Hillstream Loach Tanksize?

Discussion in 'Loaches' started by MervinKhlonson, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. MervinKhlonsonNew MemberMember

    Can't it live in a 10g or 20g. Why does it have to be 55g and above if it only grows 3 inches? Pls explain anyone?

    I currently purchased one for my 20g tank with 1 Blue Ram, 2 Blue Dwarf Gourami, and 4 White Skirt Tetra.

    Another for my 10g tank which contains 4 guppies and 1 corydoras.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  2. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to fishLore!

    Hillstream Loaches are cool water fish(65-75F) and need to be in groups. They need a larger tank because of their need for highly oxygenated, fast flowing water. These are hard to attain in smaller tanks.

    They do not eat algae quite like a pleco so they are not much good to keep your tank clean. although they do eat a small amount of algae they mainly eat the tiny critters that grow in/on algae.
    Here is a terrific article on Hillstreams with some really cool pics.  

  3. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    That's a great article!

    I have seen 20 longs specially set up for hillstreams, and they were done just like in the diagram. Two large pumps pushed the water across the tank, so the flow was in just one direction - NOT good for normal fish.
  4. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I had several in a 20g long unheated tank with white clouds. Due to the room temps the tank stayed between 60-70F. They were really cool little fish. I kept rocks in a tank outside so I could keep algaed rocks in the tank. Had two HOB filters on it to keep the current going and did have plants but that was more for me than them since they don't live where plants would normally grow.

    Then they moved to a 55g with some other loaches ad they did well and the other loaches adapted to the 70f temps but now many years later I realize that wasn't the ideal situation for the other loaches.
  5. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    I have seen 20gals done for them no issue. Certainly they don't NEED a 55. One could easily pull off the proper set-up in a 30 or 40 with ease, i know i could do it in a 29.
  6. MervinKhlonsonNew MemberMember

    Ok! I would be transfering them to my 75g.
  7. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    Hillstream loaches Definatley prefer cooler temps and FAST moving water. I have a 33 long (4 foot tank) designed just for these awesome little fish. I keep mine with Danios as they dont mind the cooler temps either. I have a Canister filter on the tank with the intake on one side and the spray bar horizontally on the oposite end of the tank. I also have a power head on the same end as the spray bar. The substrate is a VERY thin layer of gravel that I used more for protection of the bottom of the tank than anything, and primarily made up of large river stones, when I say large the smallest stuff in the tank is at least 3 inches in diameter with others eaisly being 8 inches on the large sides.

    They prefer large groups and are more social and seen more when in the larger groups. I have the tank setup with all hardscape with a couple long flowing plastic plants currently. I hope in the future to get some heartier plants in there to have a nice aquascape. The one thing I do find is that these loaches can be very shy to light and movement changes. I do keep mine in a fairly traffic heavy area and it took them a while to get used to it. Now that they have (almost 6 months later) they are seen a bit more often, but they still prefer to hang out on the sides and under other rocks.
  8. MervinKhlonsonNew MemberMember

    I noticed today that the loaches (from different tanks) position themselves near the current. They seem to do fine! Should I still transfer them or just leave it at that?
  9. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    are you talking hillstreams in different tanks or just loaches in general?

    Most loaches do come from areas with a good current, but also most fish you will find from time to time love to play in a current in the tank heck even my guppies do it. The problem becomes that the hillstreams want a really strong current that most other fish will not appreciate.

    Loaches can usually tollerate cooler temps than most fish, thou I would do a good read thru some care sheets for the fish in question.
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Most loaches prefer warmer temps. Different types of Hillstreams(and there are many) prefer the cooler temps :)

    The link i posted above has great care instructions included.

    MervinKhlonson Hillstreams are shaped so they can hold on to rocks in the fast flowing current. This and the highly oxygenated waters the fast current provides are what they need. this is probably why they are staying so close to the current maker. In a tank set up for them they will be all over the tank.

    Here is an old very bad video of my Hillstreams :) Hope you don't mind :)

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