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Breeding Botias

Posted By: kamphol <bo@thai.com>
Date: Friday, 24 March 2000, at 8:43 p.m.

For the record, breeding the genus Botia cannot be done on a small scale, ie in an aquarium. To get the loaches to breed can be done artificially, or as many of the hobbyists prefer naturally in the aquarium...that can be done. The problem is that eggs of Botias as they come out are tiny specks but then they hydrate (take on water) and the cytoplasm (not nucleus) increases in diameter by tenfold. Think of frog eggs, you have a large transparent egg with a small opaque nucleus. This happens so that the eggs can become neutrally bouyant and be dispersed naturally with the current. Therefore, any type of filtration will trap and collaspe these delicate eggs. The only way is to have a large volume of water with an airstone (with a slow bleed) as the only source of circulation to incubate these eggs. And I mean large volume of water as Botias are in general very fecund, A paper in the Thai Fisheries Gazette (42(5): 378 - 380) reports that a 19.5cm 130gm female modesta was measured to have 15gm ovaries yielding a count of 60,000 - 80,000 eggs. Many, many fish tanks would then be need to partition out just one brood (as i do for research), or as commercial breeders do, they use large cement tanks, so that the volume of water is large enough to dilute any fouling (by bad eggs). Once they hatch, the fry are also neutral bouyant, being pelagic/nektonic (goin' with the flow) until their yolk sacs are absorbed and then they start feeding in the water column and then they start hugging the walls or bottom. Once again, only large volumes of water are needed becuase any filtration will suck up the fry...and because you're feeding them, volume has to be large enough to dilute the nitrogenous compounds resulting from fouling food and dead fry.

In conclusion, breeding Botias in aquariums with filtration is possible...anything after the release of eggs and sperm is near impossible. But the i didn't think the residents of LOL needed that to smell out hyperbole.

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