Tiger Hillstream Loach (Sewellia lineolata)
The Tiger Hillstream Loach is a captivating freshwater fish renowned for its unique appearance and intriguing behavior. This species is characterized by its flattened body and striking pattern of dark stripes on a light background, reminiscent of a tiger's stripes. They are relatively small, typically reaching up to 2.5-3 inches in adulthood.
Tiger Hillstream Loaches are peaceful creatures with a calm personality. They are known for their unique ability to cling to rocks in fast-flowing water, mimicking their natural habitat. They are best kept in a group of at least 5 individuals and are compatible with a variety of tank mates that prefer similar water conditions.
Their diet is primarily herbivorous, consisting of algae and biofilm in the aquarium. They will also appreciate blanched vegetables and specialized sinking foods designed for bottom dwellers.
In terms of habitat, Tiger Hillstream Loaches prefer a well-decorated tank that mimics a fast-flowing stream or river. This includes a substrate of sand, with smooth rocks or pebbles, and aged driftwood with a rich biofilm carpeting covering the surfaces.
The Tiger Hillstream Loach thrives in clean, well-oxygenated water that mimics the fast-flowing streams of its natural habitat. To achieve this, it's recommended to use a larger-than-average filter, capable of turning over the tank's water volume 15-20 times per hour. Additional equipment like powerheads and airstones may be necessary to maintain optimal water conditions. They also appreciate cooler water temperatures compared to many tropical species.
These loaches are known to graze on exposed filter sponges, and some aquarists even keep an open filter in the tank to provide an extra source of food.
While their natural habitat doesn't typically feature many plants, you can include adaptable aquatic plants in the tank. Genera such as Microsorum, Crinum, and Anubias are likely to thrive. Anubias are especially beneficial as their leaves often attract algae, providing additional food and cover.
Given their reliance on biofilm for food and their need for stable water conditions, Tiger Hillstream Loaches should only be introduced to mature aquariums. A secure tank cover is essential, as these loaches are known to climb glass. Regular partial water changes are crucial for their health, but allowing aufwuchs (a mix of algae and microorganisms) to grow on most surfaces can provide additional nutrition.
Tiger Hillstream Loaches require a spacious aquarium of at least 30 gallons, with the ideal community aquarium size being 50 gallons or more. The ideal water parameters for Tiger Hillstream Loaches are a pH of 6.5-7.5, hardness of 10-15 dGH, and a temperature of 68-75°F (20-24°C).
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.