Aborichthys elongatus

Aborichthys elongatus is an active hillstream fish from India and can be a great addition to your hillstream aquarium.

Aborichthys elongatus

Aborichthys elongatus was first described by Hora in 1921. In his paper did this specie receive its current name. Over time, the name Nemacheilus elongatus came to exist. N. elongatus is, however, not generally accepted as the name of this specie and is classified as a synonym.


Aborichthys elongatus is a small specie with a relatively long body. The body itself has a white color with brown stripes. These brown stripes are, for some specimens, merged with each other. As a consequence, can these fish appear to be completely brown instead of striped. The finns are relatively small. The most noticeable of all fins is the caudal fin which is completely red. It also has a distinctive dark blotch on the upper part of its caudal fin.

Even though some say that females are rounder bellied than males, the differences between both sexes is not known for sure.

Distribution and Habitat

The Aborichthys elongatus is only known to inhibit streams and rivers in the North-East of India. They can be found in the state West-Bengal in the district Darjeeling. Here lives it, amongst others, in the rivers: Teesta and Relli.
Besides West-Bengal, are there also specimens caught in the state Assam. In this state, the rivers: Sonkosh, Siyom and Siang inhibit this specie. All of these rivers flow into the Brahmaputra.

In the wild Aborichthys elongatus inhabit hill streams. These streams consist of relatively cold, clear water. Moreover, the current in these streams is often rather strong. The substrate in its habitat consist of sand, gravel and rocks. Research in the river Siang showed that the actual temperatures differ seasonally. During the summer, temperatures range between 20 to 26 °C (68-78 °F). During these months, the water has a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. During the winter, the temperatures drop to 9 to 11 °C (48-52 °F). During this season the pH fluctuates between 6.0 and 7.5.

Despite this relatively large temperature range, is it recommended to keep the temperatures between 15 and 21 °C (59-70 °F).


Aborichthys elongatus is a strictly carnivore species. Therefore, it is necessary to provide only carnivorous foods. Besides this, will it accept almost every type of food. They accept dried or factory foods rather quick. However, to keep the fish in optimal shape, frozen or live food should be fed regularly.
This species is rather aggressive towards its food. As soon as they notice that there is food nearby, will the food be charged. They swim quickly to their food to grab a bite in order to retreat immediately. When they swallowed it, this process is repeated. For other inhabitants can this be a stressful experience. As a consequence, other species might not even get close to the food.

The Aquarium

In its natural habitat Aborichthys elongatus lives in fast flowing streams. In order to provide good care to these fish, the aquarium should mimic the natural circumstances. Therefore, will a powerful filter be required. This will create a strong current and aeration in the water. Besides that does it help to keep the water very clean. Since it finds clear water in the wild, Aborichthys elongatus is very sensitive towards pollution.
Besides the strong current, will it be recommended to place a substrate of sand or gravel. In its habitat can this specie be found between rocks. Thus, will it be necessary to provide enough hiding spaces in the form of pebbles and rocks. However, the placement of these stones should be done with care. Make sure that the decoration is stable and sturdy, as these fishes tend to dig a lot. One would not want to find these fishes stuck or crushed under a rock.

Aborichthys elongatus can be kept alongside other hillstream species. They will not disturb any other inhabitants, which makes them suitable tankmates. The other fish should, however, not be too shy. Otherwise, they will not be able to get something to eat during feeding time.

Towards its own specie can the Aborichthys elongatus be aggressive at some times. These attacks are, however, short lived and random. With enough hiding spaces, will this never cause any substantial damage towards the fish. Thus, keeping multiple specimens in one tank should not be a problem. It is even the contrary as they like each others company. Observations from the natural habitat show that they are often seen near one another. However, it should be noted that no real shoals are formed.


Until now, there are no known records of successful breeding with these fish.



Copyright Photo’s

Emma Turner – Loaches.com

Martine Thoene – Loaches.com


Aborichthys elongatus summary page. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from http://www.fishbase.org/summary/24516

Aborichthys elongatus. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/aborichthys-elongatus/

Aborichthys elongatus. (2007, October 09). Retrieved February 06, 2017, from http://www.loaches.com/species-index/aborichthys-elongatus

Acharjee, M. L., & Barat, S. (2012). Diversity of loach and catfish in a Darjeeling Himalayan hill-stream-their prospects as ornamental fish and constraints. NBU Journal of Animal Science, 6, 53-60.

Acharjee, M. L., & Barat, S. (2013). Ichthyofaunal Diversity of Teesta River in Darjeeling Himalaya of West Bengal, India. Asian Journal of Experimental Biological Sciences, 4(1), 112-122.

Bagra, K., & Das, D. N. (2010). Fish Diversity of River Siyom of Arunachal Pradesh India: A Case Study. Our nature, 8(1), 164-169.

Baro, D. C., Sharma, S., & Baishya, R. A. (2014). Status of ornamental fish diversity of Sonkosh River, Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam, India. Science Vision, 14(1), 28-33.

Das, B. K., Boruah, P., & Kar, D. Fish diversity and habitat mapping of River Siang in Arunachal Pradesh using Remote Sensing and GIS. Innovative Energy Technology Systems and Environmental Concerns: A Sustainable Approach, Research India Publications, New Delhi, India, 2014b, 13-20.

Molur, S., & Walker, S. (1998). Report of the Workshop “Conservation Assessment and Management Plan for Freshwater Fishes of India”, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, India, Coimbatore, India. 156 p (Vol. 18). Report.

Additional information






Minimum aquarium length in cm

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