Gastromyzon ctenocephalus
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Gastromyzon ctenocephalus

Common Names: Spotted Hillstream Loach
Synonyms: Gastromyzon punctulatus
Family: Balitoridae
Category: Catfish_Bottom_Feeders
Distribution: Asia
Main Ecosystem: Stream; As the name implies, this species is native to fast-flowing mountain streams
Temperament: Peaceful; As with other hillstream loaches, these fish are incredibly peaceful. There may be rare territorial disputes between males, but injuries are practically unheard of. Will not bother any other fish in the tank.
Diet: Ominvore; Feeds on "aufwuchs", an organic layer of plant and animal material that forms on large, flat surfaces in the tank. Aufwuchs can be cultured by taking large cobblestones and letting them soak in a small container with a few flakes of food placed in the sun. After a few days, the cobblestone can be removed and added to the tank.

Some specimens will accept a high-quality flake food. Frozen foods (bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc.) are eaten with great gusto.

This species has a small mouth, so bottom feeder pellets are not a good choice.
Care: Relatively easy to care for given the right conditions. Cool , highly-oxygenated water is a MUST. These fish will perish rapidly if not given the proper environment. There needs to be a strong current in the tank.

Optimal conditions would be at least a 4' tank with several powerheads at one end providing a one-way flow and oxygenating the water. Strong lighting is needed to ensure appropriate algae growth.
6.5 - 8
18°C - 24°C
64°F - 75°F
4 dH - 12 dH
Potential Size: Male: 5.1cm (2")
Female: 6.4cm (2.5")
Water Region: Bottom
Activity: Not Specidied
Gender: Slight. Females are a bit chunkier.
Breeding: Not accomplished in home aquaria
Variants: None
Comments: Care is similar to all other hillstream loaches.

This is a very peaceful community fish that will thrive given the right conditions. Can be kept in groups, but because of the specialized feeding requirements, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure that there is enough food for each fish.

Special thanks to Natalie for resizing and cleaning-up the photo.
Main Colours: Green, Gold, Brown
Markings: Spots Small
Mouth: Downturned
Tail: Flat
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Image Credit: Not Joe Potato
Submitted By: Joe Potato
Contributors: Joe Potato
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