Animal Stories - Horseface Loach

Animal-World Information about: Horseface Loach

The Horseface Loach has a long nose and loves to rummage through the substrate for morsels of food!
Latest Animal Stories
Ginni - 2014-06-30
I had a horseface loach for about 15 years - he (or she) grew to around 6' and was my favourite fish in the tank, for all the reasons other people have described... such a character! Sadly, I found him dead on the glass cover over my tank a couple of months ago - I was gutted and I wasn't sure if he'd escaped, jumped out of the water when I was feeding my fish, or had died of old age and just climbed out of the water to die. I was so sorry to lose him that I bought 2 more horse face loaches and this evening I found one of these out on the glass cover above the tank. The only way it could have got there is through a small hole at the back which is for filter wires etc, which means the loach actually climbed (or jumped) out of the water. Luckily I found it before it died, and it seems to be making a good recovery back in the tank. But its got me to thinking about why they seem to have the urge to climb out of the tank... I've now covered the escape hole with some netting but does anyone know why horse face loaches would have the urge to leave the water?

Click For Replies (2)
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    These fish do have a tendency to jump, especially if they are frightened. It helps if they have places to hide in the tank, like lots of caves and crevices in the rock. Plastic tubes on the bottom of the tank provide refuge too, and can also help.
  • Rd.rnnr - 2018-09-22
    I have about 5 of these in a 29 gallon JBJ cube aquarium. They have reproduced as well, but the babies (about 2”) got trapped under a decoration in a pocket of air... Oh well. I have had them for about 6 years now and they are the only fish in the tank. I have found them in the back in the return pump compartment and am shocked they can fit between the lid and the piece that separates the front from the back filtration section. They are about 6” long. Sometimes our cat sees them swimming around and jumps up and puts her paws on the glass and this freaks them out. I have seen them hit the top lid. Mine never burrow in sand. They are very used to their environment and are out all the time. However, if the cats spook them, they do dart at crazy speeds and maybe your’s got spooked too and darted out of the tank.
Pam Hubbard - 2016-04-06
Hi :) Nice to meet some other horseface loach lovers :) I fell in love with the first one I met and bought it. It seemed to disappear so I thought it had died. So, I purchased more. Eight more, in fact for my 225 gallon tank. I only could ever see three at a time and so I thought that was all I had...until I had to break down the tank for moving across country. Well, to my absolute astonishment, all nine of them were in my tank! After four years it was only this that let me know I actually had not lost one single one! Yay! :) Mine have never shown aggression at all toward each other or any of my rainbowfish, corys or TSAEs. Now that I am aware they all are living under the sand I watch the tank more closely at night when only the moon lights are on. They can't see me watching them then. From two to four usually come out to play like crazy. The only time they've ever all been out in day time is when I had to medicate the tank for new fish I ordered that came with camelanus worms and ich. Yuck! But they all survived the medications and now the tank is back to normal. They clearly were not comfortable under the sand while the meds were in the tank. They are all very beautiful and the females are over twice the size of the males. I've seen what looks to be flirting between a couple of them but with no offspring. I wish someone could tell us how they manage to reproduce in the wild. I think mine want to but they are missing a piece of that puzzle??

jenz - 2015-02-28
We have had a horseface loach for about 4 years. Sometimes we don't see him (or her) for months at a time and then it pops up swims around the tank frantically for a couple of days and then disappears again. We have no idea whether its alive or dead for most of the time!

Debra Lenhart - 2014-10-04
I had albino horseface loach only for about 2 years and it pick up a parisite and got hole in the head and it was my fav now Im back out looking to pick up another one hope to have better luck12

Vicki - 2008-05-01
I had a horsefaced loach for about a year and a half. He grew to five inches long and was very peaceful. He often burrowed in the rocks and sand, so that only his head stuck out - trying to spot him became a bit of a game. Not nearly as active as dojo and weather loaches, and somewhat more shy. This is one of my favorite fish, due to their unique appearance, strange eating habits, peaceful nature, and the way they burrow. My horseface loach readily accepted sinking algae pellets. Unfortunately, he died soon after I added some additional aquarium gravel to my tank. I think the rocks may have leeched some minerals into the water, as the change also affected my shrimp, although my other loaches were fine.

Nic - 2012-02-10
I have 1 horseface loach, Its very interesting to look at, to bad I only see it about once every two weeks and if it sees me it dives into the gravel. I have only had it for a short time so hopefully it will become a bit more brave and swim around the tank more.

Kassie - 2007-10-28
I have 3 horse face loaches all about 3 - 4 inches long. They get on really well & follow each other round. I also have guppies & angels in this 4 foot tank. The loaches come out occasionally during the day but are more active during the early evening. They are great to watch. Two of the guppies were having a tug of war with one, trying to take the food out of its mouth. It wasn`t too bothered, the guppies only managed to get a bit off him.

Kathie - 2007-09-04
I love watching my Horsefaced Loach make his way around the tank wiggling and burrowing his flexible nose around every individual piece of gravel looking for food. I am on the search to find out more about his unique eyes. He seems to "blink". He is definitely a great community fish as he is pretty much a loner.

GreatBrittan - 2007-02-17
These fish are awesome! I own one 4" horseface loach and he's probably my favorite fish in the entire 65 gal tank. He definitely has a whole lot of character, and I laugh every time i see him sifting sand into his mouth and out his gills. such a funny and unique way to eat.