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Butterfly Hillstream Loach (Beaufortia kweichowensis)

by Martin Thoene last modified Dec 27, 2006 02:00 AM


Scientific Name: Beaufortia kweichowensis(Fang, 1931)

Common name: Chinese Butterfly Loach, Hong-kong Plec, Butterfly Hillstream Loach, Chinese Sucker.

Synonyms: Beaufortia leverreti kweichowensis.

Distribution: Widespread in China.

Sexual Dimorphism: Little obvious difference. Fish with behaviour that suggests they are males often have stronger colouration.

Maximum size: 3 inches +

Similar to: Several other Beaufortia species.

Beaufortia kweichowensis

Care: Inhabit fast flowing highland streams over boulders. Aquarium must duplicate these conditions as fish have very high oxygen requirements.

With all sucker-type Hillstream species, care is broadly the same. All need excellent water-flow and aeration, numerous rocky hiding places and smooth pebbles and boulders to graze over. Lighting should be bright to encourage algal growth in the aquarium. Plants are not necessary as the fish do not normally encounter them in the wild, but they will help with water-quality. Suitable plants for high-flow environments are Anubias and Microsoreum. These will grow on rockwork or driftwood.

See: Hillstream Loaches - The Specialists at Life In The Fast Lane for more detailed explanation.

Feeding: Note these fish have smaller mouths than Gastromyzon species which should be a consideration with foodstuffs. Good quality flake, sinking pellets, algae wafers, thawed frozen Bloodworm, Mysis Shrimp, blanched Spinach, Kale, natural algae an advantage.

Water parameters: pH:7.0-8.0. Hardness: Medium. Max dh: 12

Temperature: 68ºF to 75ºF(20-23.8°C)

Breeding: Not bred in aquaria.


Beaufortia kweichowensis, underside

This is probably the most frequently imported sucker-type Hillstream Loach and therefore the one most hobbyists become aware of first. They are somewhat more retiring than the Bornean Gastromyzon species, but will settle in and become more active in time.

Like Gastromyzon, they are protective of their chosen space and will engage in tests of strength where one fish will try and cover the other fish, referred to as "topping". These battles can be quite entertaining to watch and seldom result in any damage. Eventually, one fish will give in and vacate the immediate area.

B. kweichowensis will seldom back down in skirmishes involving other sucker-type Hillstream loaches and often its larger size is a factor.

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