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Lepidocephalichthys hasselti

by Mark in Vancouver last modified Nov 15, 2006 08:54 PM


Lepidocephalichthys hasselti

Scientific name: Lepidocephalichthys hasselti (Valenciennes, 1846)

Common name: Hasselt's Loach.

Synonyms: Cobitis hasselti, Lepidocephalus hasselti, Cobitis octocirrhus

Distribution: Cambodia, India, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand

Sexual Dimorphism: None reported

Maximum size: 3 inches (8 cm)

Similar to: Other Lepidocephalichthys species. Rather like a foreshortened Weather/Dojo Loach.

Care: Same as other Lepidocephalichthys species. A peaceful loach that likes lots of hiding places with soft substrate. This species is a very active burrower to the point where many owners only see their face/eyes beneath the sand substrate. Sand substrate will be best to protect their delicate skin. Also found in mountain streams with higher flow over gravel and rock. The aquarium should feature good filtration with some water movement. Best kept in groups. Three fish is the recommended minimum that should be kept together. At times they like each other's company when sheltering under plants and bogwood. At times they prefer to be left alone while they burrow under the substrate.

Feeding: Easily fed. Accepts good quality flake, sinking pellets, thawed frozen mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, daphnia etc. Occasionally feeds on some algae. Eats zooplankton and algae in nature.

Water parameters: pH:6.5 -7.5. Hardness: Medium Soft to Medium. Max dh range:5

Temperature: 72ºF to 80ºF (22-27°C)

Breeding: None reported in aquarium.

Lepidocephalichthys hasselti in habitat, Thailand

L. hasselti in its natural habitat, a slow-moving stream in Thailand.
Credit: Nonn Panitvong


Inhabits slow-moving, shallow waters of canals and inundated floodplains. Often found on or in muddy substrates. Lives in swamps and rivers including peats. Also found in mountain streams, prefers small gravel/sand substrates. Occurs in running waters of lower Mekong.

With their wide area of distribution, there are probably variations in colour and body speckling patterns. They are peaceful and a good aquarium fish, but seldom exported for the aquarium trade.

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