Bengal Loach (Botia dario)

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Bengal Loach
Botia dario
Bengal Loach (Botia dario)
Name Bengal Loach
Name Lat. Botia dario
Family Pointface Loaches
Family lat. Botiidae
Order Carps
Order lat. Cypriniformes
Origin Southeast Asia
Habitat Tributaries, streams, lakes
Diet Omnivore
pH 6.0-7.5
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Group
Care Level Moderate
Reproduction Egg scatterer
Breeding None reported
Life Span 5-8 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 12-13 cm
Temperature 23-26 °C
Hardness 1-10 °dH
Aquarium ~ 250 l
US Units
Size 4.5"-5"
Temperature 73-79 °F
Hardness 18-178 ppm
Aquarium ~ 65 gal

Distribution and habitat

The range of the green ribbon loach is the river system of the middle and lower Ganges and tributaries of the Brahmaputra in India, Bangladesh and Buhtan. They live in shaded, stagnant and flowing waters with dead wood, roots and foliage.


The aquarium should have dense planting, shady hiding places (roots, stones, caves), subdued light (floating plants), sufficient swimming space and a weak current. In order not to injure their barbels, a fine-grained substrate (sand, round gravel) is ideal, which can be covered with some foliage (e.g. sea almond leaves)

No ammonia, ammonium and nitrite should be detectable, the nitrate value should not exceed 100 mg/l. To ensure the water quality and oxygen content, a filter and heater adapted to the aquarium size is required, as well as lighting for the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals.


In nature they feed mainly on worms, insects and small crustaceans. For a balanced diet, feed them once a day with a high quality sinking dry food (flakes, granules, pellets) as well as daphnia, artemia, tubifex, mosquito larvae, etc. (live or frozen). In addition, they need vegetable food, such as algae leaves, algae wafers, broccoli, zucchini, scalded leafy and wild vegetables or dry food with high vegetable content

Only feed as much as will be eaten within a few minutes, excluding greens. A regular and varied diet promotes health and increases resistance.

Behaviour and compatibility

They are sociable and swimming fish, which can be well socialized in the group with not too small fish. Individually kept animals often behave very aggressively towards other fish. A group of at least 5 individuals should be maintained.

Basically, only compatible fish species with similar demands on water quality and water temperature may be socialized.

Sex dimorphism

There are no definite distinguishing characteristics. Adult females are slightly larger and rounder than males of the same age.

Reproduction and breeding

There are no known reports of successful breeding in the aquarium.


They are mostly crepuscular and stay mostly hidden in caves or under rocks and roots during the day. The tank needs a good cover, because they jump occasionally

By rapidly sucking in and expelling water through their mouths, they can produce clearly audible cracking sounds that are probably important for territorial behavior. A strict hierarchy prevails within the group

The well-being of the fish should be monitored regularly. Temperature should be checked daily, pH, hardness and nitrate levels at least fortnightly. Regular partial water changes are recommended, even if the contaminant level has not yet reached the upper limit. Sudden changes in water quality should be avoided. Newly introduced fish must be accustomed slowly to the water in the aquarium.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: Anton Lamboj

Source: BMELV (1998): Tierschutzgutachten - Haltung von Zierfischen (Süßwasser); RIEHL & BAENSCH (2004): Aquarien Atlas Bd. 3, Mergus Verlag; ENGELMANN (2005): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Fische, Verlag Harri Deutsch

  • Gemäß § 21 Abs. 5 Tierschutzgesetz idgF