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Syncrossus hymenophysa

by Martin Thoene last modified Dec 15, 2006 08:44 PM


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Scientific name: Syncrossus hymenophysa (Bleeker, 1852)

Common name: Tiger loach, Tiger Botia, Green Tiger Loach.

Synonyms: Botia hymenophysa, Cobitis hymenophysa (Bleeker, 1852)

Distribution: Borneo & Sumatra, Indonesia, peninsular Malaysia.

Sexual Dimorphism: Mature females likely to have a rounder abdomen.

Maximum size: 25cm (10").

Similar to: Syncrossus helodes.

Syncrossus hymenophysa

Care: Keep in a large sized aquarium, ideally measuring at least 4ft long to start with, and be prepared to move the fish on to bigger quarters as they grow. The substrate must be fine and sandy in order to protect the delicate sensory barbel area. Provide plenty of hiding places in the aquarium amongst bogwood, caves, and plants. Clean, well-aerated water is a must.

Feeding: Will accept most brands of dry sinking catfish pellets, but should be offered a variety of frozen foods to supplement the diet - mosquito larvae and brineshrimp are usually taken with much enthusiasm. Larger specimens will take mysis shrimp, krill and chopped prawns.

Water parameters: Soft and slightly acidic is best. pH: 7.0 or below, dH: <12 degrees.

Temperature: 77ºF to 86ºF (25-30°C)

Breeding: Not known to have been bred in aquaria.


Syncrossus hymenophysa, head closeupA large member of the Tiger Botia group, which like it's close relatives, is of an aggressive nature and not suitable for community aquariums. This species, like other Syncrossus, must be maintained in groups of 5 or more in order to spread any aggression and to allow the fish to form a natural hierarchy.

Tankmates must be robust and fast-swimming, for example, some of the more gregarious medium-large sized members of the barb or Danio families. Can be kept with other aggressive loach species such as Syncrossus helodes, Syncrossus berdmorei, Yasuhikotakia morleti etc.

Sometimes confused with S. helodes. They can be easily told apart by the direction of the stripes anterior to the dorsal fin. In S. hymenophysa, the stripes are orientated so that they start at the dorsal surface with the bottom of the stripes finishing further forwards towards the front of the fish. In S. helodes, it is the other way around, with the stripes leaning backwards instead of forwards. S. helodes also has a series of mixed size, dark oval spots which are vertically orientated in the area between the pectoral fin and anus. S.helodes also lacks the dorsal spot found in S. hymenophysa.

For more information see: Telling Tigers Apart - The Syncrossus Group of Loaches

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