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Acanthocobitis urophthalmus

by Emma Turner last modified Feb 09, 2008 10:40 AM



Scientific name: Acanthocobitis urophthalmus (Günther, 1868)

Common name: Ocellated loach, Banded mountain loach.

Synonyms: Nemacheilus urophthalmus, Noemacheilus urophthalmus.

                       Acanthocobitis urophthalmus

Distribution: Sri Lanka, restricted to the south western lowlands from Kelani River to Nilwala River.

Sexual Dimorphism: None known.

Maximum size: 2 inches (5 cm)

Similar to: Acanthocobitis botia, Acanthocobitis rubidipinnis.

Care: The tank for these fish should mimic their natural environment which are the gravel/sand bottom hill streams of Sri Lanka. Plenty of stones and shelters for hiding is recommended. Ideally, these loaches should be provided with brook/hillstream aquarium conditions incorporating a high flow rate and well oxygenated water - please see Hillstream Loaches: Specialists at Life in the Fast Lane for a more detailed explanation.


Acanthocobitis urophthalmus


Feeding: Most foods accepted. Commercial sinking formulations and bottom-dwelling live-foods. Frozen foods such as bloodworm/brine shrimp.

Water parameters: pH: 6.0-7.5 Hardness: Soft-medium. Max dh: 12 Recommended

Temperature: 68ºF to 77 ºF (18-25°C)

Breeding: None reported.


Found in a variety of streams from river mainstreams to small brooks. Appears to avoid mountain streams with steep gradients, preferring shallower riffles running over small pebbles. Viewed from above, its maturated color pattern makes it inconspicuous.



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