Hillstream Loach (Beaufortia kweichowensis)

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Beaufortia kweichowensis1.jpg
Pair of Hillstream loaches

Beaufortia kweichowensis

80 Litres (21.1)

4-10 cm (1.6-3.9")




6.5 - 7

18 -24 °C (64.4-75.2°F)

2-10 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Flake Foods

3-6 years



Additional names

Hillstream Loach, Borneo Sucker, Borneo Sucking Loach, Butterfly Pleco, Butterfly Loach, Chinese Hillstream Loach, UFO Pleco, Chinese Devilsucker, Hong Kong Pleco

Additional scientific names

Gastromyzon leveretti kweichowensis, Beaufortia kweichowensis kweichowensis, Beaufortia kweichowensis gracilicauda


These fish are native to the Xi Jiang river basin in China. They live in fast moving rivers and streams.


Very difficult to sex, during breeding it is possible that males have more vivid colouration.

Tank compatibility[edit]

Will not harm or bother other fish but can be semi-aggressive towards its own kind. Provide plenty of space for grazing and they should cohabit however. Do not keep with larger fish that may eat it!


Eats algae and the micro organisms that live in it. Will take flake, algae wafers, shrimp pellets and bloodworms.

Feeding regime[edit]

Constantly grazes the tank for algae, but best to supplement food daily or every other day.

Environment specifics[edit]

Absolutely requires very fast current and high oxygen levels at low aquarium temperatures 18-24°C (64.4-75.2°F) . This isn't considered a fragile fish because so many ignore these requirements. It is highly recommended that one read and apply Martin Thoene's profile and river tank article before considering this fish (See link below). Has very slow growth rate in captivity.


Can be semi aggressive to conspecifics and other bottom/glass dwellers, but plenty of grazing areas allows for multiple Hillstreams. Does not mind other fish.
The Hillstream Loach is normally classified as a bottom feeder, but typically spends most of its time on the glass unless it is provided rocks and smooth surfaces to graze upon.
  • Note it has been shown that a number of Hillstream loaches climb out of the water to try to explore new rock pools in fast moving streams. So ensure your tank has a tight fitting lid on it![1]


A flat bellied fish with very low profile, the Hillstream loach's body type is clearly built for fast water. Its yellow-brown body appears covered in black polka dots. Dorsal and anal fins are transparent with opaque stripes.
It should be noted that this fish is not a Pleco.



  1. PFK article - Hillstream loach migrates by leaving the water. Matt Clarke: 16th Jan. 2009

External links[edit]