Beaufortia kweichowensis

Beaufortia kweichowensis is the only Beaufortia species you will find regularly in the aquarium trade. You originate from the south of China.


Beaufortia kweichowensis

Beaufortia kweichowensis received its official name in 1931 when it was first described by Fang. The name of the genus Beaufortia refers to the Dutch ichthyologist Dr. L.F. de Beaufort.

The species name consists of two parts; “Kweichow” is a local name for the Guizhou province in China. the second part is the Latin suffix “-ensis” which means “lives in”. Combined you will get “Lives in Kweichow”.

Synonyms: Gastromyzon leveretti kweichowensis, Beaufortia kweichowensis gracilic.


They live in the South of China in the provences of Guizhou (=Kweichow), Guangxi and Guangdong. Beaufortia kweichowensis inhabits the shallow, fast flowing, rich of oxigen streams (above 300 meters above sealevel) with a substrate of sand, smaller and larger rounded stones and pebbles that have grown a biofilm.


Beaufortia kweichowensis is adapted to the fast flowing waters in its habitat. They haven a flattened body and enlarged pectoral and pelvic fins. Their pectoral fins have grown together. Because of these adaptions the ability to swim in open water has been highly reduced. It has become more a climbing and crawling to move around. To cover larger distances they sometimes glide in the water, making use of the strong currents.

Beaufortia kweichowensis has a light yellowbrown to gray base color, on top of that they have a darker irregular pattern of dots and stripes. They can make their base color a lot darker when they sit on a dark surface.

The easiest way to tell the difference between male and female Beaufortia kweichowensis is by looking from above. Males have a snout that makes a sharp angle with their pectoral fins, it looks like they have shoulders; the female snout gradually turns into pectoral fins, giving it a more rounded appearance. Females also are a bit plumper build than males.

Often the very similar looking but slightly larger Beaufortia leveretti is being confused with Beaufortia kweichowensis. Beaufortia leveretti can be distinguished by looking at the notch in the lower lip of the Beaufortia leveretti, they also have pelvic fins that cover the anal opening. Beaufortia kweichowensis lacks the notch in the lower lip and their anal opening is clearly visible.


Preferably decorate the aquarium with a sand substrate, smaller and larger rounded pebbles and rocks that can grow a biofilm. Use a strong aquarium pump to create a lot of current and get a lot of dissolved oxygen. They will need the current to display their natural movements. If the outside temperature gets too hot and is heating your aquarium you might want to add an air-pump to create bubbles.

In their natural habitat you wont find any aquatic plants but if you want some in your aquarium it is best to choose some hardy plants like Anubias, Lagenandra, Bolbitis or Cryptocoryne.


Beaufortia kweichowensis graze the stones on which a biofilm has formed, this biofilm consists of algae and micro organisms. They don’t eat all algae; they prefer diatoms and soft green algae. You can also feed them herbivorous wafers with spirulina; occasional live or frozen food will be eaten as wel. Pay attention not to feed them meaty foods too often. Beaufortia sp. are herbivorous so feeding them too much meaty proteins can cause problems to their digestive system.


Usually Beaufortia kweichowensis are very peaceful fish, males are somewhat bolder than females. They can sometimes have territorial fights over a good spot but that is more of a show instead of real fighting. If being kept in a too small group they tend to hide behind or below rocks without showing themselves so keep them in a decent group to make them feel safe.


No aquarium breeding reports have been found on the Beaufortia kweichowensis. Not much is known on how they reproduce in the wild. Small fry (<15 millimeter) have been found on slower flowing parts. It is assumed Beaufortia spp. are egg scatterers and the eggs hatch where the current takes them.



Copyright images

J. de Lange
Martin Thoene –


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