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Dojo Loach (Pond Loach)

By | Last Updated : 14th July 2020

Dojo Loach or pond loach is a freshwater fish of the Cobitidae (loach) family. They are also known as the weather loach since they can identify the fluctuation and changes in the barometric pressure, particularly before a storm. These fish share their alternate name weather loach with species of their family as well as those of the Misgurnus genus. Their pleasant demeanor and hardy nature, make them a preferred choice as an aquarium fish.  They are raised through fish farming in East Asia owing to their culinary use.

Dojo Loach

Quick Information

Scientific NameMisgurnus anguillicaudatus
OriginDifferent parts of Asia including Central China, Japan, Hainan, Siberia, and Korea
TypeFreshwater fish
Conservation StatusLeast Concern (by the IUCN)
Behavioral CharacteristicsActive, peaceful, hardy, mostly displaying friendliness towards humans allowing them to feed through the hand, shows aggression when kept with smaller fish species
School Size3 – 4
Physical TraitsSlender, cylindrical, eel-like body, circular towards the frontal part, flattening at the rare end; possesses five pair barbells near its mouth, and can have a thin or heavy body stature
ColorsOrange, grey, albino, and pink, with dark brown spots seen in some, creating a marbled pattern
Size (How big do they get)11.3 inches ( 28.58 inches); in an aquarium set up the largest dojo loach was recorded to grow up to a length of 8.46 inches (21.4 cm) in a home at Nova Scotia
Lifespan (How long do they live)7 – 10 years
Sexual DimorphismPresent; Males: Long, thick pectoral fins upon which they often stand while resting in the bottom of the fish tank; Females: Round pectoral fins
Probable Diseases Ich
Approximate Price (How much is it for)$8 – 15
Dojo Loach Fish
Dojo Loach Size

Tank Setup & Care Sheet Details

Care LevelBeginners
Tank Size30 gallons (113.5 liters) for one fish

Water Parameters

pH Level6.0 – 8.0
Temperature68 – 76 °F (23 – 27°C)
Hardness5 – 12 dGH
Aquarium  Water FlowModerate 

Tank Ambience

LightingLow and subdued
Substrate TypeSand, gravel, and pebbles (to hide themselves)
Tank MatesCompatible with: Goldfish (particularly the fancy varieties like the lionhead, black moor, and bubblehead), angelfish, bettas (though the loaches could sometimes attempt to nip their fins) and other species which live on the upper levels of the tank so that the dojo loach might not have to share their territory with them. Might be kept with invertebrates like Ghost and Amano shrimps but with caution since the latter serves as the Dojo’s meal,

Incompatible with: Bottom dwellers like catfish species;
Suitable Position in the TankBottom

Feeding

DietLive or frozen bloodworm, brine shrimp, and tubifex, flakes, spirulina-based pellets, vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, and shelled peas medallion that they readily accept; will also readily eat any snails moving in the aquarium as that is their favorite food
Frequency 2 – 3 times a day
Golden Dojo Loach
Dojo Loach Picture

Important Things to Know for Fish Keepers

  • They have a unique ability to disappear the moment they are introduced into an aquarium, only to show up again. So, if you cannot spot your dojo loach, do not worry as it would be hiding under the substrates and will reappear in some time.  This fish could also hide itself to such an extent under the sand that all you may get to see is the head poking out.
  • The dojo loach is known for its ability to jump. Hence a firm lid must be kept over the aquarium. If you have cats at home, keep them away from your tank, lest this species could serve as a tasty snack for the feline the moment it gets out.
  • Even if they get out of the water, they would be able to survive for a considerable while. The reason being that they keep themselves moist by producing thick mucus coating, attaining a cloudy appearance.
  • Some dojo loaches may like the clown loach play dead, like upside-down or to one side. If they are eating well and show no symptoms of illness then there is nothing to worry about.
Pond Loach
Dojo Weather Loach

FAQs

Q. Is the dojo and kuhli loach the same?

The golden variety of the dojo loach is often confused with the kuhli loach due to their striking similarities especially when young, but in actuality they are two separate species with visible differences. The kuhli loaches are smaller, preferring warm water, compared to the dojo loach that like to live in cold water.

Q. Is keeping the weather loach illegal in some places?

Certain countries like Britain have put a ban on their sale under the pretext of this species causing harm to the aquatic ecosystem. The U.S state of Michigan has also banned keeping or petting this fish.

Q. Is the golden dojo loach a different species?

The golden dojo loach is not a different species but a color morph of the dojo loach, ranging from shades of yellow to orange.

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