Fish Tank Maintenance Tips: Try to change some of the water in the tank on a regular basis. Small frequent (weekly or every two weeks) water changes are better than infrequent large water changes. Small water changes will cause less stress and shouldn’t interfere with the biological cycle in the tank. If you have a larger tank, get a Python Vacuum or a Lee’s Premier Ultimate Gravel Vac. These vacuums make doing water changes a breeze. Gravel vac only half of the tank with each water change. Switch sides on the next water change.
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The Dojo Loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus), is a freshwater fish in the loach family Cobitidae. They are native to Asia but are also popular as an aquarium fish. The alternate name weather loach is shared with several other Cobitinae, including the other members of the genus Misgurnus and the spotted weather loach (Cobitis taenia, commonly known as Spined Loach). This term comes from their ability to detect changes in barometric pressure and react with frantic swimming or standing on end. This is because before a storm the barometric pressure changes, and this is known to make these fish more active.
They can grow up to a 12 inches (30.5cm) long. The fish are bottom-dwelling scavengers, feeding mainly on organic material such as algae. Weather loaches are omnivorous and may also feed on tubifex worms and other small aquatic organisms. By producing a layer of mucus to keep themselves damp, they can also survive small periods of not being in the water. They are very hardy fish that can live in poor quality water.
One thing that makes this fish unique among the other tropical fish you see at your average fish store is the fact that they thrive at room temperature (68-72ºF) and even as low as upper 50’s. The usual tropical temperature will result in a significantly reduced lifespan (from an average 10 years to four or less). One assumes when buying tropical freshwater fish that all will thrive in that 76-82 range; not so with the dojo.
Sometimes this fish (especially the golden variety) is mistaken for the kuhli loach. The kuhli likes warm tropical temperatures, will tolerate more acidic conditions, and matures at a much smaller four inches. Very different fish, but may resemble each other while young, and at the usual age and size of what most fish stores market.
Weather loaches are active, peaceful, and hardy fish that are sometimes used as starter fish in an aquarium. They can be “friendly” towards humans, allowing physical contact and hand feeding. They have, however, been known to attack very small fish in smaller aquariums.
There are other varieties bred from captivity like the gold strain and the peppered strain (not to be confused with the pepper loach).
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