There is no information regarding conservation for this species. More research into the distribution within the lake, population and threats is recommended. Additional research into life history and ecology would be useful, given this species is known from collections that do not contain mature individuals.
Tondanichthys kottelati is endemic to Lake Tondano in North Sulawesi, Indonesia (Collette 1995, 2004). This is the largest lake in the North Sulawesi province and has an area of 4,638 ha (Sinolungan et al. 2008). The extent of occurrence of this species, based on the area of a minimum convex polygon across the lake, equates to only 50 km2. This species occurs at a single location based on the existing threats (e.g., heavy metal pollution) that are expected to impact the entirety of the lake (Sinolungan et al. 2008).
No data are available regarding the population size or trend of this species.
Lake Tondano has high levels of sedimentation, heavy metals and chemical pollution (Wantasen and Luntungan 2019), and erosion caused by extensive deforestation for agricultural expansion. There are also very high nutrient inputs from fertiliser run off in the surrounding agricultural land, sewage disposal from nearby human settlements, fish farming for species of carp and tilapia, and the farming of an estimated 42,000 Manila ducks along the shore (Sinolungan et al. 2008, Evers 2014). The lake's outlet stream is also modified by a hydropower plant, and fishing is also known to occur on the lake (Walangitan et al. 2012). While the direct impact of existing threats have not been evaluated in detail, they continue to produce inferred declines in habitat quality and potentially habitat availability throughout the entirety of the lake.