

Mating / Reproduction

There are no reports of captive breeding of Zebra loach, although it is commercially bred through the use of hormones.

Unfortunately, this practice has been taken to a different level in recent years with several hybrids appearing on the market.

aquarium setup

The aquarium needs to have at least 100 liters for a group of 5 fish of the species.

The best possible setup for the Zebra loach is one that has lots of planted areas, open spaces for swimming, and places to hide.

Cover the aquarium with a tight-fitting lid, as these fish have a habit of jumping out of the aquarium.

In short, you should try to replicate their natural habitat as much as possible. Add a background with smooth gravel or fine sand. This will help protect the Zebra loach delicate underside. Also place lots of rocks and logs, creating hiding places so he can take shelter and hide.

In the wild, Zebra loach hardly receives much light in its habitat as there are many treetops creating shadows in its habitat. So keep dim lighting or add floating plants to create the perfect setting.

Finally, in terms of filtration, the Zebra loach likes clear water and, therefore, you should add a powerful filter, but you should not make the water stream too strong, as it prefers less agitated.