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I'm in love...

Posted By: sophie <sophie-usenet@blueyonder.co.uk>
Date: Thursday, 5 May 2005, at 4:26 p.m.

... with five miniscule botia. botias? botiae? Amazingly, the shop I was in had a selection of loaches (no kuhlis, sadly, but there you go). Skunks, to which I said NO, having heard a lot about them - and also, I can't find it in me to see them as anything other than very unattractive fish. Something called tiger loaches, which looked a little like chunkier striata with wider bands and much more elongated, pike-like faces (are there pike in the US? does that make sense outside europe?) - I think they must have been parabotia fasciata - which the guy described as not-very-good-community fish, and from what I've heard he was right. Clowns. They're everywhere. Something called a green emperor something (I think) which the guy said got pretty big, and was hiding somewhere, so I never got to see it anyway. Kubotai - labelled angelicus - and pretty big, I think - which are one of the loaches I really wanted to see, and striata. (striatas? etc). Titchy tiny mini little striata, a whole tank full of them, schooling nuttily.

The funny thing is I had really decided I didn't much fancy any of the botias from the pictures I'd seen; I liked zodiacs and all the schisturas and the cobitis, but these were gorgeous. So lively and out in open water and just lovely, which those dinky little I've-been-eating-strawberries mouths. I really, really wanted to like the kubotai, and they were in a gorgeous display tank, fully planted, lounging around, but I just didn't like them much at all; partly because they weren't doing anything and partly because they were big and partly because I'd already decided the striatas. striatae. etc were entirely wonderful. But even without the striatas I don't think I'd have got the kubotai.

And having watched the striatas in the q tank all afternoon, I'm just charmed. They investigated everything, (except the two extremely harassed female dwarf gouramis I got at the same time) they snurfled through the sand and dug up three bits of hornwort, they sat on the filter and they just swam about, loads and loads and loads (they all follow each other aboutin a mad dipping line) They'll go really nicely with the kuhlis because they occupy far more of te middle of the tank, too. And they make the kuhlis look enormous, which is kind of strange.

I love them. I wish I had space for five more.

(& OT - does anyone know anything about female dwarf gouramis, btw?)

very happy sophie

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