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Blue Botia (Yasuhikotakia modesta)

by Martin Thoene last modified Jan 03, 2007 02:51 PM


Scientific Name: Yasuhikotakia modesta (Bleeker, 1865)

Common name: Red-finned Loach, Blue Botia, Redtail Botia.

Synonyms: Botia modesta, Botia rubrippinis.

Distribution: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand.

Sexual Dimorphism: Females generally plumper all over than males.

Maximum size: 10 inches. More normally a max of 7" in aquaria.

Similar to: Yellow-finned populations can be mistaken for Yasuhikotakia lecontei.

Yasuhikotakia modesta

Care: Due to its potentially large size and need for the company of its own species, a large tank is required with excellent filtration and regular water-changes.

Y. modesta are excellent diggers that appreciate a sand substrate to protect their delicate barbels. Lighting should be subdued.

Yasuhikotakia modestaFeeding: Good quality flake, sinking pellets, algae wafers, chopped earthworms, thawed frozen Bloodworm, Mysis Shrimp, chopped Cocktail Shrimp. Avoid over-feeding as these fish are very greedy.

Water parameters: pH:6.5-7.5. Hardness: Medium. Max dh: 12

Temperature: 78.8ºF to 86ºF(26-30°C)

Breeding: Not bred in aquaria.


Yasuhikotakia modesta, with yellow finsY. modesta is a heavily-built loach that should be kept in a group of their own species. Like Clown Loaches, they have a social structure and an "Alpha" loach will eventually lead the group. The fish are highly territorial and a lot of in-fighting will be seen. During these interactions and at feeding times, this species may be very vocal with its clicking noises. Because of their territorial habits, provide numerous hiding places so that less dominant fish may escape the attentions of more boisterous individuals.

Because of their size and temperament, Y. modesta should only be kept with other boisterous loach species, or large, fast moving, free-swimming fish such as large Barb species.

Body and fin coloration can be very variable in this species, probably due to the wide distribution in nature. Fins can be red, orange or yellow and body colour varies greatly, but is generally a blue-grey in colour, sometimes with a noticeable green sheen in certain lighting.

Mature, well cared for Y. modesta are extremely beautiful and impressive fish. It is unfortunate that part of the SE Asian exotic fish market feels the need to artificially enhance their appearance either by feeding color enhancing foodstuffs, dyeing, or at worst injecting color into the fish's skin.

Yasuhikotakia modesta - Artificially dyed fishThese two fish are sad examples of this practice of artificial colouring. The colour is not permanent because if a dye or injection is used the fish metabolize the dyestuff and often end up patchy and unattractive. At worst, the injection sites may open the fish to infestation with micro-organisms that can lead to infection and death. If artificial color enhancing foods are used, the fish will revert to normal unless fed this continuously.

Loaches Online wholeheartedly abhors this artificial coloring practice and urges aquarists not to purchase such fish. Only by voting with our feet may we affect a change, and end this terrible practice.

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