Tri-Band Sumo Loach (Schistura balteata)
The Tri-Band Sumo Loach is a fascinating, beautifully marked species that is very active and ideal for many semi-aggressive aquarium setups!
The Tri-Band Sumo Loach (Schistura balteata) is a small, stunning loach species that is native to Myanmar and Thailand. It is known for its elongated body, striking color, and striped pattern. This fascinating, active fish is primarily a micro-predator that is a unique and rewarding fish in many subtropical and tropical aquarium setups.
Very clean, clear water is required for the Tri-Band Sumo Loach. This loach is native to relatively shallow, fast moving waters and it is sensitive to declines in water quality, so regular aquarium maintenance and maximum oxygen saturation are absolutely necessary, especially at higher temperatures.
The Tri-Band Sumo Loach is primarily a micro-predator in nature, primarily feeding on very small crustaceans and other invertebrates. It is known to often accept dry foods, but such foods should only be part of its diet. It typically will not bother aquarium plants.
The Tri-Band Sumo Loach can be territorial, so many hides and breaks in sight are essential when keeping multiple specimens. Other durable, mobile species can make good tankmates as well. It can possibly be kept with invertebrates too large to be considered prey, but dwarf shrimp will likely fall under the category of "potential prey items." The Tri-Band Sumo Loach should not be kept with other fish of similar body shape unless the aquarium is large with plenty of cover.
Breeding in captivity is quite rare for this species despite being easily sexed. Females are noticeably larger than males. However, it is not necessarily impossible to breed, especially with the recent progress in breeding other loach species by many individuals.
What We Like About This Fish:
- Beautiful coloration
- Small, manageable size
- Interesting social behavior
- Long lifespan when kept in optimal conditions
- Will not bother ornamental plants
RECOMMENDED TANK PARAMETERS:
- Temperature: 73° - 79° F (22.7° - 26° C). Higher temperatures can be tolerated temporarily with extremely high oxygen content..
- pH: 6.5 – 7.5
- KH: 2 - 12 dKH
- Minimum Tank Size: 29+ gallons
- Diet: Micro-predator. Typically accepts some dry foods and frozen foods, but requires frozen and live foods as well.
- Social Behavior: Semi-aggressive. Should include lots of breaks in sight when keeping multiple specimens.
- Origin: Myanmar and Thailand
- Average Adult Size: 3.7 inches (9.5 cm)
- Average Purchase Size: 1 - 2 inches (2.5- 5 cm)