Common name: Fork-Tail Loach, Spiny Eel Loach, Giant Scissortail Loach
Synonyms: Vaillantella flavofasciata
Distribution: Malaysia, Borneo and Brunei.
Sexual Dimorphism: Mature females likely to show a plumper abdominal area.
Maximum size: 6 inches (15cm).
Similar to: Vaillantella euepiptera, Vaillantella cinnamomea.
Care: Larger aquarium required, with good water flow and filtration. To make them feel more comfortable you should provide plenty of shelters in the tank so they can hide easily, and the substrate should be smooth e.g., sand or a small sized rounded gravel.
Feeding: Insect larvae, crustaceans and detritus. Frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp and selective bottom-dwelling pellets also are accepted.
Water parameters: pH 6.5-7.2, Hardness: Soft, Max dH: 12.
Temperature: 72-79F (22-26C).
Breeding: Not known to breed in the aquarium.
Vaillantella maassi is a very unusual loach and very attractive in appearance and colour.
The species is found in quite fast-flowing water with deep pockets of still waters, so a decent flow rate is recommended. Aquarium keeping should be similar to that of Kuhli (Pangio sp.) loaches. These are fairly secretive fish and tend to hide among the decor. Avoid keeping them with nippy fish which may attack the large, soft dorsal fin and the long tail. These loaches can be quite territorial with each other, so they should be housed in larger aquariums to allow them to establish their own territories. Perfectly peaceful with other fish species.
It seems that if the fish are fed foodstuffs with a high beta-carotene level, it improves the colour of the orange dorsal surface stripe.
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