Fun Horseface Loach Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Horseface loach facts are about a fish endemic to Southeast Asia.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.3 Min

The horseface loach (Acantopsis dialuzona) is a freshwater fish belonging to the family Cobitidae. These loaches are endemic to Southeast Asia and can be found in countries like India, Indonesia, Thailand, Borneo, and Malaysia. Horseface loaches are also known as horsehead loaches. They are very popular as a pet species.

The horseface loach has a yellowish brown body with distinct markings. Females in this species are larger in size than the males. They are bottom dwellers and can be found in the sand or gravel bottom of slow or fast moving rivers, streams, and flooded fields. They are nocturnal in nature and become very active at night. In general, these loaches display a peaceful temperament and are a wonderful addition to any fish tank. This fish has an omnivorous diet. In a fish tank, they eat foods like fish pellets, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. However, they enjoy live food the most. If they are kept in a tank, the water temperature should be monitored, as just like the kuhli loach, the horseface loach prefers warm waters. They also survive better in water that has soft to medium hardness. The breeding behavior of this species remains largely unknown due to the lack of successful commercial breeding practices. Fortunately, their population is under no threat.

To learn more about the horseface loach, keep reading! You can also check out pond loach and butterfly hillstream loach.

Horseface Loach Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a horseface loach?

Acantopsis dialuzona with the common name horseface loach is a freshwater bottom dwelling fish species. They are also known as horsehead loach fish.

What class of animal does a horseface loach belong to?

Horseface loach fish belong to the class Actinopterygii and they are a part of the family Cobitidae.

How many horseface loaches are there in the world?

The exact population of horseface loach fish is not known. However, they do not seem to be under any threats that could harm their population.

Where does a horseface loach live?

The horseface loach or horsehead loach is native and endemic to Southeast Asia. Their natural range in the wild extends from India to Indonesia, including Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Vietnam, and Malaysia. During the monsoon season, they tend to migrate towards flooded areas.

What is a horseface loach's habitat?

In the wild, the habitat of this fish is characterized by the sand, mud, or gravel bottoms of rivers, streams, and flooded fields. They can be found in both slow and fast-moving waterbodies.

As a pet, this fish can be kept in a tank with soft to medium water hardness, low lighting, moderately warm temperature, and a sand bottom. The water conditions should be right for this fish to flourish.

Who do horseface loaches live with?

Horseface loaches can live alone or with any peaceful fish of another species. However, they are best suited to living with members of their kind in a group of at least six. They are known to form social hierarchies within such groups.

How long does a horseface loach live?

The lifespan of a horseface loach fish is between 10-12 years. This fish is highly susceptible to diseases due to the lack of scales on its head and the scarce amount of scales throughout its body. Cold water or any other change in the water of the tank can cause negative reactions in these loaches.

How do they reproduce?

Since this fish has not been bred commercially yet, not a lot of information exists about their breeding behavior. In general, female loaches lay around 400 eggs under the leaves of plants and these eggs hatch within 24 hours of successful breeding.  

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of the horseface loach has been marked as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation Of Nature or IUCN. No known threats exist for this fish species.

Horseface Loach Fun Facts

What do horseface loaches look like?

The horseface loach or horsehead loach appears to be elongated in shape with a flat white belly. Their body is yellowish brown with varied patterns. These loaches are long nosed with three small pairs of barbells. Their snout looks a lot like the head of a horse. They have forked caudal fin and sharp spines under the eye orbits. These sharp spines are characteristic of the Cobitidae family. Males in this species have modified pectoral fins which differentiates them from the females. Interestingly, horseface loaches lack scales on their head and their eyes appear to protrude from their heads.

The horseface loach diet is omnivorous and their foods include shrimp and insect larva.

How cute are they?

The horseface loach can be considered to be a cute fish species as they are very commonly kept as pets.

How do they communicate?

The communication patterns in the horseface loach are not known. However, since they are members of the class Actinopterygii, it can be assumed they interact with each other using methods which are similar to other members of this class. In general, members of Actinopterygii are known to communicate through movements and chemical signals.

How big is a horseface loach?

The horseface loach fish can have a length of 12 in (30.4 cm) in the wild. However, they usually do not grow to be that big in size in tanks. Females of this species are larger than the males. Horseface loaches are three to four times larger in length than the clownfish, which has a size of 3-4 in (7.6-10 cm).

How fast can a horseface loach swim?

Horseface loaches are quite fast-moving, however, most of the time they resort to slow swimming. Being nocturnal, they are very active at night.

How much does a horseface loach weigh?

The exact weight of a horseface loach is not known. However, in general, fishes of the loach species weigh between 0.3-6.6 lb (136-2993.7 g). The weight of horseface loach should also fall within this range.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female fishes of this species are known as male horseface loach fish and female horseface loach fish.

What would you call a baby horseface loach?

A baby horseface loach fish is known as a larva or a fry.

What do they eat?

This loach fish species has an omnivorous diet. They enjoy crustaceans, insect larvae, and other benthic organisms as food materials in their natural habitat. When kept as pets in a tank, they are also fed foods like live or brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, fish pellets, and algae. Since these loaches are bottom dwellers, proper care must be taken to make sure their food is reaching the bottom substrate of the tank they are in.

Are they dangerous?

This loach species is not considered to be dangerous to humans. However, they should be handled carefully as they have sharp spines under their eye orbits. Even with fishes of other species, the horsehead loach tends to be peaceful. Though they do engage in territorial fights from time to time, it is never fatal.

Would they make a good pet?

This freshwater fish is a very popular pet species. They are quite tolerant of aquarium life and can be a great addition to any fish tank if provided with the right water conditions. They are peaceful in nature and get along well with other middle and top tank dwellers, such as danios, barbs, and tetras. They are best kept in groups of their own species. Since these loaches are bottom dwellers, the bottom of the fish tank should be sandy and have plants for them to hide in. The water hardness in the tank should be soft or medium and the range should be within 10 dGH. They prefer low lighting and a temperature range between 79-84 F (26.1-28.8 C). An adult horsehead loach needs a tank of size 55 gal (208 L), while the tank size should be much larger in the case of a group.

Did you know...

One of the easiest ways to distinguish between the horseface loach and another similar fish with the scientific name Acantopsis octoactinotos and the common name longnose loach is that horseface loach fish have elongated snouts that bends downwards, whereas this is not the case in longnose loaches. Additionally, longnose loaches are much more aggressive.

The horseface loach fish is very susceptible to a disease known as ich or white spot disease. The disease is caused by a parasite known as Ichyophthirius multifilis which feeds on the blood and tissue of the fish.

What is the biggest loach?

The biggest loach is known as the imperial flower loach or the royal clown loach. The scientific name of this fish species is Leptobotia elongata and the size of their body can be as long as 1.6 ft (50 cm). This fish is found in the Yangtze basin in China.

Are loaches poisonous?

Loaches lack any poison or venom glands and are not considered to be poisonous. In fact, some loaches, like the pond loach, are eaten in East Asia. However, the spines under their eyes can cause bleeding as they are quite sharp. It is advisable to handle loaches with care and precaution.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our marine angelfish facts and tang fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable loach coloring pages.

Horseface Loach Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Crustaceans like shrimp, insect larvae, and other benthic organisms

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?


What habitat Do they Live In?

sand, mud, or gravel bottoms of rivers or streams, and flooded fields

Where Do They Live?

native to southeast asia

How Long Were They?

12 in (30.4 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Acantopsis dialuzona

What Do They Look Like?

Yellowish brown

Skin Type

Wet and slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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