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This website is dedicated to Ol'Conrad.  He passed away shortly after Christmas, 2013.  He had made stupendous contributions to our hobby through his dedicated and careful breeding of aquatic animals.  He was a good friend and best buddy of Pete's and will not only be missed greatly by Pete, the hobby will forever have lost a valuable friend and asset. But his progeny will live on forever in his memory.
Cobitidae is the family of the true loaches, which are Old World freshwater fish. They occur throughout Eurasia and in Morocco, and inhabit riverine ecosystems. Today, most "loaches" are placed in other families (see below). But more than 100 species remain in the Cobitidae, while the number of genera has almost doubled to nearly 30 in the past few years[when?] due to new discoveries and divisions of older genera. New species are being described regularly.

The body forms of Cobitidae range from vermiform – worm-shaped, long and thin – to fusiform – spindle-shaped, cylindrical and tapering toward the ends. Most true loaches do not have true scales, and like many other Cypriniformes or catfishes, they have barbels at their mouths (usually 3-6 pairs). Some other traits typically found in this family are a small bottom-facing mouth suited to their scavenging benthic lifestyle, an erectile spine below the eye, and a single row of pharyngeal (throat) teeth.

True loaches are mostly scavengers and are omnivorous, usually not very picky about their food. They may eat aquatic crustaceans, insects and other small invertebrates as well as scraps of organic detritus. Many live in eutrophic waters of generally poor quality and feed on tubifex worms and similar benthos associated with such habitat. Some of these loaches have adapted to low oxygen levels in warm, muddy rivers or dirty ponds by being able to gulp up atmospheric oxygen from the air. Some species, particularly from the genera Cobitis and especially Misgurnus are sensitive to changing air pressure. They change their behavior accordingly, and as these changes in activity are usually followed by a change in weather, they are commonly known as "weatherfishes" or "weather loaches".

Because of their scavenging nature and their ability to adapt to many freshwater ecosystems, some Cobitidae have been introduced to foreign lands where they may pose problems to local wildlife as invasive species[verification needed][citation needed]. Other true loaches, many of them migratory fish, have been seriously affected by habitat destruction, chemical pollution and damming, and are considered threatened species today. Some migratory species are popular aquarium fish and since they are very hard to raise in captivity, overfishing has seriously depleted once-common stocks in several cases.

The Botiinae are the smaller subfamily, with 7 genera generally accepted today. Some of these are quite speciose however. The Cobitinae contain the remaining genera, but while a few make up the bulk of the remaining diversity of Cobitidae, many are very small or monotypic.

Many of the more brightly-colored species, in particular Botiinae, are popular with freshwater aquarists and are therefore of importance in the aquarium trade. The more colorful tropical species that are kept as pets are mainly South Asian and Southeast Asian Botiinae. Cobitidae often encountered in aquarium trade include:

  Clown Loach, Chromobotia macracanthus
  Dojo Loach, Misgurnus anguillicaudatus
  Horseface Loach, Acantopsis choirorhynchus
  Skunk Loach, Yasuhikotakia morleti
  Kuhli Loach, Pangio kuhlii
  Yoyo Loach, Botia almorhae
  Zebra Loach, Botia striata
  Bengal Loach, Botia dario
  Burmese Border loach, Botia kubotai

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PLEASE notice the absolute outstanding finnage on this delightful Loach
It is the amazing patterns found
 on the skin of
 the loaches that attracts many folks to them.

Notice  the frown on the face of this colorful Clown Loach.  Is it not typical of the frowns often seen on circus clown?.
Gold Dojos
Let's party!!
I personally think these should be called banjos.

Notice their absolutely beautiful fins!  

The one on the left shows the view from the anterior and
the one on the right is the posterior.
Kuhlis  like so many loaches  do better in groups.
I had a "Far Out Man Moment" when my friend, the Fish Lady
pointed out the YoYo Loach has YoYo written on it's side! -Yeahbut

 When I had to give up a herd of Clown Loaches
 that had been with me for 8 years.
I looked and felt like a clown.

 One of my children (neither ever confessed so, to this day, I don't know which one) put a couple of those Aeiyiyiyo loaches in one of my planted holding tanks where they managed to kill several hundred dollars worth of shrimp - after they'd eaten their fill, they just went on maiming and dismembering all the others until there was nothing left but floating legs and bits of carapace.
- Kush