Order: Cypriniformes Family: Botiidae
Described from close to the city of Palembang, therefore presumably the Musi River basin, South Sumatra province, Sumatra, Indonesia, and since recorded from elsewhere on Sumatra plus the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesian province West Kalimantan on Borneo.
It’s also known from the Pahang and Perak river systems in Peninsular Malaysia but it may already have disappeared there given that only a single confirmed specimen has been documented since 1955, while possible occurrences on Java also remain in doubt.
Maximum Standard Length:150 – 210 mm.
All botiids need a well-structured set-up although the actual choice of décor is more-or-less down to personal taste. A natural-style arrangement could include a substrate of sand/fine gravel with lots of smooth, water-worn rocks and pebbles plus one or two lumps of driftwood or twisted roots/branches.
Lighting can be relatively subdued and plants able to grow in such conditions like Microsorum, Taxiphyllum barbieri, or Anubias spp. can be added if you wish. These have an added benefit as they can be attached to pieces of décor in such a way as to provide useful shade.
Otherwise be sure to provide plenty of cover as Syncrossus spp. are inquisitive and seems to enjoy exploring their surroundings. Rocks, wood, flower pots and aquarium ornaments can be used in whichever combination to achieve the desired effect.
Bear in mind that these loaches like to squeeze themselves into small gaps and crevices so items with sharp edges should be omitted, and any gaps/holes small enough for a fish to become trapped should be filled in with aquarium-grade silicone sealant. A tightly-fitting cover is also essential as they may also jump at times.
Although botiids don’t require the very turbulent conditions favoured by many balitorids/nemacheilids they do best when the water is well-oxygenated with a degree of flow, are intolerant to accumulation of organic wastes, and requires spotless water in order to thrive. For this reason they should never be introduced to biologically immature set-ups and adapt most easily to stable, mature aquaria. In terms of maintenance weekly water changes of 30-50% tank volume should be considered routine.
Temperature: 25 – 30 °C
pH: 5.0 – 7.5
Hardness: 18 – 215 ppm