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An Oasis in A Loach Desert.

Posted By: Martin Thoene <martin.thoene@lakenheath.af.mil>
Date: Thursday, 12 August 1999, at 11:40 a.m.

I spent the last 2 days at my friends' in Hampshire, in the south of England.The trip there and back allowed me to check out some fish-shops that I know, but haven't been to for ages.

I looked in one (which I'll come back to shortly)on my out-trip, and another on the return trip.

Waterlife Research (AKA, Seaquarium)near Heathrow Airport is in a new building from the last time I went there. They had a great selection of fish at amazingly low prices. Some really unusual stuff, which I won't list here because they weren't Loaches. The loaches they had were:

Botia macracantha (of course)

B. modesta

B. striata


B. hymenophysa

and Kuhlis.

The other venue (which I just HAD to return to on my homeward trip)was Hertfordshire Fisheries. We are talking Paydirt here!

Botia macracantha


B.getto (labelled as, but they looked identical to the yoyos)


Black kuhlis

Nemachelius sp. (possibly notostigma)

Nemachelius potanini

Leptobotia guilinensis

Leptobotia tientaiensis (not positive on the last 2. Best ID I can give from species list photos).

They had a tank labelled "Zebra Chinese Suckers" (or something like that), which only had some Goldfish in it. I asked what the fish had been like, and was described what sounded like Neogastromyzon pauciradiatus. They had been very large for Suckers, apparantly, and sold quickly. I want these!

Gastomyzon booreensis........bought 4 for my River-Tank! Much cheaper than I can buy them for around here. They are zooming about all over the place, and actively feeding off the algae on the rocks. Much more lively than I've ever observed them in a regular type set-up.....guess they really like that water flow!

HOT NEWS!!!!!!!! I showed the assistant a print-out of the picture of Homaloptera orthogoniata (my Holy Grail!) and asked if they ever had them before. He took the pic to their fish ordering guy. "Oh yeah, we've had these a few times. Give us your name and phone number, and we'll bell you when we get them in again!"

I was stunned at the matter of fact attitude to these fish he had. On further questioning it seems that they've regularly had in all sorts of unusual loaches. He said they will often get them in because many of the Chinese species will readily live in unheated tanks, and they will sell readily to people who want something unusual in a Coldwater tank. Everywhere else I go and ask about these fish you get blank stares and a general lack of can't be bothered. This shop now has me on there "Fish Wish List" and will hopefully come through for me! I said I would take a minimum of 6, and he said, " Oh, not to worry, we'll order a minimum of 25 of anything....they'll always sell."

Thankyou God! Thankyou for informed, caring shop staff who will go the extra mile for a customer. Proves you don't have to be a regular customer to get blood out of a stone, which seems to be the case sometimes if you want anything out of the ordinary.

No wonder this shop was voted the Best in Britain (or something like that) by readers of PRACTICAL FISHKEEPING MAGAZINE.

They had lots of other fishy gems too! Fish I've never seen for real before.

Now I have my fingers and toes crossed to see if they can come through for me!


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