Loach catfish or Aspidoras rochai is typically found in the Amazon River basin. Usually, it is found to be living in oxygenated waters.

This fish has an elongated body with three pairs of long protrusible barbels which are used for searching for food items. The Aspidoras rochai fish can have a length of up to 50 cm and a weight of up to 750 grams. It feeds on plankton, small invertebrates and aquatic insects, but is also an important food source for larger animals in the river basin such as freshwater dolphins and caimans.

Aspidoras genera

The Aspidoras genera are distinguished from the Corydoras genera by their distinctive behavior, such as their swimming behaviors. When comparing Aspidoras to Corydoras, the eyes are smaller, the body is smaller, and the head form is smaller. Aspidoras have two fontanel bone structures in their skulls, while Corydoras only have one bigger fontanel bone structure in their head.

aspidoras rochai

Aquarium Fishkeeping: Aspidoras rochai is fairly uncommon in the hobby but as with all of this genus they are best kept in groups of six or more and are best housed with small fishes that are not aggressive. Provide a planted area in the tank for cover and include a soft substrate such as sand or small rounded gravel. 

Aspidoras rochai are typically not aggressive to each other, although in rare cases fight with each other sometimes.

Diet: Flake, tablets, plankton, small invertebrates and aquatic insects.

Aspidoras rochai remarks: Many species of Aspidoras are difficult to distinguish from one another unless detailed information about their habitat is supplied. It is believed that this species has never been seen in the aquarium hobby before to this discovery. R.von Ihering stated that he was unable to provide a complete description of the lecotype and the paralectotype because of damage to the dorsal and caudal fins, which were completely absent as shown in the second image, which is the Lecotype.

Loach catfish – Aspidoras rochai

The first specimen pictured is similar to the original description in that it has several light rounded spots on the operculum and flanks, although R.von Ihering stated that he was unable to provide a complete All Aspidoras are members of Lineage 2, with the exception of A. pauciradiatus, which will be determined to be a Corydoras and, if a revision is carried out, will be Gastrodermus (Cope, 1878) and a member of Lineage 5, alongside members of the “elegans group.” All Aspidoras are members of Lineage 2, with the exception of A. pauciradiatus, which will be determined to be a Corydora.

Loach catfish

Loach catfish size: Male 4.5cm (1¾ins),  Female 5.0cm (2ins)

Temperature: 21-25°C (69-77°F)

pH: 6.0-7.2 pH