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Dwarf loach

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The dwarf loach, ladderback loach, pygmy loach, chain loach or chain botia,[2] Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki (formerly Botia sidthimunki), is a popular freshwater tropical fish in aquariums belonging to the Cobitidae family.

The dwarf loach can grow up to 5 cm (2 in) in length.[3] It prefers water with temperature 25 – 30 °C (77 to 86 °F), pH 6.5 to 6.9 dGH to 8.0. It is omnivorous, with a diet including live crustaceans, insects, snails, etc.

The dwarf loach is found in the Mae Klong River and the Khwae Noi River in western Thailand. This species is endangered and is a protected species in Thailand. It was thought to be extinct in the wild until recently rediscovered in Sangkhla Buri. While they disappeared from the wild, it remained in the aquarium trade because of artificial breeding by private fish farms for over 3 decades.

The fish was discovered by Somphong Lekaree (?????? ??????????) and Damri Sukaram (???? ????????) in 1959. Lekaree was an aquarium fish exporter while Sukaram was a fisherman for aquarium trade.[4]

The binomial name of this fish is in honor of Aree Sidthimunk (Thai: ?????? ??????????), a researcher at Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture.

The dwarf loach closely resembles Yasuhikotakia nigrolineata, another Thai protected species, especially when the fish is fully grown. The difference is easily seen when the fish is still small. Juveniles of Y. sidthimunki have dotted patterns while Y. nigrolineata have horizontal lines on them. Furthermore the chain pattern of Y. sidthimunki develops in fish at a smaller size.[5]