Care Instructions for Snail-Eating Nano Fish and Dwarf Chain Loaches


Many loaches are known for being loud schooling fish that might frighten their more timid tank mates. Dwarf chain loaches are better suited for tranquil community tanks because they are more laid-back and come in a nano-sized package. You must try the cute pygmy loach if you have a smaller planted aquarium with a snail pest problem.

What are Dwarf Chain Loaches?

Because Ambastaia sidthimunki are threatened in the wild, all fish sold in stores are produced commercially. These fish are native to Thailand’s rivers and floodplain woodlands. One of the lesser loaches, they have tiny barbels on their snouts and a slender body that is between two and five centimeters (6 cm) long. The black, chain-like pattern that runs along the sides of their bodies gave them their common moniker. While most loaches are bottom dwellers, these fish use hummingbird-like fin fluttering to move between the bottom and the middle of the tank. In contrast to many loaches, dwarf chain loaches are active during the daytime.

Are dwarf chain loaches aggressive? 

Even during mealtimes, despite their constant movement and high level of energy, we have never witnessed them bully other fish. They do inspect and “smell” new fish that are put to the aquarium, though, as they are highly curious.

How to Create a Dwarf Chain Loach Aquarium

Ambastaia sidthimunki are quite small, however due to their activity level and requirement for a larger school of at least 7–10 dwarf chain loaches, we advise obtaining a 20–gallon tank or more. The cost of this species ranges from $7 to $15 per fish, but keeping them in a large school will make them feel less stressed, create a social structure, and exhibit unusual behaviors like playing “follow the leader” throughout the tank.

Dwarf chain loaches can they jump?

Although they prefer the bottom of the aquarium, they enjoy exploring their surrounds, even the exterior, therefore we advise obtaining a tight-fitting lid just in case.

With what other fish can you coexist?

They get along well with any kind of neighborhood fish that are the same size. We’ve kept them with plecos, platies, tetras, rasboras, angelfish, corydoras catfish, and other fish. Dither fish will make dwarf chain loaches feel more at ease and encourage them to come out into the open because they can occasionally be a little shy. You should be aware that they will happily munch on baby cherry shrimp and any other tiny animals they encounter because they normally eat small bugs and crustaceans in the wild.

What Consume Dwarf Chain Loaches?

Feed loaches sinking meals that are either small enough to fit inside their lips or soft enough to gnaw on because loaches like meatier foods. The community fish foods we like to offer them are daphnia, nano pellets, Bug Bites, Repashy gel food, and frozen bloodworms. Make sure the loaches are getting enough food if you have speed eaters in the aquarium so they have attractive, rounded bellies.

Eat snails dwarf chain loaches?

Because their snouts are made for digging into the openings of snail shells, loaches with pointy faces generally love eating aquatic gastropods. Put them together at your own risk because dwarf chain loaches have been known to bother larger snails as well as eat smaller ones.

How to Breed Dwarf Chain Loaches

Because wild chain loaches typically go upstream to lay their eggs and because fish farms must employ hormone treatments to artificially encourage spawning, there are relatively few reports of home hobbyists producing Ambastaia sidthimunki. However, Mark Duffill, president of the International Loach Association, has written online articles about his breeding strategy, which includes adding rock piles to protect the eggs and offer shelter for the fry as well as feeding a variety of fish foods and lowering the pH from 7.6 to 6.8 using catappa leaves.


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