Syncrossus berdmorei – Blyth’s Loach
Blyth’s Loach owes its name to the author of the first description. It is a large fish that can grow to about 30 centimetres in length (total lenght). Like all other Botias, it is a long slender fish with barbels. With these barbs, this fish searches for food in the substrate. The gender difference is hard to see. The female is said to be slightly fuller than the male. As Syncrossus berdmorei ages, it loses some of its youthful fresh colors.
This species was previously classified in the Botia family, a no longer valid synonym is Botia berdmorei.
Syncrossus berdmorei is found in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and North-East India.
This Botia must be kept in a large tank of at least one and a half meters. Make sure that the inmates are not too small, because this fish is very intolerant of other fish. It is quite aggressive towards other species. However, this Botia can be kept together with conspecifics. As long as there are enough hiding places, this will be fine. Keep in mind that you form a school of at least 5 animals. In this way, any aggression is distributed over the group and a natural hierarchy is created.
You can provide shelters using half coconuts, stones or, for example, driftwood. This fish is actually always active at night and will therefore hide during the day between the plants and in the hiding places.
Because this fish likes to hide during the day, it is necessary that sufficient hiding places are available. This can be done by means of the above means, but a lot of plants also help. Make sure that these plants are well established because this Botia likes to dig into the soil in search of food. Because Blyth’s Loach likes to go through the soil with its barbels, a sandy bottom is required. When you use a gravel bottom, these threads wear off quickly, which causes a nuisance for the fish.
Syncrossus berdmorei also likes some current in the tank. Aerating the water well and keeping it clean is very important. The lighting is preferably dimmed during the day. This can be done, among other things, by means of floating plants.
Because Syncrossus berdmorei grow fairly large, up to about 30 centimetres, they also need a fairly large aquarium. Think of a minimum length of about 1 meter 50 for young animals and perhaps even longer as they get bigger.
Blyth’s Loach is quite a picky eater. It accepts large live food the best, but frozen food is also accepted. Young and small fish are also eaten.
Breeding Syncrossus berdmorei – Blyth’s Loach
Captive breeding in the aquarium has so far not been successful.
P. de Pijper
Nonn Panitvong – Siamensis.org