10 Yoyo Loach Tank Mates – List of Compatible Species

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Photo by Chris Wilcox CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Yoyo Loach is a fantastic addition to a community tank. Their banded bodies stand out and enhance the look of any aquarium.

They’re also easy to keep thanks to their adaptable nature. These fish are active, energetic swimmers. They can be semi-aggressive with in-group members. But they’re friendly and peaceful to other species.

Despite their peaceful demeanor, Yoyo Loaches aren’t shy. They love interacting with other fish.

And if their tank mates are feisty, this Loach knows how to stand its ground. Due to its strong personality, this fish can live with both peaceful and semi-aggressive tank mates.

However, not all friendly fish make good tank mates.

The tank mates you choose must be similar in size. Keep in mind that Yoyo Loaches grow up to 5-6 inches long.

Large tank mates might pose a threat. Big fish have a way of making smaller fish magically disappear if you know what I’m saying.

Also remember that these Loaches need warm water, roughly 75-86°F. They do best at a pH level around 6.5-7.5 and a hardness level between 3-10dGH (53-175 ppm).

There are other things worth noting about this fish. The Yoyo Loach is a bottom dweller and feeder. They’re omnivorous and primarily scavengers.

They need a lot of room, roughly 15-20 gallons per fish. If you plan to keep a group of 4, you’ll need at least 60 gallons. Keeping all these factors in mind, I’d recommend housing them with smaller or similar-sized fish.

Choosing middle or top-level swimmers isn’t mandatory but can help you save some space. Also, remember that their tank mates must be peaceful or semi-aggressive at most.

They should also have similar water parameters. Seems like a lot of info to consider. To make your job easier, I’ve compiled a list of the best Yoyo Loach tank mates.

Keep reading to find the best fish for your community tank!

1. Kuhli Loach

What better tank mate for a Yoyo Loach than another Loach species? These species belong to the same order (Cypriniformes), so they’re bound to have lots in common. Like Yoyo Loaches, this species is peaceful, sociable, and playful.

Kuhli Loaches spend most of their time on the bottom of the tank, where they dig holes and scavenge for food.

This fish grows up to 3-4 inches and has similar tank size requirements to Yoyos. You’ll need 15-20 gallons for each fish.

Because they’re scavengers, they also eat the same diet as their counterparts. A combination of meaty foods and plants will keep both species healthy and happy.

Things like bloodworms, small crustaceans, daphnia, insects, and insect larvae are good for protein.

Sinking foods like pellets and wafers are also great. As for water parameters, Kuhli loaches do best in 73–86°F temperatures, 5.5–6.5 pH, and 0–5 dGH.

They like slightly softer and more acidic water, but you can still find a happy middle ground.

2. Guppies

There’s nothing like a group of bright guppies swimming and playing around in a tank. If you want to add a splash color to your aquarium, you’ll be happy to know that Guppies are perfect in a Yoyo Loach tank.

These fish grow up to 2.4 inches at most, but males are a lot smaller, even 0.6 inches in length. Still, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll get eaten.

While Yoyo Loaches stick to the bottom of the tank, Guppies prefer swimming in the upper layer, close to the surface.

These two species won’t interact often. Also, Guppies are quick and restless swimmers. Their favorite thing is chasing each other in the tank. They’re peaceful and get along well with other friendly species.

Sometimes, they might get shy when not in a big group. So, provide them with plenty of hiding spots.

Space won’t be a problem. You can keep lots of Guppies even in a small-sized aquarium. You’ll need just 5 gallons for 1-2 fish and 1 gallon for each additional guppy. This is an omnivorous species and will eat all the foods that Loaches also enjoy.

They need a combination of both protein and veggies. Live foods are also some of their favorites. You can also feed them flakes because Guppies feed at the surface. Save the sinking foods for the Loaches.

Guppies‘ water parameters include 74–82°F temperature, 6.8–7.6 pH, and 8–12 dGH.   

3. Mollies

Mollies are very hardy and adaptable fish. They can survive in a wide range of conditions, which makes them a good choice for a Yoyo Loach tank.

Like Guppies, Mollies come in a huge range of colors and patterns. But they also grow larger, up to 3.5-4.5 inches long.

If you’re nervous about adding small fish to a Yoyo Loach tank, Mollies are the solution. Personality-wise, Mollies are peaceful and sociable but shy around other species. They prefer living in groups of at least 4 fish.

When they feel threatened, they flee for safety. You’ll have to include lots of plants and hiding spots for them.

Unlike Loaches, Mollies occupy the top level of the tank. They’re used to shallow water, so they won’t venture down to the bottom.

Despite their average size, they don’t need too much space. You’ll need around 10 gallons for a small group of 4, and 3 gallons for each extra fish.

Like most freshwater fish, Mollies are omnivorous.

They’ll eat virtually anything you chuck into the tank. From flakes to live foods, and from cooked veggies to algae wafers, nothing’s off the menu.

This species is adaptable to a wide range of parameters. Ideally, you should stick to 72–78 °F temperature, and 7.5–8.5 pH. The hardness level can range anywhere from 11–30 dGH.

4. Corydoras

Corydoras make up a large group of over 160 species. There are subtle variations between one species and the next. But overall, Cory Catfish are peaceful and mellow fish.

They just love chilling and minding their own business. You won’t see them going out of their way to interact with or disturb other fish in the tank.

Corydoras grow up to 1-4 inches, depending on the species. I recommend sticking to the larger species because Corys are bottom dwellers.

They’re going to be around your Yoyo Loaches most of the time. And just like Loaches, Corys spend a lot of time burrowing and looking for food.

Needless to say, these two species eat very similar diets. Insects, larvae, worms, small crustaceans, algae, pellets, and blanched veggies are some of the foods you should include in their diet. Variety is key for this omnivorous fish. Cory Catfish can live alone, but also in small groups.

You can house them however you want, depending on your tank space. One Cory needs at least 10 gallons of water.

If you want to keep more fish, you should have 1-4 gallons of extra space. The ideal water parameters should be 70–78°F for temperature, 5.5–7.0 for pH, and 5–10 dGH for hardness.

5. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetras are hardy fish with low care requirements. They’re also easy to find in most pet stores. They’re a perfect choice for beginners and well-versed fishkeepers alike.

And what is more, they’re also suitable tank mates for Yoyo Loaches! These Tetras are calm and docile.

They get along well with other peaceful species, as long as they have enough room in the aquarium. You see, Tetras are very energetic.

They spend most of their time darting from one side to the other. But they prefer swimming in the middle layer. They rarely swim down to the bottom. They’ll need enough room to remain active.

Luckily, you don’t need a huge aquarium for them. Neon Tetras grow up to 1.5 inches at most. You’ll need just 10 gallons for a school of six.

They’re an omnivorous species. They’ll be happy with a variety of protein and plant foods. You can feed them anything from fish flakes to small insects and even algae.

They certainly won’t turn down any of the foods enjoyed by Loaches. And, as you would expect, Neon Tetras and Yoyo Loaches also have similar water parameters.

These Tetras thrive in temperatures around 70–81°F. The pH should be 6.0-7.0, and the water hardness can go from 2-10 dGH.

6. Discus Fish

If you want a fancy, colorful tank mate for your Loaches, look no further! The charming Discus can enhance the appearance of any aquarium with its exotic look.

And they’re compatible with most species, Loaches included! Just keep in mind that Discuses are large fish. They grow up to 8-10 inches and must be kept in groups of at least five.

You’ll need at least 50 gallons worth of space just for them. Don’t worry about the huge size difference though. Discus fish are very peaceful and shy.

When pestered by other fish, they prefer darting for cover instead of fighting. They spend most of their time in shoals, so they won’t interact much with other species in the aquarium.

They also swim mostly in the middle layer, compared to bottom-dwelling Loaches. Their natural diet is mostly made up of plant foods like algae and other plant matter.

Just 1/3 of their food must come from meaty foods. Things like worms, insects, larvae, small crustaceans, and small invertebrates are all good choices.

They’re a bit difficult to care for because of their strict water parameters. Luckily, it’s easy to find a middle ground between these two species.

Discus fish require warm water (82-88°F) with a close to neutral pH (6.0-7.0). The water must be very soft, roughly 1-4dGH.

7. Angelfish

Angelfish grow up to 3-4 inches in length. Their size makes them compatible with Loach tank mates. However, you’ll need a lot of space even for a small group.

Angelfish require at least 15-20 gallons each. Luckily, they’re mostly solitary. Despite their shoaling behavior, they don’t need much interaction.

You can keep one single Angelfish in the tank if you want. This fish is mostly peaceful and calm but can become territorial.

Luckily, Angelfish swim in the middle level of the aquarium. As long as bottom-dwelling Loaches don’t venture into their space, it’s going to be fine. These two fish will rarely interact.

Angelfish are omnivorous, but they require a meat-heavy diet. High-protein foods should make up the bulk of their intake.

Fibrous plant matter should also be given on occasion. Small live prey like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are exceptional sources of nutrition.

You can also include insects, larvae, and of course, high-protein fish flakes.

 The uneaten food that makes it to the bottom of the tank will make a good snack for your Loaches.

These two species have very similar water parameters. Angelfish thrive in temperatures around 75–82°F. However, their ideal pH range is very narrow, just 6.8-7.0. The hardness can range from 4–12 dGH.

8. Rosy Barbs

Rosy Barbs are a hardy, active, and peaceful shoaling species. These attributes make them a great match for Yoyo Loaches.

They’re calm and friendly and prefer living in large groups. You’ll have to keep at least 5-6 Rosy Barbs together. They become stressed when kept alone or in smaller groups.

You’ll need 30 spare gallons worth of tank space for them. But seeing them swim around is well worth it in the end.

These fish are very active, so there will always be movement and color in the middle levels of your aquarium. Although Rosy Barbs grow up to 6 inches long, they won’t pose a threat to the small Loaches.

Barbs rarely swim down to the bottom of the aquarium. They also don’t have a reputation for attacking or eating other fish. Unless we’re talking about fish with long, flowing fins. But that’s a different story.

Like Loaches, Barbs are omnivorous. They have huge appetites and will eat anything you feed them.

You should focus on high-protein, nutrient-rich flakes. You can diversify their diet with dried bloodworms, small crustaceans, and insects. And of course, small amounts of plant foods like algae and blanched spinach are also good.

This species thrives in 64-74°F water. Keep the pH between 6.0-8.0 and the hardness below 10dGH.

9. Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios get their name from the thin horizontal zebra-like stripes on their bodies. I think their look complements the striped Yoyo Loaches nicely.

And these two species make a good combo for multiple other reasons! First of all, they’re roughly the same size. Zebra Danios grow up to 2.5 inches at most and don’t require a lot of space.

This shoaling species does best in a group of at least five. Luckily, you don’t need more than 10 gallons worth of space for them!

They’re active, playful middle-level swimmers. Zebra Danios get along well with all the peaceful fish in the tank. They’re not territorial and they love interacting with others.

They might get stressed and touchy when kept in a crowded tank. But if there’s enough space, they won’t cause any trouble!

As for their diet, Zebra Danios are not picky at all. They love foods like algae, veggies, worms, crustaceans, and small insect larvae.

You can feed them these foods on top of a staple diet of high-quality flakes. You can also include live foods like daphnia and brine shrimp for an occasional nutrient-dense snack.

The ideal water parameters include 64–77°F temperature, 6.8–8.0 pH, and 5–19 dGH.

10. Ram Cichlids

There are a few Cichlid species with “Ram” in their names. To avoid any confusion, I should mention that I’m talking specifically about Mikrogeophagus ramirezi.

These little fish are unlike most other Cichlids you’ve heard of. For starters, Ram Cichlids are a lot smaller, up to 2-3 inches when fully grown.

Unlike most Cichlids, this species doesn’t require a lot of space. You can keep one single fish in just 10 gallons worth of aquarium space.

Ram Cichlids aren’t a shoaling species. However, they’re very calm and peaceful. They don’t mind the company of other cichlids and even other species with a similar temperament.

If the general image you have about Cichlids is “aggressive, easily agitated, and territorial”, this little ray of sunshine is anything but that.

This Cichlid doesn’t have a preferred tank level. It swims all over the place, so it will interact with the Loaches quite often.

However, since the fish are similar in size and personality, this shouldn’t be a problem.

 As for their diet, Ram Cichlids are omnivores. They require a variety of meats and plant foods.

You should center their diet on insects, larvae, and other small invertebrates like worms. Also include plenty of plants like algae, spinach, cooked peas, and cucumber.

These cichlids also accept flakes and pellets, but these shouldn’t be staple foods in their diets. Finally, this species’ water parameters include 78-85 °F temperature, 6.0-7.5 pH, and 6-14 dGH.


Thanks to their calm and friendly demeanor, Yoyo Loaches can get along with most of the peaceful species.

Just remember to only choose fish with similar water parameters and body sizes. Yoyo Loaches are quite big, growing up to 6 inches at most.

All of the species mentioned in this article can tolerate similar temperature, pH, and hardness levels.

You can pick some of the most popular freshwater fish, including Mollies, Guppies, Zebra Danios, and Neon Tetras.

Larger fish like Discus and Rosy Barbs are also decent options. These fish are active, but slow swimmers when compared to Yoyo Loaches.

They also spend most of their time swimming in the upper layers, away from the bottom-dwelling Loaches.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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