Redfin tiger loach Care Guide: Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases, Breeding & More

Updated: November 17, 2022

Redfin tiger loaches are a freshwater fish that are native to Southeast Asia. They’re a member of the loach family and are closely related to the kuhli loach.

This fish is easily identified by its long, slender body and bright red fins. It’s a popular fish in the aquarium trade and is sought after by many aquarium hobbyists.

If you’re thinking about adding a redfin tiger loach to your tank, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about their care.

Species overview

Redfin tiger loaches (Botia lohachata) are found throughout Southeast Asia in countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.

They prefer slow-moving waters with a lot of vegetation and hiding places. This is something that’s common among many loach species, as they are bottom-dwellers that like to stay hidden away.

The redfin tiger loach is a very popular aquarium fish due to its unique coloration and patterning. They are also one of the more peaceful loach species, which is another plus.

One thing to keep in mind with these fish is that they do like to live in groups. So, if you’re planning on keeping them, it’s best to get at least 5-6 of them.


Redfin tiger loach

The very first thing you’ll notice about the Redfin Tiger Loach is their color. As you can probably tell from their name, these freshwater fish are red all over their bodies.

The color can vary a bit depending on the fish. Some are a deep red while others are a more vibrant hue. There are also some that have a brownish tint to them.

The second thing you’ll notice is their stripes. These fish have anywhere from 5-9 dark stripes that run vertically down their bodies. These stripes are a bit more prominent on the younger fish and tend to fade as they age.

The stripes are what give these fish their other name: Tiger Loach.

Redfin Tiger Loaches have a long and slender body shape. They’re built for speed and maneuverability.

Their fins are all moderately sized. The dorsal fin is located about two-thirds of the way back on their body and is slightly taller than their anal fin. Both of these fins have a dark border.

The caudal fin is forked and symmetrical.

One thing to note about the Redfin Tiger Loach is that they have a very sharp spine located just behind their head. This spine is venomous so you’ll want to be careful when handling these fish.


Redfin tiger loaches have an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years.

This is a pretty long lifespan for a fish, especially one that is relatively small. There are a number of factors that impact their life expectancy.

For starters, the level of care they receive obviously matters a great deal. Even though these are hardy fish, they’ll obviously live longer in optimal conditions.

In addition, the size of the tank they’re kept in can have an impact on their lifespan. A larger tank will usually mean that the water quality is better and there is more room for the fish to swim around and stay active.


The Redfin tiger loach grows to an average length of 3-4 inches, with some specimens reaching 5 inches.


Tank Size

The recommended minimum tank size for redfin tiger loaches is 30 gallons. If you want to keep more than one loach in your tank, you should add at least another 20 gallons for each fish.

Loaches are active bottom-dwellers that love to dig and burrow. They need a tank with plenty of space to move around and explore. A small tank will quickly become cramped and stressful for these fish.

Water Parameters

The Redfin Tiger Loach is a freshwater fish that is native to Thailand. In the wild, they can be found in slow-moving rivers and streams with sandy substrates.

Redfin Tiger Loaches prefer slightly acidic water with a pH of 6.5-7.5 and a water hardness of 5-10 dGH. The ideal water temperature for them is 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You should do a partial water change of at least 20% every week to keep the water quality high.

What To Put In Their Tank

As with all fish, the first thing you need to do is set up the inside of their tank. For a Redfin Tiger Loach the process is pretty simple.

The substrate can be anything you want. These fish don’t spend a lot of time rooting around and aren’t known to dig. Gravel, sand, or even a bare bottom tank will work just fine.

Plants are also an option, but not a necessity. If you do decide to go this route make sure you choose something that can withstand a little bit of abuse. Redfin Tiger Loaches are known to uproot plants as they rummage around looking for food.

When it comes to décor, the options are endless. These fish don’t have any specific requirements. Rocks, caves, driftwood, and anything else you can think of will work just fine.

Just avoid anything that’s too small. Redfin Tiger Loaches have a tendency to nibble on things, and you don’t want them to accidentally swallow something they shouldn’t.

Common Diseases

The redfin tiger loach is a pretty hearty fish, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get sick. Like all animals, they are susceptible to disease and illness if they are not properly cared for.

The most common disease that affects this species is ich. This is a parasitic infection that will present itself as white spots on the body of your fish. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Other potential diseases include fungal infections, bacterial infections, and parasites. These are all fairly common in freshwater fish and can be treated with the help of a veterinarian.

As with all fish, the best way to prevent disease is by maintaining a clean and stable habitat. This will go a long way in keeping your fish healthy and happy.

Behavior & Temperament

The redfin tiger loach is a schooling fish, so it does best when it’s kept with at least five other loaches. They’re peaceful fish that get along well with other aquarium inhabitants.

These loaches are nocturnal, so you won’t see them much during the day. They’ll spend their time hiding in the shadows and seeking out places to rest. When the sun goes down, they’ll become more active and start scavenging for food.

The redfin tiger loach is a bottom-dweller, so you won’t find it swimming up to the surface of the water very often. In their natural wild habitats, they spend their time burrowing in riverbeds and sifting for things to eat. The same behavior happens in aquariums.

When it comes to temperament, the redfin tiger loach is a very mellow fish. It’s a peaceful fish that gets along with other creatures as long as it’s left alone. As we mentioned earlier, it does have sharp spikes to defend itself with. Though, it typically doesn’t use them unless it has a good reason to do so.

Tank Mates

When it comes to redfin tiger loach tank mates, you have a few different options.

First, you can keep them with other loaches. These fish are social creatures that do best in groups.

If you want to keep them with other fish, aim for species that occupy different areas of the tank. Redfin tiger loaches like to stick to the bottom, so mid to top-dwelling fish are best.

Some compatible tank mates include:

  • Tetras
  • Rasboras
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails


The Redfin Tiger Loach is a schooling fish, which means that they need to be kept in groups. A good number to aim for is six. That way, you’ll have a few extra in case any don’t make it.

These loaches are pretty easy to sex. Males have a more slender body, while females are rounder. You can also look at the pectoral fins. Males have longer and thinner fins, while females have shorter and stouter fins.

When it comes to breeding, the biggest challenge is getting these fish to spawn in captivity. They are very particular about their water conditions and diet.

The first step is to set up a breeding tank. It should be at least 30 gallons and have a sandy bottom. The water should be soft and slightly acidic. The temperature should be between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

Then, you need to add some vegetation. Redfin Tiger Loaches like to lay their eggs in plants. Java moss is a good option.

The next step is to get the water quality just right. These fish are very sensitive to changes in water quality, so you need to be very careful. Use a high-quality filter and do regular water changes.

When everything is ready, add the fish to the tank. Give them some time to adjust to their new home. Then, start feeding them live foods. Worms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms are all good options.

If everything goes according to plan, you should start to see the females getting rounder. That’s when you know they’re full of eggs.

The next step is to wait for the eggs to hatch. This usually takes about two weeks. Once they hatch, you can start feeding the fry live foods. Baby brine shrimp are a good option.

You can also add some vegetation to the tank. This will give the fry a place to hide and feel safe.

As the fry grow, you can start to introduce them to flake food. Slowly increase the amount of flake food until they’re eating it exclusively.


The Redfin Tiger Loach is an excellent freshwater fish for beginners and experienced aquarists alike. They are relatively easy to care for and are very peaceful, making them a great addition to any community tank.

Their unique coloration and patterning also make them a very visually appealing fish, which is always a bonus.

Overall, we think the Redfin Tiger Loach is a great choice for anyone looking for a new freshwater fish to add to their aquarium.