What went wrong catching Hillstreams?


I was about to deliver 10 Hillstream loaches (about 1 inch size) to my lfs. I caught them, put to net breeding net cage to wait, and after catching last had a shock of my life. Nearly all of them had died, to shock, is only thing I can think of since my fish are healthy and active. I released the 2 alive ones, and I hope they will survive.

This startled me to my core, and I feel extremely guilty too. How can I catch these fish in future without causing them stress that kills them?


I'm sorry for the loss of your loaches. These are active fish that require aerated or fast-flowing water in my experience. Perhaps they couldn't swim around in the net cage or the water was too still?


Sorry for your loss. I love my HSLs. Would love to be able to breed them. What's your secret?
I wonder if you could set a up a trap so they could catch themselves.
  • Thread Starter


I will be setting a trap next time. That will be some time from now, since majority of my fry are still around 1cm long.

I'm quite certain it wasn't the flow, since the fish were there under 30 minutes. If that would be the case, no-one would be able to transport these lovelies to stores, of from stores to home. I just need to figure out a good trap, perhaps a mini verson of this, traditional finnish "katiska". Never thought that my experience of going fishing with my grandpa would come handy with having an aquarium...


My secret? I have no idea, perhaps I'm just lucky to have great tap water. pH 6.6, no ammonia or nitrites and 0-10 nitrates, usually 0. My plants tend to use them.

I also like to think my aquarium as an ecosystem, where everything has it's own purpose, and I try to treat it such. Only thing missing are predators, apart from 6 neon tetras, but they don't seem to be interested in fry. You can read my experienses following link below.

Shortly, I have 250 litre tank, about 1 inch of gravel on bottom, fluval fx4 (overkill, on purpose) that I keep about half way of water flow speed. Lots of plants, decent lighting, and stocking is lots of Hillstreams, 11 Otos (hope to breed them too), and 3 bn plecos (male and 2 females). There's also TONS of ramshorn snails, few mst:s and 10 assassin snails. Temp is 24 degrees celsius. I know it's not typical Hillstream aquarium, but as they are breeding constantly, I would argue that they are comfortable.

FishDin If you would like to pm me, I'm happy to help you as much as I can. The more we have locally grown fish, the better for hobby. And breeding a fish that you like is one of the most rewarding feelings there is.

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