LOACHES were always my favourite fishes in the community tank; more for personality than looks.
This is a sucker loach. The cleaner of the deep. Like most loaches they live on algae, come out at night and are highly territorial, lurking moodily in any cave you care to construct out of slate or bogwood and thoroughly enjoying being out of view! If anything or anyone dares disturb them they can shift themselves with truly astonishing rapidity.
I used to have a Borneo sucker or hillstream loach. This fish lives in ultra shallow water and likes a stream of air against the glass. They're agile enough to be able to swim directly down the flow of bubbles, which replicates the splashing mountain streams they inhabit in real life. Nubia, our Borneo, used to sleep upside down on a piece of slate. Whenever I wanted a good look at her, I'd just pick up the slate and she'd stay stubbornly anchored.
Unlike ordinary loaches, which hold on to rocks or the glass with their mouths, the Borneo has a sucker almost the entire length of its body. Meaning that it can withstand extremely strong currents in the wild.
Easily the fastest swimmers in the community fish tank; it once took the fuming pet shop lady a full 20 minutes to catch the last hillstream loach between two nets!
My favourite loach of all is the reclusive kuhli. This strikingly stripey eel-like creature is only 4"/10cm long in adulthood. Rarely to be seen during daylight hours, they burrow under the gravel, only to emerge by the pale light of the moon (or your moon-effect nightlight).
The kuhli loach's expression reminds me of a certain member of my family who I once, at the tender age of 12, likened to "an old hornet" in an official document!
Kuhli loaches don't live long. They are very sensitive to water quality and only survive in well-tended, established tanks. My two both died... yet the Old Hornet lives on!
WISHING A FANTASTICAL WEEKEND TO ALL THE FAMILY!