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Sinibotia longiventralis

by Martin Thoene last modified Dec 10, 2006 12:26 AM


Sinibotia longiventralis

Scientific name: Sinibotia longiventralis (Yang & Chen, 1922)

Common name: None

Synonyms: Botia longiventralis, Botia superciliaris (misidentification)

Distribution: China

Sexual Dimorphism: Not known

Maximum size: 4 inches (10.6cm)

Similar to: Sinibotia pulchra

Care: This family of fish are sub-tropical and live in fast to medium flow streams throughout China. They therefore appreciate current in their aquarium, good aeration and filtration.

Feeding: Easy to feed. Eagerly accepts all proprietary aquarium foods.

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.


The species is very well-behaved and can be mixed with such fish as Hillstream Loaches as they will not hurt the smaller fish. They will revel in the fast water conditions required by Hillstream species.

Additional comments and photos by Bogdan Janiczak

From:  March 23rd, 2000

Sinibotia longiventralisNow I'd like to add few of my own comments concerning Sinibotia longiventralis. The literature on this fish is very limited and some of the facts are in my opinion not certain yet or at least have to be confirmed by statistical data. When I bought my Sinibotias (there were three of them) last summer their length varied from 9.5-11.5 cm in total (in W.N. Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes the maximum size is said to be 10.55cm SL). Mike Ophir (thanks a lot for identification) claimed that my Sinibotia are young and that specimen he owns is larger. What is then the real size of adult fish?

 Maybe in this case he misjudged the age my Sinibotia. I must admit that making photographs of the fish was a real challenge. I didn't want to take them out of their home tank. They are in my opinion natural shelter lovers and even undisturbed very rarely expose themselves to the observer. They are very peaceful, quiet bottom dwellers searching for natural hideouts. In nature they inhabit streams and rivers with rocky bottoms so they are even able to bury themselves almost completely into the gravel or between the stones. I provided them different types of natural objects like coconut shells, pieces of wood, bamboo pipes and they tend to look for the most hardly accessible slots and holes with one exception of the bamboo pipe seen in the photos (frequently used as good observation point).

To make the snaps you can now enjoy on the web we used a strong external light in which the fish (not only this particular ones) tend to pale. They are dark brown but in direct light the color may be not so deeply saturated.

Sinibotia are very quick creatures with extremely flexible body allowing them to reach very narrow slots and holes (the shape of their body while seen from the top resembles S shape). I keep also other Botia in my tanks (Chromobotia macracanthus, Syncrossus helodes, S. hymenophysa, Botia almorhae) and their body is much less flexible than the body of  Sinibotia longiventralis.Sinibotia longiventralis

Additional remarks should be added with respect to the number and pattern of yellow (gold) strips on Sinibotia's body. I found that the number of strips in the case of my botias does not exceed 12. Some of the strips, however, tend to exhibit irregularities forming specimen unique marking patterns (quite well seen on the photos). The patterns differ not only from fish to fish but also from left to right side of the body of single specimen making fish even more attractive.

Sinibotia can be kept either alone (in time we got photos) or in the company of other fishes (I keep them temporarily with some barbs as well as clown and Yo-Yo loaches and even one Labeo frenatus and so far no coexistence problems and no causalities were found). Though Sinibotia usually reside in bottom zone of the tank when fed especially by frozen bloodworms they suddenly go up, pick food from the surface and very quickly come back to their shelters. After a while they repeat this action again and again. Nice view, please believe me.

Sinibotia longiventralisFinally enormous thanks to my friend Miss Basia Pasnik for her patience and devotion. She actually made photographs while I was trying to keep the lights on and to encourage our heroes to show their beauty in full. Thanks to all Loaches Online contributors who somehow inspired me to do the things I've done.

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