Yoyo Loach – Care, Size, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details!

Yoyo Loach (Botia almorhae) also known as Pakistani Loach can be attributed to such aquarium fishes, which requires great experience and attention when maintaining. Yoyo loach remains one of the most beloved in experienced aquarists community.

The fish has a rather lively and curious character, so it can often be seen in home aquariums. If you are planning to get these loaches for the first time, then you can continue reading!

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Botia almorhae
Common Name: Yoyo loach, Yo-Yo loach, Almorha loach, Pakistani Loach, reticulated loach
Tank size: 25 gallons (100L) and more
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous
Temperature: 75–81 °F (24–27 °C)
pH: 6.5-7.5
Size: 14–16 cm (5.5–6.3 in)
Care Level: Intermediate
Color Form: Silver Body and Black Patterns
Lifespan: 5-8 Years
Size: Up to 2.5 Inches
Family: Botiidae
Tank Set-Up: Many Plants and wide areas to Swim and Hide
Compatibility: Community Tanks (Peaceful and Semi-Aggressive)

Yoyo Loach Description

This fish was first seen in 1920, People also call it “Pakistani loach, yoyo loach or Almora loach.

An American photographer called this fish as YoYo Loach because on the side it has a characteristic silver pattern on its body, reminiscent of the Latin letters Y and O. Yoyo Loach is also called succulent.

Yoyo Loach belongs to the superfamily called Cobitoidea, which once due to the appearance and structure of the body was mistakenly attributed to cyprinids.

The fish can not be attributed to rare and endangered species because it is not considered commercial. In the United States and other countries, this pet has gained popularity quite recently.


In the wild, the Yoyo loach lives in quiet backwaters, small rivers and flowing lakes in Pakistan and India.

In wild conditions, the size of the loaches reaches up to 20 cm in length. However, when grown at home in an aquarium, the fish grows only up to 7 cm.

It is worth noting that the classification of varieties of this fish is still quite blurred. For example, individuals from the waters of India are much larger in size and brighter in color than their relatives from Pakistan.

This may suggest that these are possibly two completely different subspecies or even species.


Pakistani Loach has an elongated body that resembles the shape of a torpedo, its back is arched, and the abdomen is straight.

Thanks to the powerful pectoral fins, the fish easily maneuvers in the water, even in the bottom layers of rivers and lakes.

The head of Pakistani loach is small in size, the mouth is located below, four pairs of rather sensitive antennae are located nearby.

When kept in an aquarium, the life span of one individual can be up to 7 years. However, there have been cases when the fish survived to 16 years.

YoYo loach is mostly found in silver color with some pronounced black patterns that turn blue with age, giving individuals a marble tint.

If a small fish experience severe stress, then the color becomes pale, and under severe stressful situations, yo-yo pretends to be dead, freezing in the abdomen position up.

In this case, the body pales to such an extent that the predator does not have any doubts that a dead fish lies in front of him.

There have also been cases when an individual grew up to 15 cm in length. For this reason, fish of this species cannot be classified as small.

Another feature of these loaches is the existing spikes located under the eyes. The aquarium fish releases these hooks only if it senses an approaching danger or has noticed an attempt to catch it with a net.

Therefore, it is necessary to be very careful, since the sucker can injure itself by catching spikes on the net.

Yoyo Loach Behavior

Yoyo Loaches are quite shy fish, but at the same time very curious. These fish remains always friendly, only sometimes they can conflict in the struggle for shelter or eating in the aquarium.

Therefore, it is important to fill the tank with all kinds of aquatic plants, snags, and stones, where the fish can hide.

Yoyo loaches are very fond of exploring the scenery, but they rarely sleep in them. Due to their excessive activity, these fish often fall asleep on the go.

Yoyo loaches are considered more active at night and during twilight, so it can be said that individuals do not like bright light.

During the day, the loach mainly hides under snags, between large stones, as well as in dense thickets of algae. The preferred location for these fish is the bottom layer of the aquarium.

These loaches eat food from the bottom and prefer to live in packs. It is recommended to keep at least 6 of them in the aquarium to make them feel more relaxed.

If you keep them alone, the loach will behave more aggressively and will hide in remote shelters.

Yoyo Loach Maintenance and Care

Yoyo Loach in aquariums needs a lot of space. If the house contains at least one pair of these fish, then the volume of the tank should be at least 80 liters. The bottom of the aquarium should be wide.

You will also need to take care of having excellent filtration and aeration. If the aquarium contains more than 5 individuals, then its volume should be at least 130 liters.

The maintenance of Yoyo Loach and the care of them can cause certain difficulties, especially for inexperienced people in this matter.

These pets react quite quickly and acutely to any change in the state of the water in the aquarium.

Therefore, this type of fish is not recommended for beginners. Newly purchased individuals can also not be released into the updated aquarium.

Basic Water Requirements

  • the temperature of the water in the tank should be in the range of 24 to 30 degrees;
  • water changes should be carried out every week.

If these conditions are not met, then loaches will lose the brightness of their color. Particular attention must also be paid to the selection of suitable soil.

The fact is that the loaches love to delve into the bottom, looking for food there and cleaning their bodies of adhering mucus. In the aquarium, the scales are quite delicate, so they can quickly damage it, rummaging in rough soil.

Be sure to have a variety of aquatic plants in the aquarium. At the same time, experts recommend planting large-leaved plants where small pets can hide.

In addition to the flora, various shelters must be placed in the aquarium. At this point, you should also be careful, as individuals can easily injure themselves if there are sharp edges and ledges nearby.

There should not be narrow passages, as the fish can simply get stuck in them. You should not install very bright lighting in the aquarium.

Yoyo Loach Feeding

You can feed the fish with both live and dry types of food.

But here it is necessary to pay attention to some features:

  • Do not overfeed individuals. The feed should be given as much as the fish can eat in 3 minutes. In no case should he remain in the aquarium after feeding.
  • In the diet of small pets, plant-based nutrition should be present. Besides being very useful for aquarium fish, it can also save the aquarium flora from being eaten by Yoyo Loach.
  • The menu should also be varied. Different types of feed contain useful substances and vitamins, the absence of which can negatively affect the health status of fish.
  • Since yo-yo is nocturnal fish, feeding is best done in the evening.
  • It is recommended to select feeds that will quickly and easily descend to the bottom of the aquarium.

Yoyo Loach Breeding

The reproduction of Yoyo Loach at home is a rather difficult task. Only very experienced aquarists manage to breed these pets. But still, you can rely on some chances of a favorable outcome.

In order for the reproduction to happen, it is necessary to organize regular fluctuations in water temperature from 22 to 25 degrees. In addition, loaches need to be injected with hormonal drugs.

Before mating, you need to feed the fish with vegetable bait, and live food should be reduced to a minimum amount.

Before spawning, the bottom of the tank must be covered with a net. This is done so that the females do not eat their brood after throwing eggs.

During mating, the volume of the aquarium should be at least 150 liters. You will also have to create a fairly strong current, which is set using installed filters and aeration.

When the future parents will be moved to the prepared aquarium, the female should begin to spawn immediately after mating. As a rule, for one litter the number of eggs reaches from 3 to 5 thousand.

White eggs should be removed, as they are unfertilized. Fertilized will have a grayish tint, and over time they should increase to 2 mm in diameter. The incubation period lasts about 17 hours, after which small FRY form.

At this time, it is recommended to sprinkle small dry food near the caviar. When the fry is three days old, small invertebrate animals are allowed to be added to the feed.

The fry is placed in the general aquarium when their age is about 1 month. By this period, they should grow stronger and keep on growing.

Yoyo Loach Tank Mates

If we talk about the tank mates of the yoyo loaches, then these individuals are quite peaceful and able to get along well with other types of fish. However, you should pay attention to the fact that the yo-yo is too active, so they can become a kind of irritant for calmer and slower aquarium pets.

Experts also do not recommend keeping loaches with those fish that are very different from them in size. Yoyos prefer to stay at the bottom for most of the time, so species that will live in other layers of water need to be hooked to them.

In this way, possible conflicts and the struggle for territory can be avoided.

Loaches are social fish, so they are quite patient with their tankmates but there is always a leader in the pack who can engage in skirmishes with other aquarium fish.

If there are many different decorative elements and shelters in the container, then yo-yo will never bother their neighbors.

Good Yoyo Loach tank mates include:

Yoyo Loach Diseases

Yoyo Loach cannot be called resistant to various diseases since quite often beginners do not carefully monitor the conditions of keeping the fish.

These pets may have some health problems:

  • Severe stress. Yoyos are not very resistant to stress. Even a change of residence can adversely affect their condition, which is why individuals begin to behave too restlessly. If the fish were only settled in a new aquarium, then for some time it is necessary to turn off the lighting, since in the dark the loaches will feel more comfortable and confident.
  • Sometimes the fish dramatically lose weight. The main reason for this lies in infection with the fungus. To cure individuals, it is necessary to use antibiotics, which can be purchased at a specialized pet store.
  • This disease is quite common among Yoyo Loach. It develops as a result of infection of unicellular ciliary ciliates, which is mainly concentrated in the feed. The first symptoms of the disease are small white lumps on the body that look like semolina. To get rid of ciliates, the temperature of the water is raised, and also aeration is enhanced.

Many aquarists love peace-loving, active, vibrant Yoyo Loach. If you provide these pets with proper care and comfortable living conditions, they will reward their owner with excellent health.

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