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Syncrossus unknown01

by Emma Turner last modified Oct 27, 2007 01:41 PM



Scientific name: Syncrossus unknown01

Common name: Laos Yellow Tiger Botia/Loach

Synonyms: N/A

Distribution: Laos

Sexual Dimorphism: Mature females likely to be fuller bodied.

Maximum size: Currently unknown, but the species is likely to attain 25cm (10") in line with most of the other Syncrossus species.

Similar to: Syncrossus berdmorei, Syncrossus helodes

Care: This is an aggressive species which is unsuitable for community aquaria. At present, only 1" - 1.5" juveniles have been exported, and these will need to be grown on in a species-only tank before they can be added to the moderately aggressive loach tank containing, for example, other Syncrossus species, Yasuhikotakia morleti, Yasuhikotakia eos or Yasuhikotakia modesta. At such a small size, they would be severely picked on by other adult aggressive loaches, and in a tank containing peaceful species, they will wreak utter havoc - hence the recommendation to grow these fish on in a separate tank until they are of a size that would be deemed suitable for them to be placed into an existing aggressive loach aquarium.

Syncrossus_unknown01With such a substantial adult size expected, and as with other members of the Syncrossus genus, the Laos Yellow Tiger Loach will eventually require an aquarium measuring at least 5ft x 2ft x 2ft, and preferably larger. A soft substrate such as fine aquatic sand or smooth small-grained gravel is recommended to help protect the sensory barbels. Lighting should not be too bright, and there should be a good amount of decor (bogwood, rocks, robust plants) arranged into 'visual barriers' which enable the loaches to hide out of the line of sight of the others when needed. Powerful filtration and high levels of water movement and oxygenation are essential. These fish form a natural hierarchy and must be maintained in groups of 5 or more specimens. This is not only more natural for them, but also helps to spread the aggression around so that no one fish bears the continual brunt.

Eventual tankmates (in a spacious aquarium) could include fast-moving robust medium-sized members of the Puntius (barb) family.

Feeding: Small specimens should be grown on with a mix of small-sized (defrosted) frozen foods such as baby brineshrimp, daphnia and cyclops alternating with small sinking catfish pellets/granules. Larger specimens would be expected to take bigger foodstuffs such as frozen Mysis shrimp, mosquito larvae, chopped krill and prawns etc along with larger sized sinking dried foods.

Water parameters: pH:6.0-7.2. Hardness: Soft-medium. Max dh: 12

Temperature: 77ºF to 84ºF (25-29°C)

These fish are known to migrate to different waters during their breeding season, which is relatively short at just 1-2 months. These fish have not been bred in the home aquarium.



This species was discovered in an undisclosed, but previously unexplored location in Laos during summer 2007. All exports have been of juvenile fish, although adult fish were reportedly seen by some of the fishermen at the time of collection. These fish were said to be of a good size and retained bright colouration, although this cannot be verified as none were captured for the aquatics trade. This species is currently being looked at by the scientists at NUS, and are expected to be revealed as being either a brand new Syncrossus species or a regional colour variant of one of the already-known Syncrossus species.

This detailed drawing by Martin Thoene shows an image of what the adult fish might look like:


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