NUBIA was one of the best pet fishes I ever had. She was a Borneo Sucker or hillstream loach. These stealth-bomber-style fishies live in shallow pebbly streams where they zip along the shallow aerated water, sticking to rocks as the tumult swirls about them.
Relative to her size, Nubia must have been the fastest-moving most agile swimmer I ever had. The lady at the fish shop was totally exasperated trying to catch her between two nets in an empty tank as she pinged back and forth in great commotion. She looked like a flying ribbon.
Nubia lived in a special cave that I built her by hollowing out the gravel at the front and placing a flat piece of slate over the dip. Here she spent her hours of repose, happily suckered upside down ignoring the world (it takes all sorts). She didn't seem too offended when I picked up the rock to have a good look. She just stayed anchored down. And then whooshed away in a flurry of bubbles.
We had an air filter streaming against the glass at the side, and this was her second favourite place. She was a strong enough swimmer to actually move vertically downwards against the air-and-waterflow.
Loaches are my favourite sort of fish. They skulk about in the shadowiest, most secluded zones of the so-called community tank, eschewing the company of other fish, preferring to dart about very quickly at selected opportunities. They don't eat fishfood, but feed instead on algae on the glass, which means you should never place one in a brand-new tank or it'll starve.
It took me a while to realize that Nubia's most striking characteristic was one I'd previously attributed to a trick of the light. Sometimes she seemed to go light and then dark as if a shadow were passing overhead. Then I realized she was actually changing colour, more according to mood (so I assumed) than anything else.
How amazing is that.
So there we have it. The Borneo Sucker: the most amazing fish known to aquarium-kind!
Male Sewellia lineolata and Gastromyzon ctenocephalus having a scuffle on a cobble (as you do). Well as gripping viewing goes it beats Larkrise to Candleford hands down:~
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