Not difficult to keep but must be provided with a soft, sandy substrate since some of its time will be spent completely buried, or with only eyes protruding.
When coarser material is used it may become stressed or damage itself trying to dig, and feeding behaviour can be inhibited.
Other décor can include water-worn rocks and driftwood branches and tree roots arranged to form plenty of hiding places and shaded spots – add these prior to the substrate to prevent them being toppled by digging activity.
Lighting can be quite dim unless you intend to grow plants and a few handfuls of leaf litter would complement the natural effect.
Though torrent-like conditions are unnecessary it does best if there is a high proportion of dissolved oxygen and some water movement in the tank meaning power filter(s), additional powerhead(s), or airstone(s) should be employed as necessary.
Like many fishes that naturally inhabit running water it’s intolerant to accumulation of organic pollutants and requires spotless water in order to thrive, meaning weekly water changes of 30-50% tank volume should be considered routine.
In a set-up as described above these loaches will do well alongside species that inhabit the upper part of the water column such as Rasbora, Devario, Laubuca and Barilius spp.
Sand-dwelling loaches from the families Botiidae, Cobitidae and Nemacheilidae are also suitable but proper research is essential as some can be excessively territorial or otherwise aggressive. A community based around one of its native rivers could make an interesting display with plenty of options.
It’s usually recommended to buy only a single specimen or a group of three or more but ideally six should be the fewest considered since it exists in loose aggregations in nature.
Occasional skirmishes, presumably over temporary territories, do happen but physical injury is rare.