How Fast Do Dojo Loaches Grow? (+5 Things You Should Know!)

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Dojo Loaches, also known as Weather Loaches, happen to be a vast variety of aquatic pets. However, they are sidelined for their appearance and growth rate. In a regular aquarium, how fast do Dojo Loaches grow?

An average male or female Dojo Loach is likely to grow its maximum length four years after birth. Their growth is most significant during the first 7 to 9 months when they grow up to 10 inches in length. They increase their sizes slowly afterward and reach 13 to 14 inches in three to four years. 

The growth rate and life quality depend on several factors. Read on to know all about them!

Does growth vary with gender?

Despite the environmental conditions and feeding patterns allowing growth, the male Dojo Loaches tend to be longer and grow faster than the females. They also have more specialized features that help them survive harsh conditions with unpleasant surrounding fish. 

With more work being done on fish breeding, it is seen that some artificial crosses of the fish produce eggs that are bigger than the normal (wild) type.

This does not affect the growth rate of the fish (i.e., it still takes seven months to increase its minimum size, followed by years of progressive growth).

However, it does affect the final size of the fish, the hybrid species being bigger on average. 

Despite the promised growth, the hybrid specie tends to have shorter life spans than those found in nature.

While the wild-type Dojo Loaches can survive up to 10 years, the artificial versions typically die in under nine months.

When choosing a pet, it is best to know the breeding the fish went through to ensure you provide it with the necessary care.

Things You Should Know:

Dojo Loaches are well known for their resilience, robustness, and ease of adaptability in changing conditions. 

The loach does not need excessively high maintenance to thrive.

A few factors promise to help the Dojo Loach grow to its maximum possible length (up to a foot long) and allow them to live on for almost ten years! These include:

#1. Temperature of water:

The most suitable temperatures for the Loaches’ survival is between 20-22°C, or 67-73°F. If this range’s upper or lower limits change, the fish can survive; however, their lifespan reduces by five years. 

#2. Water Type:

These are freshwater Loaches, therefore should not be exposed to salty water. The pH of the water is best between 7-8.0, so high acidic or alkaline water should be avoided. 

Read: Which Salt Should You Use For Aquariums?

#3. Tank:

For the Loach’s maximum growth and free movement, it is recommended to have a tank of a minimum of 14 inches that can hold 29 gallons of water. For more than one Loach in question, a tank of at least 4 feet in length with a water holding capacity of 55 gallons is suitable. 

#4. Feed:

Dojo Loaches will eat aquatic plants in the aquarium, which should be considered when setting up the décor.

They are omnivorous and can feed on pellets, tropical fish flakes, and goldfish pellets. They need feed containing herbs to ensure growth. The recommended feed includes worms, small snails and shrimps, insect larvae, and algae. 

They should be fed three times a day.

#5. Décor:

The tank should be lined with a soft substrate such as silt or sand that the loach can burrow.

Additional items for décor are also recommended, such as rocks and plants that the fish can explore.

Filters should be installed in the tank to maintain oxygen distribution and hygiene.

Finally, the tank should be properly covered with a lid to prevent escape.

Should I be worried if they don’t grow fast?

Slow growth is associated with the Dojo Loaches, so it is not something to worry about when taking care of them. For some owners of these Loaches, no growth has been seen in the adult’s size for years!

Dojo Loaches have two major diseases in their population, these are:

1. Skinny Disease: Significant weight loss is observed in the fish with this disease. Despite its fine eating and healthy swimming habits on display, the weight drop is inevitable.

The main cause of this disease is the lack of hygiene in the tank water. 

Treatment includes medication and separating the fish in a quarantine tank. Additionally, the water in the main tank should be changed weekly in small amounts. The tank’s décor should also be sanitized before its placement. 

2. Ich: This is a common aquatic disease and strikes many marine creatures. The fish’s scales will have white spots all over them, and the Loach will physically rub itself with various solid objects to relieve the irritation.

To treat this disease, medicated creams are recommended, and the affected Loach should be isolated in a quarantine tank to prevent the spread of the disease. 

Read: How Long Does It Take For Ich To Die In Empty Tank?

It should be noted that these Loaches are prone to certain diseases, the symptoms of which should be looked out for. The diseases can be a reason for their stunted growth due to the suppressed immune functions

Care behaviors to note:

Some behaviors of the Dojo Loach are common to all and show normal growth. These displays, along with those that show concern, are mentioned below:

· Nature: Dojo Leaches are polite and curious creatures. They love exploring their surroundings and even enjoy human interaction. Once comfortable enough, they are likely to eat directly from a feeding hand if possible. 

They also survive well in a tank with other fish and thrive therein. It is best to avoid seclusion and keep them in groups of three. 

· Active: Dojo Loaches are jumpy most of the time. If a tank is left uncovered, they are most likely to jump out of it. 

·  Magical Ability: They have the special ability to predict a change in weather conditions, such as a storm approaching or possible heavy rainfall. The Loaches will display anxious behavior, including rapid swimming and increased burrowing. 

·  Social Preference: Dojo Loaches remain close to the tank base, where they are near the sand. They will rejoice with fish that stay in the upper portion of the tank. If mixed with other fish that stay close to the bottom, the Loaches will probably get disturbed. 

·  Predatory Nature: These Loaches, by nature, hunt for their food. A sinkable diet should be distributed in the tank that the Dojo Loach will have to hunt. These serve as occasional snacks and are important for the predatory development of the fish. 

· Privacy: Dojo Loaches are extroverted. They require minimum seclusion and prefer company. However, constant exposure can drain the fish out. 

It is important to control the lighting around them to give them privacy at certain times of the day. Additionally, plants or rocks in the tank should be placed to give them personal space when they need it. 

· Breeding: It is okay to keep male and female Dojo Loaches in the same tank; however, promising results will not be attained if this is done for breeding purposes.

These fish have a specific time, temperature, and hormonal kick needed for breeding. Neglecting even one of these requirements will prevent egg formation and successful fertilization.

Check out my complete guide on dojo loach breeding to learn more.


Dojo Loaches are nature’s wonders. With human intervention, they need optimum food and water conditions to grow as fast as possible. For aquariums at home, the Dojo Loach is a perfect water pet with its low maintenance and joyous nature to live in a community.

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By Praveen Ghoshal

Hi! I'm Praveen Ghoshal, the founder of Inspired by my Dad, I got interested in fishkeeping when I was a kid. Since then, I have been involved with this hobby. Currently, I have 3 fish tanks at our home, where I enjoy this hobby with my Mom, Dad, and Younger Sister. Read more about me here.