Misadvised About Hillstream Loaches!

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by SamNZ, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. SamNZNew MemberMember

    Hi guys - was setting up a new aquarium the other day. I am still a beginner but know the basics. My tank was already cycled from some previous fish that have moved on. I just did a 50% water change and checked my parameters (all looking like mid/end cycle). I have a cold water tank but am sick of gold fish and the problems that they occur so I opted for some neat paradise fish. I put two of them into my 80L (20G) tank but thought that I could also fit in a couple more specimens as I was told the Paradise wouldn't get too much bigger and do not produce as much waste as goldfish.

    I asked the lady at the fish shop (who seemed very knowledgable about everything so far) what species she might recommend to go with the Paradise fish in a cold water aquarium. She recommended me some hillstream loaches. They seemed super neat so I bought two. I know I should have read up on them before purchasing but they looked so cool and I got excited I am ashamed to say.

    Anyways, since bringing them home I have since found out that their preferred habitat is of course the completely opposite of the Paradise fish. They like fast moving oxygenated water whereas the Paradise fish don't like much current. I was super annoyed about this because the fish shop told me they'd be great together - obviously not knowing what she was talking about.

    So I guess my question is - is they are any chance of them living together? To remedy for now I have direct my filter outlet (which comes down from an overhead filter unit at a right angle) across the back wall of the aquarium which is where the loaches have been hanging out. This means there is a strong stream across the back, but little disturbance in there rest of the aquarium. I have lots of nooks and ornmanets for them to hide in (I haven't seen them much since putting them in).

    For reference my water parameters seem fine I tested this morning and ammonia seems only slightly above 0, same with both nitrite at 0 and nitrate slightly above 0 - typical with introducing new fish? I will keep testing and do a water change every other day until they are settled.

    Is there any chance of them living together? If not, do you think I could return to the fish shop on the grounds that I was completely mid advised! I know I made a rookie mistake but I trusted the fish shop to advise me correctly.

  2. clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    I would personally return the hillstream loach. I believe they also need a group of them.
  3. SamNZNew MemberMember

    This was my thought as well. I do actually have two of them - but read later that they are happier in groups of 3+ and they also prefer a shallower, longer aquarium - like a stream I guess so I should have assumed from their name! I think I will contact the fish store and see if they would take them back. I'm super annoyed because she very confidently told me that they would be great tank mates for the Paradise fish!!
  4. clk89Fishlore VIPMember

    When I say group I mean six or more. :) That's kind of the usual amount for schooling fish. Yes unfortunately sometimes pet store employees simply want to make a sale. They are a really neat fish too, I think about making a tank setup around them. They do kind of limit tank mates a lot.
  5. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    @shuwae can help, she is the hillstream fish expert.
    If she's around, that is.
  6. shuwaeValued MemberMember

    Return the hillstream loaches if you can. Many pet store workers, believe they are great tankmates just like plecos. They are not. One reason why the fish are hiding is that they like to be in groups of 3+ even though they are somewhat territorial or the other fish are picking on them.

    Hillstream loaches will need a different set up (high oxygen levels, water movement, special foods) to do well. Plus, I have seen larger fish pick at them and it is not the greatest to see. Smaller fish will work though since they tend to not pick on the loaches as much or ever, depending on the species.

    Having algae in the tank can help too but the loaches will need other fish food to stay healthy. Algae is not the only thing the loaches eat.
  7. SamNZNew MemberMember

    Thanks for everyone's advice! I am very sad to say that one of my loaches died over night, and the other is missing (presumed dead). I am incredibly sad that they didn't make it long enough for me to contact the fish store to organise their return. I will be contacting them to let them know that it is not okay to recommend them as tank mates just any fish! They seem like such neat fish and I feel really bad that my spontaneity resulted in their death...
  8. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    hillstream loaches , isnt the best for community tanks best to keep them alone.


    They should be in groups of atleast 6+ to really get to see their true personality or else they'll spend majority of their time hiding, timid and being shy. Your water needs to be prestine ,your turnover should ideally be about 15-20 times per hour so additional powerheads, airstones ect.. would also be needed for them as they require very high oxygenated water. They require algea for long term success ( I grow algea in a separate tank for them), they also will eat live or frozen foods such as bloodworms but to much protein can cause internal problems.

    They are great loaches none the least , fun to watch battle it out with eachother at times, but slightly more complicated to keep IMO/IME.

    just some info for further reference.
  9. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Sorry for your loss. :(

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