Dragon Loach - Care Guide

The dragon loach is truly magnificent to behold!  This fish has a long, slender body with shimmering green scales and a lizard-like head, making it resemble a mythical underwater dragon.  A school of these loaches is the perfect choice for aquarium hobbyists in search of unusual and exotic-looking creatures for a freshwater aquarium.



The Dragon Loach is also known by the names Lizard Loach, Gecko Loach, or Torrent Loach. It is a hillstream loach, so it comes from the rapid-moving streams of Asia, and their streamlined bodies are built to withstand those strong currents.  Thus, these fish prefer a fast-moving, oxygen-rich environment like the streams they came from, and these conditions can be replicated in your aquarium by installing powerheads. They also prefer to live in tanks with live aquatic plants for cover (such as java moss, anubias barteri, green cabomba, etc.). Otherwise, Dragon loaches are relatively easy to care for as long as water parameters remain stable.

These are freshwater fish and are suitable for community tanks because of their peaceful nature - they are totally safe to keep with other non-aggressive fish, snails, shrimp, and live plants. We sell these fish in schools of 3 or more because they are known to do best in groups of 3 or more. Like other hillstream loaches, they need plenty of oxygen in the tank to survive, as well as colder temperatures (68-75°F). Warmer water has less oxygen in it, so this fish is not likely to survive in temperatures above 75°. They should be kept in water with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH level. These fish make an ideal tank mate for other types of hillstream loaches and goldfish, since all of these fish require colder water temperatures.






These fish range from 2" to 2-1/2" in length.


Recommended Tank Parameters

  • pH level range: 7.0 to 8.0
  • Temperature range: 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water type: kH 10-15
  • Notes from the owner:
    • It's best to use sand or fine gravel as substrate in an aquarium with loaches and other types of bottom-dwellers.  Other types of substrate may have sharp edges that can be abrasive to the fish as they swim along the bottom of the tank.
    • All hillstream loaches thrive best in schools of three fish or more.
    • It is also important to provide plenty of hiding and resting places for these fish, which can be provided by driftwood and sturdy plants.
    • Dragon loaches and hillstream loaches require especially clean water, so we recommend weekly water changes of about 30%.



Dragon loaches are omnivores and grazers, so they will feed on algae and biofilm in your tank.  They also like to eat most kinds of live foods, such as insect larvae, tubifex, daphnia, and frozen or live brine shrimp.   They will also eat fish flakes or pellets, as well as algae wafers.



Dragon loaches are not commercially bred as of yet, so little is known about their breeding behavior or requirements.


What to Expect from Us

We generally ship dragon loaches that are almost grown to fully grown.  They are shipped in breather bags, which are permeable and allow for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

All Aquatic Arts brand plants and animals come with a 100% live arrival guarantee, plus free phone/text/email support directly from the owner!  All that we require is that you send us a clear, digital picture of the unopened bag of DOAs, and we will replace them free of charge.


> Purchase Dragon Loaches from Aquatic Arts <

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