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Yoyo Loach Care Guide: What You Need To Know

Yoyo Loach Care Guide: What You Need To Know

The Yoyo Loach, scientifically known as Botia almorhae is a freshwater fish known for its distinctive patterns and playful behavior. 

They are generally peaceful fish but may engage in occasional conflicts with their own species. They thrive in the company of peaceful tank mates and can assert themselves when sharing the tank with more aggressive fish.

This article offers the essentials of creating a thriving environment for your Yoyo Loach, detailing everything from personality and behavior to, tank setup, and dietary needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Yoyo loaches typically grow to around 2.5 inches and can grow up to 6 inches in length in their natural habitat.
  • Provide them with hiding spots using plants, decorations, and soft substrates like sand or fine gravel.
  • Feed yoyo loaches small meals two to three times a day with sinking pellets and occasional treats like brine shrimp.
  • Unlike most loaches, Yoyo Loaches are not nocturnal and are active during the day
  • Keep their water clean to prevent diseases like ich and watch their reactions carefully when treating any conditions they may have.

Yoyo Loach Origin & Habitat

  • Common name: Yoyo  Loach
  • Scientific name: Botia almorhae
  • Care level: Moderate
  • Size: Up to 2.5 inches (7.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Group size: At least 5-6
  • Minimum tank size: 40 gallons 
  • Tank level: Bottom dweller
  • Water temperature: 75°F and 86°F (23°C and 30°C)
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Water hardness: 3-12 dGH

Yoyo Loaches also known as the Almora, Lohachata Botia, or Pakistani Loach originate from the waters of India and Pakistan. They love to live in rivers that flow fast and have lots of oxygen. Their homes are full of pebbles, rocks, and sand on the bottom.

These fish enjoy places where the water is always moving and clear. But they can also be okay in tanks if we make it feel like their river home. They need clean water with just a bit of current to stay happy and healthy.

Appearance & Size

The Yoyo Loach boasts a captivating reticulated pattern across its body, displaying a distinct and playful appearance that easily distinguishes it from other fish species. Their long and slender bodies have a silver or golden base color, complemented by dark patterns. They have four pairs of small barbels that protrude from their mouth and sharp spines beneath their eyes for protection.

They typically grow to around 2.5 inches when fully mature. Factors influencing their adult size include diet, tank size, and genetics. Providing a suitable environment and nutrition contributes to their overall well-being and size in captivity.

In their natural habitat, they can grow up to 6 inches in length. Achieving this size in captivity is possible, but it requires a spacious tank to allow them ample room for growth.

Personality & Behavior

Yoyo Loaches are playful fish that love to explore. They will spend a lot of their time searching for food at the bottom of your tank, or hiding out in caves and planted areas. These fish are known for their peaceful nature.

Sometimes they can be a bit pushy, especially during meal times or when they want the best hiding spot. But they don’t mean any harm; it’s just their way of being lively. It’s important to keep them in groups because they enjoy each other’s company.

Unlike most loaches, Yoyo Loaches stand out due to their daytime activity. They are not nocturnal, remaining active throughout the day.

Life Span

These loaches can enjoy a long life if they are taken care of well. They usually live between 5 and 8 years, but some have been known to make it up to an impressive 20 years with the right tank conditions and good health.

Making sure these fish are happy involves providing them with a clean tank, the correct water parameters, and plenty of space to play and hide. Regular water changes and watching out for any signs of sickness also help keep these loaches healthy for many years.

Yoyo Loach Care & Tank Setup

Ensuring the well-being of Yoyo Loaches involves creating a tank environment that closely mirrors their natural habitat. Mastering essential tank setup is crucial to their health and happiness, allowing them to thrive and exhibit their characteristic behaviors in your aquarium.

Tank Size

For happy and healthy adult Yoyo Loaches, a 40-gallon tank is recommended, providing ample space for swimming and socializing. 

While one fish may suffice in a 20-gallon tank, it’s not ideal due to their social nature. Keeping five or six together is best, and with enough space, these lively little swimmers will stay healthy and brighten up your tank with their antics.

Water Parameters

  • Water temperature: 75°F and 86°F (23°C and 30°C)
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.5
  • Water hardness: 3-12 dGH

Maintaining suitable water conditions is critical for the health of your fish; their well-being hinges on specific parameters that reflect their natural habitat. This section delves into the optimal range of temperature, pH levels, and hardness required to create a thriving environment for these lively fish.

Water Temperature

Maintain the tank temperature between 75°F and 86°F (23°C and 30°C) to ensure the happiness and health of your Yoyo Loaches. This warmth recreates their natural habitat conditions, promoting a sense of comfort for these lively fish.

Make sure you regularly monitor the water temperature with a thermometer. Sudden temperature changes can stress or make them sick.

Water pH Levels

Yoyo Loaches feel best in water with a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. It’s important to keep the pH stable to make sure they stay healthy and happy. High or low pH can stress your fish or even make them sick.

Test the tank water often to check the pH is just right for your Yoyo Loaches. Use products from pet stores if you need to adjust it up or down carefully. Keep an eye on these levels, especially after cleaning the tank or adding new water.

Water Hardness

These fish like water that is not too hard or too soft. Aim for a range between 3-12 dGH to keep them happy and healthy. 

It’s important not to let the water get too hard, especially when using meds. If your loach does get sick, they might need their own tank while they heal. Always check and keep the water within the best range for their care.

What Yoyo Loaches Need In The Tank

Creating the ideal environment for Yoyo Loaches demands more than just water; it entails a carefully crafted habitat that addresses their substrate preferences, hiding spots, plant life, and proper lighting conditions to thrive.


Yoyo Loaches like to dig and search for food. Because of this, they do well with a substrate of large gravel or small pebbles that won’t hurt their sensitive barbels. It’s important to have the right base in your tank so these loaches can behave naturally.

Soft sand works great as well, they love resting on it and it mimics their natural riverbed homes. Make sure the sand is smooth and clean to keep your fish happy and healthy.

This kind of floor in the tank also makes it easy for them to find snacks and leftover food that sinks from above.


Yoyo Loaches like to play and hide, so putting things in the tank for them to swim around is a good idea. Rocks and caves give them spots to rest and feel safe. Make sure these decorations have no sharp edges that could hurt the fish.


Plants are key in a yoyo loach tank. They give the fish places to hide and rest. Live plants like Java Ferns or Anubias work well because they can handle different water conditions.

Make sure the plants are put down in the substrate properly so that the loaches cannot uproot them while they dig around.

Adding live plants also helps keep the water healthy for your fish. They use up waste like ammonia and nitrates, which can harm loaches if levels get too high. Plants make oxygen during daylight hours as well, which is good for all your tank mates.

Just be careful with sharp-edged plants; choose ones with soft leaves to protect your loach’s delicate body as it moves around.


Yoyo Loaches like water that’s clean and not too fast. A good filter is a must in their tank. It takes out dirt and keeps the water healthy. Make sure the filter isn’t too strong, though.

Pick a filter that can clean all the water in your tank many times an hour. I would recommend a filter under the gravel or air stones to keep the water flowing nicely. This helps mimic their natural habitat and keeps their home clean.

Yoyo Loach Tank Mates

Selecting compatible companions is crucial to maintaining a harmonious aquarium; ideal tank mates are those who share similar water parameter needs and have a peaceful nature.

Ideal Tankmates

  • Glass Catfish: These clear, calm fish can share space well with yoyo loaches. They swim higher in the tank while yoyo loaches stay low.
  • Tetras: These small, colorful fish are friendly and fast. They do not bother yoyo loaches and look pretty together.
  • Mollies: Mollies enjoy the same kind of water as yoyo loaches. They also eat similar food.
  • Corydoras: Bottom dwellers are peaceful and fun to watch as they sift through the sand.
  • Plecos: Peaceful and easygoing, plecos add character to the tank without causing trouble. Bristlenose and Clown Plecos are good options
  • Gouramis: Though larger, gouramis have a calm manner that allows them to get along with yoyo loaches.
  • Dwarf Cichlids: They may be territorial but can still be friends with yoyo loaches if given enough space.
  • Other Loaches: Yoyo loaches get along with most other loaches because they act similarly. 
  • Rasboras: Quiet and gentle, rasboras won’t clash with the yo-yo’s playful attitude.
  • Snails: Your loaches will get along well with peaceful snails.  Make sure the snails are half the size of your loaches or larger, ideally with hard shells. Malaysian Trumpet Snails and Nerite Snails are good options

Tankmates to Avoid

Yoyo Loaches have friends they don’t get along with in a tank. Some fish can harm them or make them feel stressed. Here’s a list of tankmates you should avoid:

  • Cichlids: Fish like Oscars and Jack Dempseys are too aggressive for Yoyo Loaches.
  • Tiger Barbs: These fish can be nippy, which can upset the peaceful Yoyo Loach.
  • Bettas: The fancy fins of Bettas can tempt Yoyo Loaches to nip at them.
  • Red Finned Sharks: They can be territorial, which might cause fights in the tank.
  • Tiger Fish: This species is known for being aggressive and should not share space with Yoyo Loaches.
  • Peacock Bass: Their large size and aggression are a bad match for Yoyo Loaches.

Food & Diet

Understanding the dietary preferences and nutritional needs of Yoyo Loaches is important for their health and vitality. A balanced omnivorous diet consisting of a variety of foods, including live or frozen prey like bloodworms, along with high-quality sinking pellets or wafers since loaches like to eat at the bottom

Now and then, offer brine shrimp or other treats for variety. Make sure you don’t feed them more than what they can finish because overeating can make them sick.

I recommend observing their eating habits and adjusting the amount of food; if they look hungry and find food fast, you might give them a bit more next time.

Remember, if there’s uneaten food after feeding time, scoop it out to maintain a clean tank environment.

How Much and How Often to Feed Them

Give Yoyo Loaches small meals several times a day, about two to three times. 

Avoid dumping a lot of food at once; they can’t eat it all, and it will dirty the water. A pinch of food that your fish can finish in 2 minutes is a good meal size.

Breeding Yoyo Loaches

Yoyo Loaches are unlikely to breed in home tanks. There are no well-documented breeding methods for these fish. In the wild, they migrate during the breeding season, and although females may carry eggs, fertilization is challenging in captivity.

While professional breeders have achieved some success in spawning Yoyo Loaches, the majority available in the market are still sourced from the wild.

Common Health Issues

Due to their small scales, Yoyo Loaches are more prone to fungal and parasitic infections. They are susceptible to ich (white spot disease), a condition characterized by the appearance of white spots on their bodies. This disease is caused by a small animal parasite attacking the fish. 

They also react strongly to medicine, so it’s very important to be careful when using treatments.

To keep your Yoyo Loaches healthy, you must make sure their water is always clean and fresh. Good water stops diseases from starting in the first place. Check the water often for any changes and clean the tank regularly.

Before administering any treatment to your loach, I always recommend seeking guidance from a professional to ensure accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Other Loaches You May Be Interested In

  • Kuhli Loach: This loach is thin and has stripes too. But it is good at hiding because it looks like the ground under the water.
  • Dwarf Chain Loach: It’s tiny and has pretty chain-like lines all over. They come from rivers near Thailand.
  • Clown Loach: This fish is bright orange with big black bands. It comes from rivers in Indonesia.
  • Dojo Loach: This loach displays a range of colors, from olive green, light brown, or grey, and often has a lighter belly. It originates from streams and ponds in eastern Asia.
  • Reticulated Hillstream Loach: This loach is a stunning little fish that looks like a mini-stingray. It comes from rivers and streams throughout Asia. 
  • Zebra Loach: It’s small with stripes just like a zebra. The zebra loach lives in fast streams in India.
  • Panda Loach: Visually striking with its distinctive black and white coloration, it boasts a sleek body built for the fast-flowing waters of China’s Guangxi province.

Yoyo Loach FAQs

What do I need to know about caring for a yoyo loach?

For proper yoyo loach care, you will need an appropriate tank size with plenty of hiding spots and a flat bottom for them to rest on. These fish are active during the day and enjoy living in groups, so keep them with similar-sized and non-aggressive fish.

How big should my tank be for yoyo loaches?

A single yoyo loach needs a minimum tank size of 20 gallons, but if you plan to have a group of 5 or 6, you’ll need a minimum of 40 gallons to give them enough space.

What is the lifespan of a typical yoyo loach?

Yoyo Loaches can live up to 5-8 years in captivity when cared for properly in good water conditions and an environment that mimics their natural habitat.

Are Yoyo Loaches peaceful fish?

Yes, yo-yo loaches are generally peaceful but can become semi-aggressive if not given enough room or if they feel threatened. They do best with other bottom-dwelling fish who won’t compete for food.

Can yoyo loaches eat snails in my aquarium?

Yoyo Loaches are known to eat snails which makes them helpful in controlling snail populations.

Will having more than one yoyo loach help them thrive?

Keeping more than one yoyo loach is ideal because they enjoy company; it’s best to keep them in small groups where they can interact and display natural behaviors like searching together on the surface of the water.

Wrapping Up

Caring for Yoyo Loaches means creating a home that feels like their natural habitat. They thrive when the tank has plenty of hiding spots and stable water conditions. Keep the water clean and at the right levels of temperature, pH, and hardness to help them stay healthy and active.

A happy Yoyo Loach will zip around your aquarium during the day. With proper care, these fish can be a joy to watch for many years. Make sure they have good company in their tank – choose peaceful fish that enjoy similar conditions. Give your loaches attention and care, and they’ll become lively treasures in your underwater world.

I’m Elle, the founder of FishHQ. I created this website to share knowledge, tips, and inspiration for beginner hobbyists to help them create a healthy, happy, and vibrant environment for their fish to thrive. Read more...