Mesonoemacheilus sp.

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Heiko Bleher reports on a new species of Mesonoemacheilus loach he discovered during a recent expedition to India.

Origin: Chalakkudy river, India.

Water: pH 7.67, GH 3, water 26.6°C/80°F, air 37.3°C/99°F.

Habitat: Clear, strongly-flowing water running over rocky ground of giant stone slabs and large round black rocks. There were no aquatic plants.

Notes: The balitorid loach genus Mesonoemacheilus includes five species from the Indian Peninsula, four of which are from Kerala. I found more than five different ones between Mumbai and Travancore.

The five new species I discovered and the five already described rarely exceed 6cm/2.4”, with most of them, like the species featured here, reaching just 4.5cm/1.8”. Some of the new species are now being exported.

These fish live in fast-flowing water with quieter peripheral zones. They need small and large rounded rocks, driftwood, large-grained sand and a medium to fast flow. They’ll accept general foods and are easy to keep, even in slightly smaller aquariums.

This item was first published in the September 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.