Good hillstream Setup?

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wantokeeptrout

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Jan 7, 2012
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Oakville
I recently got 6 hillstream loaches which i suspect are Beaufortia kweichowensis for my 29 but i'm a little worried my tank setup is lacking for these fish. i've got a few live plants, a few rocks (planning to add more cobblestone) a powerhead , airstone, AQ-70 filter. the powerhead is on one side of the tank at the bottom and the AQ is on the other side to create a roughly circular flow of water. the airstone is right in front of the powerhead and so are most of the rocks and a piece of Driftwood. I know that they prefer cold, fast water (the tank is at 68-70 F but i'm worried that i cannot provide absolutely uniform flow direction. Also a little confused since they are moving around and scuffling much more then they were in the dealer tank, where they more or less stayed still until the net came in, little worried that the are asphyxiating. They always dart in and out of the bubble flow so i'm a little concerned, i had a hillstream loach (sold as a lizard fish) before when i was completely new to fishkeeping and did no research and i'm hoping not to repeat that fiasco. any other tips to keep these fish?

 
Oct 31, 2009
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Sho
If you plan to have plants, get ones with broad leaves. The loaches love to graze the algae on the leaves. Make sure your tank has plenty of algae and hiding spots. They need it. That and the current flow which sounds like you have enough of. I don't think they care about the flow direction. I have a filter output and powerhead on each opposite side and the sewellias I keep breed all the time. My hillstream fish tend to eat Repashy gel foods or frozen bloodworms/mysis shrimp with the occasional zucchini. They never touch wafers. Plus, I never have a hard time feeding any wild fish I get as they all take to the Repashy gel food easily. Hillstream are active fish. They like to swim in the current, shuffle through the sand, and chase each other. Mine are always gliding around the tank. Two most important things, in my experience in keeping hillstream fish, is high current/flow and having plenty of algae in the tank. Good luck on the tank and check out loaches.com, where a lot of members also keep hillstream setups.
 

MisaHasTheEyes

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Nov 21, 2008
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I have sewellia lineolata myself, and they don't seem to require the fast water the other hillstreams do. But my hypan plecos do, so what I found works best is a powerhead at one end, usually pointed at a 280* angle or so (if on the left side of the tank) and the gravel to be large pebbles (hit up craft stores or dollar stores, they should have bags of them). Slate rock is great for making 'shelves' too.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
I have limited experience with hillstreams but it seem to be more a matter of oxygenation than "flow" per se. I have a 55g with 2 AC 70s & a powerhead but I leave the water level down a couple inches so there's plenty of splash from the HOBs. You want as much surface agitation as you can but that said I have quite a lot of plants that allow slower flow areas. Temperature is relative, cooler water holds more oxygen than warmer. I don't have my tank heated, the PH & lights keep it similar to yours, +/-.

Repashy gel foods & natural algae on rounded rocks & glass (plus occasional small frozen foods) seem to be working for my gastromyzon & sewellia. Good luck!
 

wantokeeptrout

AC Members
Jan 7, 2012
36
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Oakville
thanks for the advice, the higher oxygen saturation is the main reason for me keeping the overall temperature lower to be more on the safe side. I'll definately start looking for cobblestones. is there any chance that they will eat cucumber? I've never seen repashy in the area so i'm planning to supplement algae with vegetables? also i'm worried i have the wrong type of algae, I have lots of algae but a large portion of it is encrusting algae immune to scraping
 
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