Yunnanilus cruciatus was officially described by Rendahl in 1944.
Synonyms: Micronemacheilus cruciatus, Nemacheilus cruciatus.
This species is found only in the coastal rivers of central Vietnam, from the An Lao River (in the Binh Dinh Province) to the Phong Nha River (in the Quang Binh Province).
Maximum size: 3.5 centimeters
Similar to: young striped Schistura/Nemacheilus species.
In the wild, Yunnanilus cruciatus are found in the shallow, relatively still parts of rivers packed with dense aquatic vegetation. The river bed is muddy and sandy in these areas. Often there is floating plant cover, which diffuses the light. The aquarium should mimic the natural conditions as close as possible, with gentle water movement and dense planting. These loaches are sensitive when first imported, so ensure that the tank is mature. Tankmates should be small and peaceful. Y. cruciatus sometimes hover in midwater but more often than not, will be seen swimming head down at a 45-degree angle whilst scouring the substrate for food. Ideally, the substrate will be soft sand to protect the delicate sensory barbels. Despite the Latin name (cruciatus, meaning torment/torture), these loaches do not appear particularly antagonistic and can be kept in large groups.
These diminutive loaches require a variety of small foodstuffs. Frozen baby brineshrimp, daphnia, and cyclops are all taken eagerly. Will also feed on small sinking pellets/granules, and crushed flake/powdered fry foods.
pH: 6.0 – 7.0
Hardness: soft max dh: 12
Temperature: 22 – 27°C
They have not yet been bred in captivity
Distinguished from other species of the family by the rounded belly, 14-18 distinct black vertical bars on the body, incomplete lateral line with 3-10 pored scales, large papillae on the median part of both lips and 3-4 prominent denticles on the lower posterior margin of opercle. Has 8 branched dorsal fin rays.
Emma Turner – www.loaches.com
Emma Turner – Loaches.com