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This page will give a completely detailed profile of the selected fish, from A to Z. The profiled fish will be chosen randomly by Badman, and will come from the complete genre of tropical fish. New profiles are added on a regular basis. If you would like to submit a profile for the site please contact me. Don't forget to let us know you experiences with this fish by filling out the



Yo-Yo Loach

Botia Almorhae (formerly Lochata)


    This fish is an ideal community fish for the beginner to the advanced. Generally peaceful, yet very active.

Quick stats:


    Listed tank sizes are the minimum
    Size: 6" (10cm)
    Tank: 36 inches when small. Due to their social structure larger is needed for proper care.
    Strata: Bottom, middle
    PH: 6.0 to 7.5
    Hardness: Soft to medium. dH range: 2.0 - 10.0
    Temperature: 75°F to 86°F (24-30°C)


    Order: Cypriniformes
    Suborder: Cyprinidae
    Family: Cobitidae
    Genera: Botia
    Species: Almorhae



Yo-Yo Loach
Yo-Yo Loach
Yo-Yo Loach


  Common name:

    Yo-Yo Loach, Pakistan Loach

Image gallery:

    Additional species photographs


    Badmans' Forum


    Pakistan and India

General Body Form:

    One of the longer and thinner of the Botia, the Yo Yo loach has the classic loach shape. The belly area is fairly straight and the back curves in a convex shape. The mouth has four pairs of barbels. As with most of the family the spine reaches to just below the eye


    The body is Gray / Silver with many vertical and oblique dark stripes which vary in thickness scattered along the back and sides. Dark oval spots or blotches can be seen between the bands The translucent fins are marked with the same stripes as found on the body.


    Minimum number of this species in your tank should be 3. Yo-Yo’s kept as a single fish, or even in pairs do not exhibit the same behavior as small shoals.. The active behavior of the fish has endeared it to the hobby. Especially fun to observe is the “dance” that occurs as they frolic through the tank. They become a writhing, tumbling, somersaulting mass, swimming from end to end of your tank. Caution: due to the highly active nature of this species they are not good tank mates for shy skittish fish. This fish is a bottom feeder (not scavenger). As a consequence the substrate should range from sandy to small, smooth aggregate to avoid barbell injury.. You will find them constantly nosing through the substrate looking for any uneaten food that has fallen to the bottom of the tank. They will accept virtually any type of food. Sinking pellets and wafers are a must. Like most loaches they have a voracious appetite for snails. Live foods, vegetables, flake, frozen Hobbyists should provide caves for hiding/resting places. Small caves that offer a “snug” fit are best as large, open caves are often shunned. Driftwood offering an open area lounging spot is good. As are plants. But, the hobbyist should be certain the plants are well embedded because of the constant nosing through the substrate in search of food. Since they are mountain stream type loaches, strong filtration offering a medium to strong current is appreciated by this fish. Although it is not necessary. The Yo-Yo does best in slightly acidic water. pH range is in the 6.6-7.2 range. They are a hardy fish that will acclimate to higher pH. A heat tolerant fish. 75-86F. 79-82F is a normal range. They prefer warmer than usual temps. Tank size is an important consideration. They are very active swimmers with large space requirement for proper development.. A tank of 3’ will work when they are small. As they grow they really require something along the line of 4-6’. A lot of space for a small fish.

    Yo yo loach


    Found in the streams of India and Nepal. The mature/adults specimens usually migrate to higher altitudes.


    Little (or nothing) is known of their sexing and breeding habits

Your comments:


Please remember that the following comments are personal experiences and may or may not apply to your setup. Use them as guide to help better understand your fish, like us all individuals will behave differently under different circumstances.


From: Clive Walford
Certainly lively little fellows, and mix well with some of the other fish in the Aquarium. I agree with other comments that any fish with trailing fins, like angels, are going to be molested to death! Also the Yo Yo's seem to sniff out and pick on any fish that is not 100 percent healthy. A definite for most tanks I say! Choose their tank mates carefully though! Mine seem to enjoy the company of my clown loaches and medium sized cats(2 to 3 inch long).
From: Mell
hey people, I have had yo yo loaches for a bout 2 years and in that time I've had the same yo yo loaches, recently I bought 3 more and I decided to set up a tank for just the yo yo loaches with lots of real plants and rocks, what I find most they like is finer gravel- not to fine, about a week ago I noticed the larger one playing with one of the other loaches acting as like you would see male guppies show off to the females, a few days later I notice the larger(I think female) was guarding a log, and guarding off the other loaches that came near I shone a torch inside and to my surprise -eggs they are about the size of cory dora eggs not completely white a little yellow or beige colour, I've separated the eggs in there own tank with the same water aeration and filtration heater ect and today they hatched it takes 3 to 4 days for the eggs to hatch..:)
From: Kashif
Hi, I recently added these species to my 55 gallon planted tank. I bought 2 from the Sunday pet market (these being native to Pakistan are readily caught as wild and sold in the local shops). It took a couple of days for them to acclimate and now they are as happy as a puppy and are living up to their repo. My main intend was for snail control and boy they really do a great job. I had been facing snail outbreaks since long and had tried every thing including chemicals (cooper sulfate) but none were so effective as these guys. In just 2 weeks I cant see any snail even at nights. I would give them 100/100 for their snail control. Despite the usual advice of keeping at least 3 or more, for me the No 2 is great, they don't show any aggressiveness either to each other or their tank mates (Red tail, 3 Cory 5 black skirt tetras, 2 Red gourami and 5 platys.
From: Paul
I have 2 Pakistan Loach in my Tank, I inherited the fish with the tank and they have devoured all my bronze corydoras (3) amongst some shrimp which are natural food for them although they seem to leave the penguin tetra alone most of the time and the 2 loach are always chasing each other around more so the bigger dominant one.... I am going to have to remove them and start from scratch as there is nothing left apart from 3 fish in my 2 ft tank. Don't buy unless you have a 3ft Tank Don't Buy if you would like to keep shrimp, snails or small Catfish as they are seen as competition. Definitely keep more than 2 if you want to keep them as I just have one that gets bullied the whole time. They are extremely quick and I admire them but they are a handful and require the right conditions as I have found out by inheriting someone else's setup.
From: John
I went against the grain and bought just one of these YoYo loaches - he/she is quite active, unique in shape and markings, with nice colour and interesting habits. I've had the fish for five weeks and he's grown from 1" to just under 3". The wiggling is still there as is the fat movements. Nice fish that gets along well with all the inhabitants of my 90 gallon tank - incl.: red tailed black shark, two each of three varieties of rainbow, a 7" Sydnontis Eupterus, three bristle-nosed plecos, five bloodfin tetra and a pair of Red line torpedo barbs. I have lots of driftwood and my co2-assisted plants are flourishing plant. I highly recommend the YoYo Loach for any community tank.
From: Joanne
I have three of these and I'm delighted with them. They're fun to watch as they're always active and interact well with all my other fish, especially the cichlids who seem to partake in their playful behaviour. I've not found a site on the Internet that has been able to explain how to tell the sex of them so I hope this information I found in a book..........remember them things? (written back in the 50's, latest reprint was 1975, in the supplement) may help. "In females the bars form themselves into letter Y's but in some males they appear more like V's." I'd recommend these to any communal tank, they're good little sweeper-up-ers but aren't backwards at venturing up to get first dibs. Although they don't seem to feel the need to all be together I wouldn't like to see one alone in a tank. 10/10 for comedy value, puppies of the fish world.
From: Simon Cooper
I had 6 of these in a large(400l) mixed community tank with Angels, shoals of Tetra etc., they were always on the move and very active, feeding on what ever they could get until their bellies were full to exploding point! unfortunately this insatiable appetite lead to problems with my Angels, my loaches spent a great deal of time hassling the Angels and nibbling their fins until it became such a problem I had to remove them all. They now live happily in my Mbuna setup, this surprised me as I always assumed that these were very peaceful, so be warned, a brilliant scavenger, they search out all leftovers, but can be a problem in my experience with slower long finned fish like Angels and Pearl Gouramis. As Badman said, having kept them in a group, you can see just how sociable they are and its easy to see how they would fade away of kept on their own.
From: Linda
Very active and friendly fish, perfect for a community tank. They are highly sensitive to water quality, and will let you know by an obvious change in behavior (less active, lost black patterns). We may have observed breeding: color became very pale, both loaches swam tightly around one another. A feeding disturbed the 'breeding' activity and loaches returned to their regular color almost immediately.

From: Brad
These are great fish if your having snail problems. I had a tank full of snails and 2 of these little guys cleaned it out in a week. One word of caution, these guys are diggers. If you are using peat in your substrate, they will make a mess of your tank.





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