Stone Loach Fish “Barbatula Barbatula”

Stone loach fish

Stone loach fish are a type of freshwater fish that can be found throughout Europe. They are small fish, typically measuring only about six inches in length, and have a long, slender body shape. Stone loaches have a dorsal fin that runs the entire length of their body, and they possess two pairs of barbels (whiskers) on their face. These fish are a pale brown or gray color, and they have a black stripe that runs along the length of their body.

Stone loach fish are omnivorous animals, and they primarily feed on small invertebrates such as insects and crustaceans. However, they will also consume plant material if it is readily available.

Recently, it has been suggested that stone loach fish may be a good candidate for commercial farming in some areas of the world due to their hardiness and a high tolerance for different environmental factors such as changes in water temperature or pH levels (acidic or alkaline).

They are an important part of many freshwater ecosystems and are known to provide important services such as prey for larger fish and acting as a food source for other animals in the water.

Species profile

Stone loach fish

The stone loach fish is a small species of freshwater ray-finned fish that can be found in parts of Europe and Asia. They are often referred to as the “doctor” because they have been known to clean other fishes from parasites, though this cleaning behavior has not been observed by scientists yet. The diet of the stone loach fish includes algae, insect larvae, and other small organisms. Their predators include larger species of freshwater fishes in their area as well as birds.

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They are often found in fast-moving streams or rivers that have sandy bottoms with rock formations nearby to provide shelter from the currents when resting. They are nocturnal creatures due to being preyed upon by larger species of fish during the day.

Spawning generally takes place in late winter to early spring and the eggs are adhesive and attached to rocks or other objects on the stream bottom. The young stone loach fishes will stay near their spawning grounds until they reach sexual maturity, which is typically around one year of age.

Scientific name

The scientific name for the stone loach fish is Barbatula barbatula

Range and habitat

The stone loach fish is found in parts of Europe and Asia, including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.

They are often found near fast-moving streams or rivers that have sandy bottoms with rock formations nearby to provide shelter from the currents when resting. They tend to live their lives adjacent to larger species of freshwater fishes for safety during the day.


Stone loach fish can grow up to be quite large, reaching lengths of up to 12 inches. This is a fairly large fish, and should not be kept in tanks that are too small. A tank measuring at least 30 gallons is recommended if you plan on keeping this fish.

Tank size

The stone loach fish is very active and requires a lot of room to swim around. This means that the tank should be as large as possible so it does not feel restricted or agitated when placed inside.

To ensure your fish stays healthy, each one should have at least five gallons of water for every inch in length.

Life cycle

The stone loach fish has a life cycle of around three years. During the first year, they are found in rivers and streams while living off insects during their early stages. When this stage is complete (after about one year), the young fish will move to stoner lakes where it spends its time eating smaller aquatic creatures until it is large enough to live in the open water.

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It should be noted that the life cycle of the stone loach fish may vary depending on their location and other environmental factors.

Are they aggressive or peaceful?

Stone loach fish can generally be classified as peaceful fish. They will usually only attack other creatures if they feel threatened or are defending their territory. In most cases, they will simply swim away from any potential threats.

Stone loach fish care

Stone loach fish

Stone loach fish care is relatively simple. In most cases, they can be kept in a small pond with water around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and will need access to insects or creatures that are smaller than them for food.

It should also be noted that the stone loach fish may not survive if there aren’t any other types of fish within its environment. They will die if the water is not clean and free of other fish that could potentially prey on them.

Stone loach fish care should also include a varied diet that includes live food, frozen or freeze-dried, as well as fresh vegetables to help keep their digestive systems working properly.

What they eat

Stone loach fish are omnivorous and eat a variety of live food, frozen or freeze-dried, as well as fresh vegetables. They will scavenge for food on the bottom of the tank but should also be fed a varied diet to ensure good health.

Insects make up the majority of their diet in the wild, so it’s important to try and replicate that in the home aquarium. Crickets, mealworms, and waxworms are all good options. As for vegetables, most of the types will do, but spinach is a good choice as it is high in nutrients.

Tank mates

Stone loach fish are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least six. They can be housed with other small, non-predatory fish such as danios, tetras, and rasboras. However, they should not be kept with larger or more aggressive fish that could potentially prey on them.

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Water conditions

Stone loach fish

Stone loach fish can be kept in water temperatures ranging from 40 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. They prefer slightly acidic water with a pH of around six and hardness of up to 12 dGH.

The water should be well-oxygenated and filtered, and regular partial changes are necessary to keep the water quality high. A good rule of thumb is to change 25% of the water every week.


Stone loach fish can be bred in captivity, but they are not as prolific as some other species of fish. Spawning usually occurs early in the morning, and the parents will carefully tend to their eggs until they hatch.

The fry is then free-swimming and can be fed newly hatched brine shrimp or powdered food. It is important to keep the fry in a separate tank from the parents, as they will eat their young.


Stone loach fish can live up to 10 years when cared for properly.

Parasites and diseases

Stone loach fish

Stone loaches that are kept as pets can become infected with parasites and diseases. The fish might look healthy before it falls sick or is infested with parasites. This makes it difficult to identify the sickness, especially among beginners who have just started keeping stone loaches. Fortunately, most of the diseases and infections of stone loaches are treatable, but it is best to be aware of the most common ones so that you can take the necessary precautions.

One of the most common parasites that affect stone loach fish is Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, popularly known as ich. This parasite is a protozoan and causes white spots on the skin, fins, and gills. It can be transmitted to humans if the fish is handled carelessly. A mild case of ich in stone loaches can be treated with salt baths in freshwater for 15 minutes, three times in a day. However, the disease is most fatal when it spreads over the entire body, so early detection is important.

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Predators of stone loach fish

Apart from parasites, stone loaches are also prey to a variety of predators in the wild. These include larger fish, birds, and amphibians. The size of the stone loach makes it an easy target for these predators. In captivity, however, the main predators of stone loaches are other fish. Some of the most common fish that prey on stone loaches are bettas, cichlids, and barbs.

Do they make good pets?

Yes. Stone loach fish are good beginner pets because they are cheap and easy to care for. They make a great choice for those who have never kept fish as pets before, but you should still do some research on the species that you plan to keep. Different species require different maintenance requirements, so it is best to familiarize yourself with the needs of your fish.


Stone loaches are a great choice for beginner fishkeepers. They are easy to care for and cheap to buy, making them a great option for those who are on a tight budget. However, you should still do some research on the species of stone loach fish that you plan to keep, as different species require different maintenance and requirements.

In general, stone loach fish is a great choice for those who are new to the hobby of fish keeping.