Heiko Bleher discovered the loach Travancoria sp. aff. jonesi in India, as he explains here.
Origin: Found near the source of the Kaveri river at an altitude of 1,400m/4593’. This fast-flowing creek is known locally as Karnataka Kaluriu.
Water: pH 6.96, GH 2, water 16.2°C/61.2°F, air 13.8°C/56.8°F.
Habitat: Very fast-moving clear water flowing over small and large stones. There was no aquatic vegetation but surrounded by natural environment, fully forested up to 1,400m/4,590’.
Notes: The balitorid loach genus Travancorica has two species. T. elongata, which was described by Pethyagoda and Kottelat in 1994, is endemic to the Chalakkudy river. T. jonesi was described by Hora in 1941 from Pampadampara, Peerumedu Taluq, Kerala. This fish differs morphologically from both known Travancorica and is endemic to Karnataka.
Aquarium: This Travancorica is found only in strong currents and lives exclusively in a cataract, so can only be successfully kept in spacious aquariums with torrential flow. They need gravel and some large stones to suck on and would appreciate stones covered in algae and aufwuchs. They are fascinating to watch and jump back and forth from one stone to another in the flow.
The temperature should be maintained low — maximum 27°C/81°F and ideally much less — as it drops to 16°C/61°F overnight.
This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.