Panda Loach (Yaoshania pachychilus)


Panda Loach is also known as protomyzon pachychilus, is named for the Dayaoshan mountain from where this species was first discovered. This fish spreads out to a limited deep, recurrent, rapidly-flowing, headwaters and minor tributaries portrayed by extends of riffles and runs separated by pools or falls in some cases.

Environmental substrates are ordinarily formed out of smaller rocks, sand, and gravel with cluttered boulders. While the juveniles of panda loach have impressive black and white colors, the matures of this species are not really impressive in color. As they grow up they will lose their cute appearance and people who want to keep these fish have to note that.

Water Parameters:

Temperature: 18-24°C
pH: 6,5 – 7,5
Hardness: 4-12 dGH

Its natural waters lie in a humid, subtropical area where air temperatures barely drop under 15°C and might be substantially higher in summer. In General, 20 – 24°C is best, however can be in higher temperatures temporarily if dissolved oxygen levels are adequately high. Panda Loach will comfort best between 6,5-7,0 pH values.

In particular, the water must be well filtered, clean, and highly oxygenated. So, an oversized filter is more suitable as a basic necessity. Turnover should be in 15-20 times per hour and extra powerheads, air stones should be used to ensure the necessary flow and oxygenation.

Base substrate can be either gravel, sand, or a blend of both. Also, a layer of water-worn rocks and stones of various sizes will do well.

Aged driftwoods are useful, but avoiding new pieces is substantial. These unaged pieces might release tannins which discolor the water and reduce the light penetration that will reduce biofilm and algae growth.

Since it needs stable water conditions and feeds on biofilm this species should never be added to an organically immature aquarium. A firmly fitting cover is fundamental because it can climb the glass and jump out of the tank.


Most of the natural feeding routine of the fish is benthic algae plus associated micro-organisms. In captivity, it will accept high-quality dried foods. Other foods like live or frozen bloodworms are also suitable. But it may cause problems if excessive feed with protein. A balanced diet with high vegetable and algae-based foods supported with some protein-based foods will work great.

Home-made foods utilizing a blend of natural ingredients bound with gelatin are extremely valuable since they can be customized to contain a high extent of fresh vegetables, Spirulina, and such foods.

For long-term efficiency, it’s best to furnish a developed aquarium with a continuous supply of algae-covered rocks and surfaces. But, sometimes it may not be possible to grow an adequate amount of algae in the aquarium. On the other hand, there may be a group of various kinds of herbivorous fishes that rapidly consume the grown algae in the main aquarium. In such cases, it might be substantial to keep a different tank to grow algae on rocks and replace them with those in the main tank on a recurrent basis.

Such a “nursery” doesn’t need to be substantial, requires just solid lighting and in sunny atmospheres can be kept outside. Algae source is also essential with diatoms and gentler, green varieties preferred over tougher ones like rhodophytic ‘black brush’ algae.


Breeding of this species in captivity is very rare and not well reported. Also, there is no clear info about the reproduction cycle in nature.

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