Reticulated Hillstream Loach (Sewellia lineolata)
The Reticulated Hillstream Loach is one of the hardiest, boldest, and most beautiful hillstream loach species!
The Reticulated Hillstream Loach (Sewellia lineolata) is an exceptional freshwater hillstream loach that is native to Vietnam and Laos. It is known for its beautiful coloration, its peaceful yet outgoing demeanor, and its fascinating social behavior with members of its own (and similar) species. This fascinating, peaceful fish is an algae and biofilm grazer that is an excellent candidate for the mature subtropical aquarium.
An aquarium with heavy water flow (10-15x turnover per hour) and very clean, clear water is required for the Reticulated Hillstream Loach. Like the well-known hillstream loaches, this loach is native to shallow, clear, fast-flowing waters and it is sensitive to declines in water quality, so regular aquarium maintenance and maximum oxygen saturation are absolutely necessary.
The Reticulated Hillstream Loach is primarily a biofilm and algae grazer in nature. It is known to usually accept frozen meaty foods, but such foods should only be fed occasionally. This fish will also sometimes accept high-quality dry foods that are rich in plant matter, but it is absolutely essential that biofilm and algae are naturally available in the aquarium to ensure its long-term health or else it may slowly starve. As long as it is kept in a well-maintained, mature aquarium with good biofilm and algae growth as well as high water flow, the Reticulated Hillstream Loach is a hardy and entertaining fish. It will not bother aquarium plants. In fact, Anubias species are an excellent plant to keep with this loach because Anubias can foster significant biofilm/algae growth in an aquarium with moderate to high lighting.
The Reticulated Hillstream Loach is a very social species, so it should be kept in groups of 6 or more. Most small rasboras, tetras, hillstream loaches, and other small, peaceful fish are good tankmates for the Reticulated Hillstream Loach, although this species can sometimes bully other hillstream loaches in smaller aquariums. Since they inhabit similar waterways, many smaller freshwater goby species are ideal tankmates as well. Due to its small size and diet, the Reticulated Hillstream Loach can also be kept with dwarf shrimp, although it might eat a few of their fry. Dwarf shrimp are particularly good tankmates in larger aquariums where they can find areas of lower water flow. Other peaceful bottom-dwelling fish are also a possibility, but care must be taken to make sure that the Reticulated Hillstream Loach is not outcompeted for food.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful coloration
- Generally peaceful disposition with fish and peaceful invertebrates
- Interesting, active social behavior when kept in colonies
- Generally safe with adult dwarf shrimp
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 68° - 75° F (20° - 23.9° C). Higher temperatures can be tolerated temporarily with extremely high oxygen content.
- pH: 6.5 – 7.5
- KH: 4 - 8 dKH
- Minimum Tank Size: 25+ gallons for a small group.
- Diet: Omnivorous. Typically accepts some dry foods and frozen foods, but requires ample algae and biofilm for longevity. A diet too high in animal protein can cause serious health problems or even death in this species, so meaty foods should only be fed occasionally.
- Social Behavior: Generally peaceful, though dominant individuals (usually males) can be territorial with similar fish. This is less common in larger groups and spacious tanks that have plenty of room.
- Origin: Vietnam, Laos
- Average Adult Size: 2.2 – 2.6 inches (5.5 – 6.5 cm)
- Average Purchase Size: 1 - 2 inches (2.5 – 5 cm)
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