Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)
Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)

Zodiac AKA Batik Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis)

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* For the safety of our animals, we now ship live fish exclusively via UPS 1 Day Air.  If your order contains this item, you will only see UPS 1 Day Air as a shipping option during checkout *


The Zodiac Loach is a fascinating, beautifully marked species that is very active and ideal for many semi-aggressive aquarium setups!

The Zodiac Loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis), also known as the Batik Loach, is a small loach species that is native to South India. It is known for its elongated body and squiggly striped pattern. This fascinating, active fish is an omnivore that is a unique and rewarding fish in many subtropical and tropical aquarium setups.  

Very clean, clear water is required for the Zodiac Loach. This loach is native to relatively shallow, waters and it is sensitive to declines in water quality, so regular aquarium maintenance and maximum oxygen saturation are absolutely necessary, especieally at higher temperatures.

The Zodiac Loach is somewhat a biofilm and algae grazer in nature, but it primarily feeds 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. 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 lighting.

The Zodiac Loach is a social species, but it should be kept in groups of 4 or more specimens to avoid bullying of subdominant individuals. Other durable, mobile species (such as the Red Panda Barb, which is native to the same area) 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." This loach does not seem to be as much of a ravenous snail-eater as many of the botia-type loaches, but it is possible that it might harass ornamental snails. The Zodiac Loach should not be kept with other fish of similar body shape unless the aquarium is large with plenty of cover.

Little information is known about the breeding habits of the Zodiac Loach. However, it is not necessarily unlikely that it will soon be bred on a wider scale in the aquarium world, 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, active social behavior
  • Long lifespan when kept in optimal conditions
  • Will not bother ornamental plants


  • Temperature: 64.4° - 78° F (18° - 25.5° C). Higher temperatures can be tolerated temporarily with extremely high oxygen content..
  • pH: 6.0 – 7.5
  • KH: 2 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 29+ gallons for a group of 4-6 specimens


  • Diet: Omnivorous. Typically accepts some dry foods and frozen foods, but requires frozen and live foods as well.
  • Social Behavior: Peaceful to semi-aggressive.  Should be kept in groups of at least 4-6 specimens.  
  • Origin: South India
  • Average Adult Size: 2 - 2.2 inches (5 - 6 cm)
  • Average Purchase Size: 1 - 2 inches (2.5- 5 cm)


All Aquatic Arts brand plants and animals come with a 100% live arrival guarantee, plus free email support!

This colorful tetra is a true aquarium hobby classic!

These little tetras are one of the more beautifully colored fish available in the freshwater aquarium hobby!  They have a silver body and feature a shimmering red/pink stripe throughout the middle of their body.  Their eye-catching coloration has made them one of the most popular fish for freshwater aquariums today.  They are great for beginners and experts alike, and they thrive in any well-established aquarium that meets their recommended water parameters.  These fish stay small, growing no larger than one to two inches, which makes them an excellent choice for small-sized tanks!

Glowlight Tetras are very peaceful and make great additions to community aquariums.  However, they should only be kept in tanks with other non-aggressive fish that are similar in size.  They are a schooling fish, and their schools create a magnificent display of colors in motion that has to be seen to be believed!  These fish do best in densely planted aquariums with plenty of hiding places.  This can be achieved with rocks and caves, driftwood, and live plants (good ones include mosses or tall plants that will reach the middle level of the aquarium, such as green cabomba, moneywort, java ferns, etc.).  Since they are a schooling fish, they can really only thrive in groups, which is why we sell them in groups of 6 and 12.

Glowlight Tetras spend most of their time within the middle and top levels of the aquarium.  These fish are not recommended for new tanks, as they may have problems in tanks that are not well-cycled.  It is important to acclimate Glowlight Tetras to a new tank slowly, because they can be sensitive to changes in water parameters.  They are known to be difficult to breed in captivity; the water conditions must be perfect for them to spawn.  Interestingly, the bright colors on these fish tend to become dimmer at night.  This is normal and does not indicate sickness or weakness in the tetras.

What We Like About This Fish:

Iridescent red stripe that add bright bursts of color to any aquarium set-up

Its small size makes it an ideal candidate for the nano aquarium

Safe with plants

Completely peaceful

Very hardy and adaptable

All Aquatic Arts brand plants and animals come with a 100% live arrival guarantee, plus free email support!

Temperature: 75° - 82° F (24° - 28° C)
pH: 5.5 - 7.5, but highly adaptable to many conditions
KH: 4 - 10 dKH
Minimum tank size: 10 gallons

Diet: Omnivorous. Will readily accept most fish flakes and pellets, as well as most small foods, including brine shrimp, daphnia, freeze-dried bloodworms, and tubifex.
Social behavior: Peaceful, schooling/shoaling.
Origin: Tank-bred, but indigenous to Rio Essequibo, Guyana
Average adult size: 1.5 - 2 inches (3.8 - 5 cm)
Average purchase size: 1/4 - 1 inch (0.6 - 2.5 cm)

For the safety of our animals, we only ship live fish, crabs, and select other inverts exclusively via UPS 1 Day Air.  If your order contains this item, you will only see UPS 1 Day Air as a shipping option during checkout. If other items are in your cart that can ship with  2 day or standard shipping options the only shipping method you can still select is UPS 1 Day Air. 

UPS 1 Day is a description of the duration of time a shipment will spend in transit once it has been shipped. This does not guarantee the package will be shipped the same or next day from which the order was placed.

Shipping Schedule for this service

UPS 1 Day: Monday through Thursday

Current Handling Time:

1-9 business days

Here at Aquatic Arts, we consider the welfare of the live animals we are shipping to be of the foremost importance. This process is much more involved than simply creating a shipping label and affixing it to a box. Depending on the order, it takes from 4 to 7 people to complete this process properly. We check the weather conditions here where they fly out of the Indianapolis UPS facility and the destination for each shipment. We start early each morning and go through a multi-step process to have the day's shipments prepared in time for the UPS pickup. The volume of orders in our system also affects the processing time. Therefore our stated handling time is 1-9 business days. 

Shipping Rate

Pricing is by size of package needed to fill entire order and distance it must travel. It will be calculated at checkout.



Q: What are the ideal tank mates for Glowlight Tetras?
A: Glowlight Tetras do best with other small, peaceful fish. Ideal tank mates include Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Corydoras Catfish, and small livebearers like Guppies or Mollies.

Q: How often should I feed Glowlight Tetras?
A: Glowlight Tetras should be fed 1-2 times a day. Provide only as much food as they can consume in 2-3 minutes to avoid overfeeding and water quality issues.

Q: What should I do if my Glowlight Tetras are not schooling?
A: Ensure you have at least 6-12 Glowlight Tetras, as they are schooling fish and feel more secure in larger groups. Also, check if there are any stressors in the tank such as aggressive tank mates or poor water quality.

Q: Can Glowlight Tetras live with shrimps and snails?
A: Yes, Glowlight Tetras are generally safe with non-aggressive invertebrates like shrimps and snails. They add a nice dynamic to the aquarium and help with cleaning.

Q: How can I tell the difference between male and female Glowlight Tetras?
A: Males are usually slimmer and may have more intense coloring, especially during breeding times. Females tend to be rounder and slightly larger, particularly when carrying eggs.

Q: What signs of illness should I watch for in Glowlight Tetras?
A: Watch for changes in color, fin rot, spots, or unusual swimming behavior. Common illnesses include ich, fin rot, and swim bladder issues. Quarantine affected fish and treat the tank if necessary.

Q: What lighting conditions do Glowlight Tetras prefer?
A: Glowlight Tetras thrive in subdued lighting conditions, which mimic their natural habitat. Moderate lighting with plenty of plants for shade creates an ideal environment for them.

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