• Horseface Loach (Acanthopsis choirorhynchos)
  • Horseface Loach (Acanthopsis choirorhynchos)
  • Horseface Loach (Acanthopsis choirorhynchos)

Horseface Loach (Acanthopsis choirorhynchos)

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The Horseface Loach is a very interesting subtropical to tropical species that is ideal for aquariums with sandy substrate and high water flow!


The Horseface Loach (Acanthopsis choirorhynchos) is a somewhat unusual loach species that has a very elongated snout and body. It lives in loose groups in its wild habitats, which are typically subtropical to tropical streams with fast water flow and high oxygen content. It can grow to a rather impressive, yet still manageable size. 


The aquarium of the Horseface Loach should include a soft, sandy substrate in which it will occasionally bury itself. Cover is necessary for this species and will ensure the most activity and least stress. The Horseface Loach is an active species that also needs plenty of clear room in the aquarium for swimming and exploring. It exhibits a very sophisticated schooling behavior and social hierarchy where each individual species constantly strives to be the “leader of the school” by swimming to the front of the group. While this behavior may seem aggressive, it generally involves no real fighting and results in an exceptional level of activity. As long as the school includes at least 6-8 specimens, aggression or bullying within the school will be minimal or nonexistent. If it is not kept in schools of this size or larger, it should be kept as a single specimen. This fish is a prodigious jumper, so it must be kept in an aquarium with a secure lid.


The Horseface Loach will thrive in an aquarium with very clean, well-maintained, high-oxygen water of moderate or high water flow and is generally peaceful with other species of fish, although its boisterous nature can be stressful to other very passive fish. The Horseface Loach should not be kept with timid, slow-moving, or long-finned species, but it can be an excellent tankmate to other fast-moving species that inhabit the middle and upper levels of the water column, such as danios, rasboras, and tetras. The Horseface Loach, like most typical loaches, often preys on tiny shrimp and snails. This is very useful in helping reduce “pest snails,” but must also be considered with larger ornamental snails and shrimp. The Horseface Loach is a predator of many invertebrates.


The Horseface Loach is a carnivorous species requiring a diet of small, meaty foods. It will usually accept high quality dry foods, but its diet should also include regular offerings of live and frozen meaty foods of invertebrate origin.

What We Like About This Fish:

  • Unique elongated appearance
  • Incredibly bold and active fish 
  • Adaptable to a wide range of water parameters
  • Effective at eating "pest" snails
  • Excellent candidate for the subtropical aquarium



  • Temperature:  61° - 75° F (16° - 24° C). Care should be exercised to maintain high dissolved oxygen levels, especially at the higher end of this temperature range.
  • pH:  6.0 – 8.0
  • KH:  1 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  75+ gallons for a group of 6 or more full-grown adults



  • Diet:  Carnivore. Live and frozen meaty foods, especially frozen foods such as cyclops, Daphnia, Artemia, Tubifex, and bloodworms will all be readily accepted. High quality dry foods are also likely to be accepted.
  • Social behaviorMUST be kept in schools of 6-8+ specimens or as a solitary specimen. It schools loosely in the wild.
  • Origin:  Java, Borneo, Malaysia
  • Average adult size:  8 inches (20 cm)
  • Average purchase size:  4 inches (10 cm)


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