Borneo Sucker

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Tiger hillstream loach - Sewellia lineolata

Scientific name: Sewellia lineolata

Common name: Tiger hillstream loach

Family: Balitoridae

Usual size in fish tanks: 9 - 11 cm (3.54 - 4.33 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6 - 7

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 10°N (71.43 - 178.57ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 23 - 26 °C (73.4 - 78.8°F)

The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning

Where the species comes from: Oceania

Temperament to its own species: peaceful

Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful

Usual place in the tank: Bottom levels


The Hillstream loach are to be found only in the waterways of Vietnam.


The expected lifespan for the Hillstream loach if housed correctly is 5-10 years.

Short description

This beautiful little fish makes a great addition as a bottom feeder to any aquarium. They are sometimes referred to as the Vietnamese loach for obvious reasons and they can be found for sale at very reasonable prices.

They originate from waterways that have high oxygen levels so this needs to be replicated in the aquarium, careful positioning of the filter outlets will increase gaseous exchange if they are aimed at the water surface. Power heads can also be added to increase the water flow which these fish love. The substrate should be sandy or a small sized gravel but makes sure that it is smooth without any rough edges which could injure the fish.

The Hillstream loach should never be added to an aquarium that isn’t fully cycled and even longer to allow some algal growth providing a food source for these fish. Bright lighting will also encourage algae which is a must to keep these fish long term, if the algae level drops the loach can become a victim of malnutrition.

Regular water changes should also be performed to keep the water quality high and always use a tight fitting lid as they are excellent escape artists.

Although the Hillstream loach is not aggressive to tank mates that occupy the higher levels, other bottom feeders should be avoided as they are highly competitive for food and squabbles will occur.