These dwarfish relatives of the clown loach have done a kind of odyssey in respect of the generic name in the past. Both were originally described in the genus Botia. Later they were placed in Yasuhikotakia. Only in 2012 they changed to the genus Ambastaia, which has been generated especially for them. This genus contains only two species, namely Ambastaia nigrolineata and A. sidthimunki. The genus is defined by the unique coloration of these species.
Ambastaia nigrolineata occurs in Laos, Thailand, and China. A. nigrolineata stays almost as small as A. sidthimunki and becomes around 7-8 cm long (including tail fin).
Juveniles have only two black stripes on an ebony white body, later the males develope a pattern that is quite similar to that of A. sidthimunki.
For our customers: the fish have code 404702 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer
From northern Thailand originates the dwarfish Checkerboard Loach formerly known as Botia sidthimunki, then as Yasuhikotakia s. As it is a rather small (6 cm) and very peaceful species, it represents an ideal member for an asiatic community tank. There it can be kept together e.g. with small representatives of the genera Danio, Rasbora and Microrasbora. One should always maintain them in small groups of at least 5 animals, since they estimate the contact to conspecifics. In the group is always movement and such an aquarium never gets boring.
The water should not be too hard, and in the aquarium should be some retreat areas (bogwood, coconut bowls, bamboo canes etc.) available. For proper style tanks plants like Cryptocoryns, Javafern and other asiatic plants can be used. However, that can be done also with Echinodorus species and Neon Tetras, the Checkerboard Loaches won´t mind at all. In respect of feeding they are unproblematic; breeding in aquaria did probably not succeed so far. Since they belong in their homeland to the protected species, nowadays all traded A. sidthimunki are pond bred and originate from Thailand or Malaysia.
For our customers: the fish have code 405112 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Photo F. Schäfer, Text K. Diehl