Yoyo Loach – Botia almorhae

Fun Fact – The Yoyo Loach gets it’s name from the distinctive pattern on the side of its body. If you look at the black stripes against it’ s white background, you’ll see the letters, Y-O-Y-O.

The Yoyo Loach, also known as a Pakistani Loach, or Botia almorhae, is a freshwater fish that I consider the dogs of the fish family. The reason I look at them as dogs, is that sometimes they’ll just lie around. They’ll prop themselves up on plant leaves to rest, or lounge right on the bottom of the tank. I’ve been tricked a few times into thinking they were dead; they’ll lie so still. You can often catch them on their sides, or facing straightforward. That’s what dogs do. They lie around. Other times though, dogs are very active, and run around in packs, or play with each other. Yoyo loaches do the same thing. This is when they’re really fun to watch.

Yoyo Loach - photo credit: statico

Yoyo loaches will chase each other around the tank, and prefer to live in groups. A yo-yo Loach will grow to around 3-5 inches (7 – 13 cm) long, so the minimum tank size you want is about 20 gallons. I’ve got a 40 gallon aquarium, and currently have three yoyo loaches, and two Angelicus Loaches (Botia kubotai).

Don’t be mistaken that these are just bottom dwelling fish. They may like to hide, but if you get the right ones, they’ll be swimming all over your tank. Loaches prefer many hiding places, lounging on rocks, and exploring driftwood. They also love to dig and look for food.

I feed my Yoyo loaches fish flakes. They also enjoy algae wafers, sinking fish food pellets, and snails.

It’s not really easy to determine the sex of this fish. Males will have some redness around their mouths, and females will be a little fatter all around their bodies.

This is an excellent community fish. I love the Yoyo loach, and recommend this fish to anyone keeping a freshwater fish tank.

Mopani Wood

Mopani Wood

Last summer, I bought two pieces of Mopani Wood for the 40 gallon acrylic aquarium. I had been looking at this driftwood online for a month or so and couldn’t decide if I wanted a large piece or extra-large piece. I ended up buying the two large pieces you see in the video, from their discount shelf for a little over $5.

The colors of African Mopani root have made it a popular choice among aquarium and terrarium owners. It’s black and tan colors spiral into unique and modeled formations. Some parts of this dense wood offer smooth surfaces, while others have very textured detail.

The great thing about Mopani wood is that it is a very dense wood. In fact it’s one of the hardest and densest woods available for aquarium keepers. So why is this great? Because it sinks very easily without being weighed down or having to attach anything to it. This driftwood is also excellent at resisting rot.

To prepare this driftwood for my fish tank, I did soak it in a bucket of water for around three months. Basically, you want the tannins to clear out of the wood. I would change the water every week, until the water became almost clear. If you do use this driftwood, there usually is a little bit of color left in the water from the tannins; especially if you use a larger piece. I actually like the look. I think it makes the freshwater aquarium appear more natural.

I’m very happy with my new addition of Mopani wood to the aquarium, and I can tell the fish find it very interesting too.

If you are a lover of pleco fish, I definitely recommend this type of driftwood for them.

You can buy this wood below or check out my aquarium driftwood site.

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