How To Care For Yoyo Loach

  • Post category:Fish
  • Post comments:0 Comments
I, Lerdsuwa, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Yoyo Loach fish, scientifically known as Botia almorhae, is one of the most beautiful fish known for its unusual color (silver and black) patterns. It is also known as one of the most unique fish species as it has a different appearance and a slightly unique body shape. It is a peaceful species of fish that you can buy for your fish aquarium. The Yoyo Loach fish is also known as Almora Loach or Pakistani Loach . It is a freshwater fish species from the family of Botiidae fish, known for its body shape and color patterns.

The Yoyo Loach fish is found in many places in South Asia, including the rivers, and lakes in India, and Nepal. Most of these species originate from the basin of Ganges river. It has a reputation for being peaceful, but it can also be aggressive if attacked, hence most of the fishkeepers advise that you should keep them with other fish of similar nature, and size. This type of partially aggressive temperament is what makes them suitable for a wide range of community aquariums. Also, you will find their beautiful patterns very intriguing to look at when they swim. It is also one of those fish species that are easy to care for and can live longer in a controlled environment.

Basic Facts Table:

Lifespan5 to 8 years with optimal conditions
Size2.5 to 6 inches or 5.5cm 15.24
ColorsSilver and Black in pattern
Freshwater or Saltwaterfreshwater
Care Levelintermediate
CompatibilityPeaceful and semi-aggressive

Tank Companions:

As mentioned in the table, it is mostly a peaceful species that does not like to fight with other members of its species or other fish. But sometimes, it can also be aggressive in cases where it has to fight. Mostly, they do not start the fight but if intimidated, it would not back down. That is why you should pair them with other species that have similar nature. Passive aggressive fish species such as catfish, and tetra are a great tank mate for the Yoyo Loach fish. Here is a list of other fish species that you can put in the same tank with the Yoyo loach.

  • Glass Catfish
  • Rummy Nose Tetra Fish
  • Goldfish
  • Clown Loach Fish
  • Angel Fish
  • Plecos Fish
  • Mollies Fish
  • Corydoras Fish

All of these are great tank mates for the Yoyo loaches. Most of them are peaceful species. Some passive-aggressive species are also on this list because they would be a great match for the Yoyo loach fish. They would give the Yoyo Loach a little competition.


Lukáš Mižoch, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The appearance of Yoyo Loaches is what makes them unique and beautiful. They have a beautiful body shape, which is slightly different from the long bodies of other fish. Also, they have some of the most unique colors and patterns on their bodies. You can think of them as Zebra’s of water because similar to Zebras, they have a similar pattern of black stripes all over the body. But instead of black and white like a Zebra, the Yoyo Loaches have a silver-green and black pattern. This black and silver pattern appears as if someone has written Y-O-Y-O on their bodies. Hence they are named Yoyo loaches.

The average size of this species of fish is about 2.5 to 6 inches, but some individuals may grow a little longer. Apart from black and silver that dominate most of their bodies, they also display other colors such as blue on the edges of their bands. They are a schooling species, so when kept in a group or community aquarium, they would swim in a way that it would appear that the body of fish above has been fused with the one below. You can think of it as their schooling strategy as a group that they use to evade capture by confusing the predator. This habit of their schooling and pattern makes them even more beautiful to look at in an aquarium.

The Yoyo Loach fish has translucent fins, their fins at the back have black and white colors. The mouth of these fish is a little different as they have short barbels. Also, the head in this fish species is small and pointed. This type of face helps them look for food and eat it by picking it up even from the bottom of the lakes, rivers, and aquarium. They take a long time to mature and reach their original size and if the conditions favor their growth, they might even reach their potential length of 6 inches. 

Natural Habitat:

The Yoyo Loach fish are native to the basin area of the Ganges river, ponds, lakes, and marshes in the surrounding area. It likes to live in places where the water is not still, but the water current is extremely slow and they can easily move. They like to live in places where the river bed is rocky as they move to the bottom of the river to search for food. Water in these parts is mostly fresh and warm which helps them regulate their internal temperature.

They spend most of their time in the bottom and are not seen in the upper layer of the river. It is also known as an evasion strategy that helps them avoid being captured by birds. The Yoyo Loach fish is known as one of the most active species and they like to move around a lot and that is why they choose the wide pools or portions of the river as home. So, if you are building an aquarium for the Yoyo loach fish species, you must keep these natural habitat details in mind as they will help you create a perfect aquarium for them.

The lifespan of Yoyo Loach:

The average lifespan of the Yoyo Loach species is about 6 years. Most of them live between 4 to 8 years of age. If you want them to live long in your aquarium, you will have to create an environment that favors their growth and health. These fish are hard and can survive a little change in condition for a short period. But if the change remains longer, it deteriorates their health and causes their death. That is why, if you want your fish to stay healthy, and live up to their predicted age, you should make sure that they are kept in the right conditions. 

Habitat and Tank Conditions:

As discussed in the above paragraphs, if you want your fish to live longer and stay healthier, you will have to provide them with the best conditions that favor their health and growth. So, if you are building an aquarium for the Yoyo Loach fish, you should create similar conditions to their natural habitat. You should start by creating a perfect bottom layer in your aquarium. As you know, the Yoyo Loach fish live most of their lives at the bottom of the river. They would do so even in the aquarium. That is why you should focus on building a perfect bottom layer.

There are a few things that you can do such as putting the soft gravel or rocks in the bottom layer. It would look similar to the type of conditions they like to live in in the wild. They are a small fish species that can grow up to 6 inches, hence you should create a tank that can contain enough water required for them. Also, while building an aquarium, keep in mind the total number of fish that you are planning to put in that aquarium. For example, if you are putting more fish, you would need more water, hence a bigger tank or container.

You will also have to work on plants that you would put in the aquarium. If possible, plant something that grows in the bottom and reaches the middle layer of the tank. This would provide them with a hiding place and a place to lay eggs. You can also put some decorations in the water but make sure that they are either too small for them to enter, or big enough that they can move in and out with ease. Otherwise, they might get trapped inside a decoration. You should only use an under-gravel filter, this would limit the overall speed of motion while providing the filtration. This would help you easily filter the water inside the tank.

The last thing that you should keep in mind is that they are a very active species, and they do not only like to swim but also jump. So, there is a chance that they might jump out of your aquarium. You will have to use a sliding lid to cover the aquarium. If there is no lighting inside the aquarium, use a transparent lid that allows the light to pass into the tank to provide light while also covering the tank.

Water Conditions:

The water condition inside your aquarium should be similar to what these fish need. Also, you will have to maintain these water conditions as they do not like changes in their environment. It impacts both their health and their lifespan. Water conditions should be kept according to these requirements.

  1. Minimum 20 gallons of water for the tank (15 gallons per fish you add). 
  2. Recommended temperature is 75.0-86.0°F.
  3. pH should be 6.5-7.5
  4. Hardness should be 3-10 GH
  5. Maintain a slow flow inside the tank. Use active filtration and filter about 15 to 25% water every week.

These are the perfect conditions tested by many fish keepers and they are also according to their natural habitat requirements. Make sure that you maintain this type of environment all the time because these fish are sensitive and if the conditions are not perfect, it would negatively impact their health.

Water Source:

It is better if you use filtered water for your freshwater aquarium for this species. You can use your tap water but you will have to test it before putting it in the aquarium. Tests would help you know the properties of water and the added chemicals in it. If the amount of these additives and minerals is more than it should be for the Yoyo Loaches, you should filter these elements and then put the water inside the tank.

As you know that your aquarium would contain plants, your water needs to have some minerals, and phosphates, and nitrates. These are the chemicals that even aquatic plants need to grow. But these should be in trace amounts so that they do not contaminate the water or endanger the health of the fish. Also, having a higher amount of these chemicals would give rise to the growth of algae in your aquarium, which is not good as it can destroy the entire ecosystem of your aquarium.

Ideal Size For The Tank:

The Yoyo Loach fish can grow up to 6 inches and they are a hyperactive fish species. They need a lot of water to move around and school. So, when you are deciding about the size of your tank, you will have to consider a few factors. There is no single ideal size for the aquarium of Yoyo Loach, instead, there is an easy formula to calculate the perfect size for your aquarium.

Here are the recommendations for the right size of a fish tank.

  • The minimum size is the one that can contain 20 gallons of water. It would be good for a single Yoyo Loach fish.
  • If you want to add more Yoyo Loaches, you will have to add 15 gallons of water per fish.
  • So, if you have one fish, you need a 20-gallon tank, but for two fish, you need a 35-gallon tank, and for 3 fish, you need a 50-gallon tank.

This large size of the tank would provide your fish with enough space to school and move around. It would also help them when they need to get away from other fish. For example, when they need to lay eggs or when they are running or hiding from the members of their aquarium. Also, if your fish are small, that means they are young and not mature enough, you can keep them in relatively smaller tanks but once they reach their potential size, they would need to be kept in a bigger tank. Also, make sure that the tank can contain rubble, ornaments, and plants apart from water.

Behavior and Temperament:

Their behavior is categorized as peaceful, and semi-aggressive. It is because most of the time they would remain peaceful and would not fight with other members of their species or other species. But during the time of breeding, and when there is a dispute related to territory, they tend to be aggressive. This is a unique behavior trend that allows them to live with almost all types of fish species.

They can live with small and peaceful fish as they would not attack them and they can also live with the aggressive fish species as they can compete with them. Apart from this, they are also a hyperactive fish species. During the day, they would move from one part of the aquarium to another, just exploring. They like to search under the stones inside the tank. The Yoyo Loach fish is also known for staying within its limits and not engaging with other species.

Breeding Yoyo Loach Fish:

The Yoyo Loaches are one of those species that are extremely difficult to breed in captivity. The main reason behind this is that they have distinct behavior. In their natural environment, they like to move upstream and reach a safe place, usually where they were born. They would spawn and lay eggs in that place.

But in captive environments, it is hard to replicate those conditions. That is why it is extremely hard to breed them in captivity. Some professional breeders have seen some success in this regard but it takes a lot of effort and time. Most of these fish that you see in aquariums have been caught from the wild.

Eggs and Fry Care Guide:

Females get filled with eggs during the breeding season, but as spawning does not occur, they are mostly eaten by the female itself or other fish in the aquarium.

Diet of Yoyo Loach:

The  Yoyo Loach fish are omnivores. In the wild conditions, this type of diet is what helps them stay alive. They work like a scavenger inside the water and find their food in the bottom of the rivers, lakes, and ponds. They can eat water-based plants, and also small crustaceans, insect larvae. As they eat a broad range of food in the wild, it makes it easier for you to feed them in the aquarium.

Most fishkeepers advise feeding them twice a day and using shrimp, daphnia, and some vegetable food such as vegetable waffles to feed them. You should also use artificial flakes or pellets in their tank as it would provide the required nutrition. As you are aware of their feeding habit of picking things from the bottom of the tank, you should use the appropriate type of food, or amount of food that reaches them in the bottom.

Diseases of Yoyo Loach:

The Yoyo Loaches are more susceptible to diseases due to their lack of scale heads. They have faint scales without a scale head, which are very important in preventing parasite and bacteria-related diseases and infections. That is why if the water inside the tank is contaminated or any of the fish carried the disease into the tank, the first fish to get affected by this would be the Yoyo Loach. Make sure that you create a separate tank for the infected fish to treat them. Here is a list of the most common diseases in Yoyo Loaches.

  • Ich Disease: Ich is known as the most common disease in Yoyo Loaches, it is a parasitic infection that causes white spots on the body of the fish. It can attack the body of the fish severely if not properly treated. Also, it can spread to the entire tank and that is why you will have to remove and quarantine the infected fish and clean the water. You can treat it with medications.
  • Skinny disease: It is also one of the most common fish diseases that occur in the yoyo loaches. This is also caused by a parasite that causes the fish to lose weight and look extremely thin. You can also treat this using medication but you will have to quarantine the infected fish.

Is Yoyo Loach a Saltwater or Freshwater Species?

The Yoyo Loaches are a freshwater fish species. They are native to the basin of the Ganges river in India, and Nepal. They are usually found in software areas such as Lakes, Ponds, and slow-moving rivers.

Is Yoyo Loach a Schooling Species?

Yes, Yoyo Loaches are known as a schooling species. They like to move with other fish from the same species. They are a hyperactive species of fish that enjoys exploring and moving around with other members of the same species. If you are someone who likes to watch colorful fish school they are a perfect fish species to have.

How Many Yoyo Loach Fish Should Be Kept Per Gallon of Water?

You will need 15 gallons of water to keep the Yoyo Loach fish in the aquarium. The reason you need so much water is that these are larger as compared to most other aquarium fishes. Also, they are a hyperactive fish species, hence need more place to move around and explore inside the tank. That is why it is recommended that you should add more water and get a bigger tank if you are adding more fish to your aquarium.

Conclusion – Is Yoyo Loach Suitable For Your Aquarium?

The Yoyo Loach fish species is known for its beautiful body and silver-black pattern that mimics the word Y-O-Y-O. That is why they are named the Yoyo Loaches, its other common names include Pakistani Loaches and Alamori Loaches. They are native to South Asia, specifically the basin of the Ganges river, and lakes and ponds surrounding that area. This freshwater fish species is one of the passive-aggressive and hyperactive fish species that like to school. It can grow comparatively larger than most of the fish in aquariums but still, it is known as a small fish species. It requires moderate care and is a perfect species for those who are new to fishkeeping. So, if you are someone that loves beautiful and unique patterns and schooling, or if you are new to fishkeeping, you should get them for your aquarium.


Question: What is the school size of Yoyo Loach?

Answer: The Yoyo Loach fish are a schooling species and they are known for being social. The average school size of the Yoyo loach is about 6 to 8 individuals. It is the ideal number of fish you should keep in your aquarium if you want to watch their schooling.

Question: Are Yoyo Loach aggressive?

Answer: Most of the time, Yoyo loaches are a peaceful species, but if they are threatened, they retaliate and behave aggressively. That is why you should put them with mostly peaceful species.

Question: What is the lifespan of Yoyo Loach?

Answer: The average lifespan of Yoyo Loaches is about 6 years. But if they are provided proper care, they can live up to 7 or 8 years. But if the conditions in their aquarium are not perfect, they would not reach this predicted lifespan.

Leave a Reply