Scientific name: Schistura savona (Hamilton, 1822)
Common name: Half banded loach
Synonyms: Acoura obscura, Cobites obscura, Cobitis savona, Nemacheilus savona, Noemacheilus savona
Distribution: Bangladesh, India and Nepal.
Sexual Dimorphism: Mature females likely to have a slightly rounder abdominal area.
Maximum size: Not clarified
Similar to: None
Care: A smaller and slightly more peaceable member of the Nemacheiline group of loaches, which can be quite shy. They should be kept in social groups of 5 or more specimens and because they are found in rapidly flowing clear streams/creeks in nature, the aquarium should have a decent flow rate and be well-oxygenated. The aquarium should have a soft sandy substrate in order to protect the delicate sensory barbel area, and the tank should be furnished with smooth rounded pebbles and cobbles and reasonably bright lighting to simulate the shallow stream beds in which they are found. These fish will thrive in a proper river-tank style set-up - please see article: Hillstream Loaches: Specialists at Life in the Fast Lane for a more detailed explanation.
Feeding: Eagerly accepts most aquarium foods offered - flake, sinking catfish pellets, and small frozen foods such as mosquito larvae, brineshrimp, daphnia etc.
Water parameters: pH: 6.0-7.5. Hardness: Soft-medium. Max dh: 12.
Temperature: 73ºF to 79ºF (23-26°C)
Breeding: No reported aquarium spawnings.
Unlike many other members of this genus, these fish are not hugely territorial. As such, many other small, peaceful, current-loving species can be kept alongside these in a river style aquarium. However, they may sometimes harass dither fish by chasing them around the aquarium. Injury generally does not occur from these chases.
Photo credits: Emma Turner (top), Graeme Robson (below)
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