Scientific name: Acantopsis choirorhynchus
Common name: Horse Faced/Long Nosed Loach.
Synonyms: A. biaculeata, A. choerorhynchus, A. dialuzona, A. dialyzona, A. diazona
Distribution: Southeast Asia: Borneo, Burma (Myanmar), Java, Malaysia, Sumatra, Thailand, Vietnam.
Sexual Dimorphism: Females are generally larger with a larger abdominal area. Females may also have a more reddish color, with the males showing more silver/grey - in mature specimens.
Maximum size: 8 Inches (20cm)
Similar to: Acantopsis octoactinotos and other Acantopsis species
Care: This species is an active burrower when at rest and escaping from the company of others. This species also tends to search for buried foods. The aquarium substrate MUST be fine-grained and smooth round-edged. Preferable is sand. It should also be deep enough to allow larger specimens sufficient space to bury themselves. Plants can be uprooted as a result of these species burrowing activities. When juvenile, they are more visible. As they mature these loaches become more crespuscular/nocturnal.
Feeding: Most foods accepted. Commercial sinking formulations and bottom-dwelling live-foods. Frozen foods such as Bloodworms and/or brine shrimp. These loaches often filter foods through their gills when kept in a aquarium with sand as a substrate.
Water parameters: Ph: 6-7 (6.5) Hardness: Max dh: 1-12
Temperature: 77-84°F (25-29°C)
Breeding: Not known in Aquarium. Females may become gravid, but no accounts of successful breeding are on record.
A. choirorhynchus are thought to secrete thick slime coats to aid in burrowing, and the slime may be evident as strands in the water column after the fish are removed or the tank disturbed. They are extremely difficult to catch if their needs are properly provided for, so it is wise to place them in a "permanent" setting, rather than planning to upgrade to larger tanks as they grow.
Male in front, gravid female behind. These two specimens are the same approximate age, but the female is clearly longer and plumper.
Credit: Mark Macdonald
Top photos: Graeme Robson
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