Clown Loach

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Clown Loach
Clown Loach
Clown Loach
Clown Loach

An extremely popular addition to a Tropical Community tank or an African Cichlid tank is the unusual Clown Loach. Clown Loaches feature a long and laterally compressed body with an arched dorsal fin and four pairs of barbels. The main body is reddish orange in colour with three wide vertical black bands. Its mouth faces downwards and has fleshy lips.

Common Name(s) : Clown Loach

Family : Cobitidae

Subfamily : Botiinae

GenusChromobotia

Species : Chromobotia macracanthus

Origin : Asia – Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo

PH : 6.5 – 8.0

Hardness : Adaptable from soft to hard

Temperature : 24 – 28°C / 75–82°F

Maximum Size : 40cm / 16″

Lifespan : 15 years

Aggression Level : Low-Medium (3.5/10)

Recommended Tank Size : 100 Litres +

Strata : Bottom

TANK SET UP

Most importantly – ensure you have adequate filtration for your Clown Loach setup. These fish require clean water, some enthusiasts do small partial water changes on a weekly basis.

Clown Loaches will hide (quite comically if you have enough of them its a bit like the 20 clowns coming out of a car!) so you will need to provide them an area of cover all to themselves.

Clown Loaches will famously dig up bunch plants, frustratingly plants and Clown Loaches look great together. Your best bet is to add some driftwood plants as the loaches cannot dig them up. In addition other cover such as caves, rocks or ornaments would definately be an advantage in keeping these fish.

SUITABLE TANK MATES

  • Tropical Fish
  • Dwarf Cichlids
  • African Cichlids

 DIET

Omnivores, we feed our Clown Loaches bloodworm, flake food and occassionaly drop in a piece of cucumber tied to a plant anchor (a flexible weight) where they are only too happy to tuck into the softer fleshy part inside the skin. They will also eat live brine shrimp, live blackworm, sinking pellets or tropical crisps.

SEXING AND BREEDING

Clown Loaches are sexually almost identical . A closer look will reveal that females tend to be plumper while males tips of their tails curve inwards slightly. This is more obvious in larger specimens.

Clown Loaches are egglayers, however it is highly unlikely that these fish will spawn in an aquarium and only minimal events have so far been recorded – with one of these events being documented as involving extremely large specimens.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION

Originating from inland streams of Borneo, Sumatra and Indonesia, where they are a bottom dwelling omnivore that populate fast moving streams that are constantly being flushed with plenty of run off from mountainous areas. Therefore when keeping these fish in an aquarium, it is important to remember that Clown Loaches appreciate strong filtration and high water quality.
Clown Loaches are quite a funny fish to watch when out and about in the aquarium. While they do best in groups of at least 4-6, they might forrage about in a school or the occassional individual might wander out by itself looking for food. You might notice a “clicking sound” from time to time coming from your aquarium that might mean you Clown Loaches are either happy or angry.
We feed our Clown Loaches bloodworm, flake food and occassionaly drop in a piece of cucumber tied to a plant anchor (a flexible weight) where they are only too happy to tuck into the softer fleshy part inside the skin. They will also eat live brine shrimp, live blackworm, sinking pellets or tropical crisps.
They are known to be very shy when entering a new aquarium for the first arrive and may hide away under a rock or inside an ornament for several days to a week. It should be mentioned that Clown Loaches are very sensitive to light, however they will soon adapt and will frequent the bottom third of the tank either individually or more commonly dart around in a very nice looking shoal.
Due to their sensitivity to light, it is strongly recommended they are provided with hiding places like ornaments or rocks.
Clown Loaches are great for an aquarium in that they will control snail outbreaks. For this reason it isn’t recommended you keep Clown Loaches and Mystery Snails together in the same aquarium as it will be a very expensive meal for your loaches.
Sometimes you will notice a Clown Loach lying on its side. Half the time you think they are dead. They are also known to sometimes swim upside down. This is normal behaviour for them and is nothing to worry about.
Clown Loaches feature a defence mechanism where a spine may appear from just under the eye, this spine is not poisonous but care should be taken not to inflict a small wound in a finger or hand if they are ever being handled.
We find these fish are great in both tropical set ups and African Cichlid set ups. It is most important that if you wish to keep them in an African set up that you ensure there is a good group of them. They really do watch each others back so to speak.
Due to them being scaleless, these fish are susceptable to white spot disease – a common aquarium parasite, however due to them being scaleless, they are sensitive to many medications containing formalin or copper sulphate. Half doses are recommended as are using malachite green based remedies.

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