Blue botia: Characteristics, habitat, care and more…

The blue Botia or Yasuhikotakia modesta in scientific terms, is a must-have for any eye-catching aquarium. If you want to become an expert in marine species, then don´t miss this chance….!

This species of very attractive body is native to northeastern India; Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the peninsula of Malaysia, and is very popular in the aquarium trade


Order: Cypriniformes Family: Botiidae

The Blue Botia’s Main Characteristics.

The blue Botia has a long, compact and arched back body. Adult specimens reach up to 25 centimeters, but in captivity they seldom grow more than 18 centimeters. Their beautiful body is bluish gray and their fins are red, orange, and sometimes yellow. The juvenile specimens sometimes have a greenish tint on their bodies.

Sexual Dimorphism

Sexually mature females usually have a fuller and a little larger body than males.

blue botia: gambar blue botia (yasuhikotakia modesta)

Blue botia’s Distribution and Habitat

Blue botias are widespread in eastern and central Indochina, especially in the Mekong River basin and also in the Chao Phraya and Bang Pakong .


This species shows a preference for their refuge’s flowing waters (submerged rocks, tree roots, etc)., during the daylight hours, emerging in search of food during night. Moreover, they undergo seasonal migrations as part of their life cycle and therefore can be found in many types of habitats, depending on the season of the year, from the main channels of the rivers to the drainages of smaller tributaries and areas temporarily flooded.

Blue botia’s  Common Behavior

Juvenile blue Botias are active swimmers. When they get older, they spend more time hiding in caves or under the rocks alone. Moreover, they are nocturnal creatures that come out at night to dig through gravel and substrate for food. They are omnivores, although the krill meat, blood worms, daphnia, and living insects are the main part of their diet.

let’s watch them

Blue Botias in Aquariums

These are very calm fish which makes of them a wonderful option for a medium size community aquarium (150-200 liters). Keep in mind that the substrate should be smooth, without sharp or abrasive edges, provided with rocks and logs to take refuge. The best tank-mates for this species would be other non-aggressive botias as well as Asian cyprinids

Water Temperature: 25º to 30ºC.

Water parameters:  Soft and slightly acid water.

KH = 3-5ºd

GH = 5-8ºd.

pH between 6.0 and 7.2. (Frequent water changes)

Useful Tips

    • Make sure to vacuum the gravel every time you change the water, (50 %  water changes weekly), so you´ll remove all excess food and waste.
    • A dim lighting is the better option for these fish.
    • A low level filter is very suitable for these fish, since it creates a high level of oxygen throughout the tank and reduces waste.
    • They should never be introduced into biologically immature environments but into stable and mature ones, since they require spotless water to thrive.
    • Fill any space or hole small enough for a fish to be trapped, with silicone sealant for aquariums.
    • A tight cover is also essential, since they sometimes jump.
    • This species is also sold as ‘blue’, ‘orange-finned’, or ‘red-finned’ botia / loach. It’s sometimes subject to artificial coloring with bright blue or purple dyes which deeply affect their health and leaves them susceptible to disease. The dyed specimens are normally sold as ‘blueberry’ or ‘raspberry’ loach / botia.
    • It’s sometimes confused with Y. lecontei though in reality the two are readily distinguishable from one another by body shape since Y. modesta is a deeper-bodied, more compact fish.

Feeding Blue Botias in aquariums

Their diet can be as varied as you want, since they eat worms, larvae, crustaceans, vegetable matter and dry food (flakes, granules and tablets, preferably with high protein content).

Like other botia, they are very useful against the pests of small snails, since they not only devour them, but also their eggs. In case of lack of vegetable in their diet, they tend to nibble the plants, which remain marked with small characteristic holes

here they are again

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