Loaches are an incredibly diverse fish group, with 1,249 known species of Cobitoidea divided among 9 families. They are freshwater, benthic (bottom-dwelling) fish found in rivers and creeks throughout Eurasia and northern Africa, and their sizes range widely from tiny 1" miniature eel-loaches to 20" Imperial Flower Loaches weighing up to 6.6 lbs. Loaches are highly valued in the aquarium hobby for their interesting and often colorful appearances, and the Clown Loach is probably the most recognizable species. They are popular aquarium fish due to their peaceful nature and need for minimal care and maintenance. Loaches are one of the most interesting groups of fish to keep, and they can be a great addition to any freshwater tank.