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Loaches: SFAS May meeting

Last Friday’s meeting had a small turnout but those lucky enough to make it got to see an amazing presentation from loach expert Mark Duffill.

There are many subtleties working with the various loach species (some are more difficult than others) but Mark made it clear he had a lot of experience to share. He is a master at breeding loaches and possesses a profound amount of knowledge. He talked about everything from the origin of loaches, foods to feed, substrates to use, types of plants to use, hardscape, and how to setup the tanks. I thought it was interesting how he talked about flow carrying spawned eggs into carefully placed rock piles so they would be safe, allowing them to hatch. I was blown away by the beauty of his tanks, they almost seemed aquascaped. Though when I asked him about it he said it was a fluke.

Mark's fishroom

Some other interesting tidbits:

- Certain pangio’s moved the hardscape around (plants and wood) to where they wanted it and then they would spawn.

Pangio tank after they 'redecorated'

- Ambastaia sidthimunki love deep tanks

Ambastaia sidthimunki tank with lots of height

- Hillstream loaches don’t need high flow river tanks to spawn and instead they spawned in his quarantine tank

Mark brought several copies of his self-written and self-published books on the Botiid and Balitorid families of loaches. These superbly written books have a ton of information on different species of loaches in each family with beautiful pictures taken by Mark himself. We highly recommend them if you’re a fan of loaches. A huge thank you to Mark for traveling from the UK to share his passion for loaches with SFAS. He’s a great guy and if you ever get the chance to seem him speak, take advantage!

For more information about loaches visit Mark’s website

Or these Loach Facebook Groups:

International Loach Association -

Because of the smaller crowd, some excellent discounts were found at the auction.

S. repens - $5

Alterananthera reineckii mini - $3

Java moss - $2

Assassin snails x10 - $2

Albino bushynose pleco x3 - $3

Purple moscow guppies x5 - $5

L002 tiger pleco - $20

Next month we will have speaker Andreas Schmidt of San Francisco Bay Brand.

Jeff Jackson, SFAS Webmaster

PS: The Goldfish Council is putting on the 3rd Annual West Coast Goldfish Palooza June 21st - 23rd, 2019 in San Jose, CA. There will be lectures, hobbyist competition, vendors, auction, and raffle. General Admission is only $10! Find out more at


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