When storms approach the previously calm weather coach begins swimming wildly about, appearing to be looking for a way out. Their active and interesting personalities coupled with ease of care have made them one of the most popular coaches.
This ever-widening distribution is due to several factors, including aquarium releases and farms where the fish are raised as a food source and for use as angling bait. Often mistaken for an eel, the weather coach has an elongated olive-colored body that is either striped from head to tail (as seen in Misguides fossils, rarely seen in the United States and Western Europe), or sprinkled with many spots, as seen in Misguides angullicaudatusis.
Many owners can relate stories of their coach jumping from the tank and surviving overnight without any ill effects. It is not unusual to see a weather coach resting on its pectoral fins as if they were arms, intently following your movements with its eyes.
Some owners report that their weather coach likes to be touched and even petted. The ability of the weather coach to thrive in less than optimal situations dates back to its natural habitat in China and Japan.
The weather coach enjoys hiding places such as rocks and other landscaping materials, or even something as simple as a plastic tube left in the tank. Lighting should be subdued, or plenty of covers provided so shady hiding spots can be found.
In the wild, their diet consists of insect larvae, small crustaceans and mollusks, and detritus.However, they will also readily eat fresh vegetables. Their ability to adapt their diet has made them a subject of some concern because of the impact they could have on the aquatic insect population should the numbers of weatherloaches in the wild increase.
They are sold live in open markets throughout Korea, where they are often used to make a very tasty soup. Breeding is fairly difficult, primarily due to a lack of knowledge about their spawning habits.
Spawning follows a courtship ritual that includes sinuous movements back and forth by the breeding pair, sometimes lasting for a period of several hours. But even though these are a fish that anyone can manage, it’s important to have a good understanding of their ideal conditions if you want them to truly thrive.
We cover things like size, diet, water conditions, tank mates, and more! Hailing from streams and ponds throughout Asia, the Dojo Coach (Misguides anguillicaudatus) is a fascinating fish with a unique personality.
Thanks to their hardy nature, they’re quite easy to keep healthy even if you don’t have a ton of fish-keeping experience. Author Note: The owners we know who’ve had their Dojo Coaches exceed the typical lifespan all keep them in very large tanks with perfect water quality.
The head is somewhat pointed, which is pretty common for fish in the Coach family. You can find solid specimens that are olive green, light brown, or gray.
Fish that take on a goldfish yellow hue are typically referred to as Gold Dojo Coaches. In captivity, the average Dojo Coach size is usually no larger than 6 inches in length when fully grown.
They can live in water temperatures that most fish will find uncomfortable which gives you a solid margin for error. In fact, these fish are considered to be pretty fool-proof because it takes extreme changes to their water conditions to have an impact on their health.
Because they can get quite long, smaller tanks will feel cramped and uncomfortable for these critters. Aquariums that are at least 4 feet long are recommended so that there’s plenty of swimming room.
This is especially true if you plan on getting more than one Dojo Coach or creating a larger community tank. This fish species can be found all across Asia and actually serve as a food source for areas throughout China, Japan, Korea, and even Russia.
You can find them living in streams, rice ponds, small lakes, and other shallow bodies of water. Because they are found in so many locations throughout the world, these fish are very tolerant when it comes to water conditions.
Even with their resilience in tough environments, you should make things easier for your fish in captivity. Stick to these water parameters to keep your Dojo Coach healthy.
Author Note: Take a few minutes once or twice a week to test these levels. While you have some wiggle room in terms of what the Weather Coach can tolerate, you still want to keep everything as stable as possible.
Coarse or sharp material like gravel can easily cut them, so stick to something soft. Feel free to choose natural or artificial decorations based on personal preference.
The only thing to prioritize is giving the fish plenty of hiding spaces. Ideally, they’ll have things life driftwood or plants to hide in.
Plastic decorations work fine as long as they’re big enough for the fish to fit in. Large pieces of driftwood are commonly used by aquariums, as are tall plants (such as horn wort).
Then, fill larger filtration tubes with sponge or filter media to stop them from traveling down that opening. Unfortunately, Dojo Coaches are a bit more susceptible to diseases than most freshwater species.
These fish will often be the first in a community tank to exhibit bacterial or fungal infections. If your Pond Coach has it, you must quarantine them immediately and provide treatment in a separate tank.
Similar to issues like tapeworm infestations in mammals, Skinny Disease causes the fish to lose weight despite having a healthy diet. The key to keeping diseases at bay is to continually monitor and maintain water conditions.
Inferior water quality can cause stress and disease among the fish inside. In the wild Dojo Coaches primarily feed off organic matter like algae.
Dried pellets are a great option if you’re looking for an easy way to meet their dietary needs. Sinking pellets are a must- have, as most Dojo Coaches will not swim up to the surface if there is a lot of other fish around.
Author Note: Dojo Coaches are also known to snack on freshwater aquarium snails and small invertebrates as well. If you provide the fish with good care and get them used to you, they’ll probably let you touch and feed them by hand.
Due to their activity level and need to move, it’s not uncommon for them to try and jump out of the aquarium. If you find your Pond Coach on the floor one day, try to introduce them back to the tank.
The unique thing about this species is that they’re able to take advantage of atmospheric oxygen to stay alive outside the water. It is possible to keep a single Dojo Coach in your tank, but we don’t recommend it.
Author Note: Always monitor your fish early on to look for signs of trouble. In fact, many home aquariums don’t even attempt it because the requirements make it difficult to achieve.
Dojo Coaches require several months of cold temperatures to breed. At that point, you can feed them industrial for several weeks until they are large enough to consume baby brine shrimp.
But unlike some other fish that are easy to care for, these are still incredibly rewarding to keep. We’ve heard so many great stories about these fish over the years, and we think it would be fun to start including some in our guide.