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Nemachelius ornatus

by Martin Thoene last modified Nov 15, 2006 12:24 AM


Nemachelius ornatus

Scientific name: Nemacheilus ornatus (Kottelat 1990)

Common name: Ornate Sand Loach

Synonyms: None

Distribution: Tapi River basin, Thailand

Sexual Dimorphism: Not known

Maximum size: 2 inches (2cm)

Similar to: Nemacheilus binotatus

Care: The aquarium should have a decent flow rate and be well-oxygenated. A substrate of fine sand to allow digging and lots of smooth rounded pebbles and numerous shelters such as bog-wood and slate. Reasonably bright lighting to simulate the shallow stream beds in which they are found.

Feeding: Most foods accepted. Commercial sinking formulations and bottom-dwelling live-foods. Frozen foods such as Bloodworm, Brine shrimp, Daphnia.

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

Temperature: 71.6ºF to 78.8 ºF (22-26°C)

Breeding: None reported in aquarium


As with all flora and fauna given the nomenclature of "ornatus", this is a very handsome small Nemacheiline that is closely related to Nemacheilus binotatus. Both have translucent bodies with a black lateral stripe (depending upon mood).

While N. binotatus has only two vertical hash marks above the pectoral fin, N. ornatus has 12-14 vertical hashes, regularly-spaced from gill to tail. All fins are clear and colorless.

Nemachelius ornatus

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