» Posted by on Jul 16, 2014 in Blog, Cyndi T, Education, Freshwater Fish | Comments Off on Clowning Around with Clown Loaches

Freshwater Fish for Sale:


Clowning Around with Clown Loaches


By Cyndi Taylor


Freshwater Fish for Sale - Clown Loaches

While walking through the freshwater aisles looking at many different fish, an orange and black striped fish catches your eye. Is it a Tiger Barb, or even a Clown Fish (no silly, that’s a saltwater fish!)? Then you take a closer look, and it is a longer bodied fish that is lying around the bottom of the tank with others of the same type.Freshwater Fish for Sale NJ - Clown Loaches That, my friend, is a Clown Loach, Latin name Chromobotia macracanthus. Now these little fish are cute when they’re one and a half inches, but wait until that sucker gets five inches! But what’s even better is that the maximum size of Clown Loaches is 12 inches in an aquarium and even larger out in the wild! This means that fish is going to outgrow your 30 gallon tank and will eventually need a habitat that’s at least 6 feet long if you want to keep the fish happy for its 10 year or more lifespan. Also, Clown Loaches are shoaling fish so the minimum is at least three fish, and of course the more the merrier.

Now let’s get to some basics about the Clown Loach. Loaches are in the family Cobititae and are found in rivers in Indonesia. The water in these rivers has a hardness level (dH) of 5-12 and a pH of 5.0-8.0. So to mimic these natural conditions, your tank at home should be no higher than a 12 dH and around neutral (7.0) pH. The temperature of the water should be at least 78° Fahrenheit. The substrate of the aquarium should be fine since loaches have delicate barbels on their mouth to help feel around for food. Speaking of food, Clown Loaches eat snails, so they are great if you have a snail problem! They may pick at any live plants too, so be sure to have broader leafed plants like Anubias or Swords if you don’t want them eating the plants. Clown Loaches are also peaceful fish that keep to themselves and would do great with other fish in a larger community tank.

Freshwater Fish for Sale NJ - Clown Loaches

A Clown Loach next to his tank mate,
a Bleeding Heart Tetra

Freshwater Fish for Sale NJ - Clown Loaches

“What a great hiding spot!”

Clown Loaches are called “clowns” for a reason; they have strange behaviors! They make a clicking noise when they are happy and even have a “dance” where the swim up and down vertically in a big oval shape. They tend to sleep on their side (or in weird places) and pretend they are dead. It’s the cutest thing to see your Clown Loaches all piled up in the corner or under a rock! If you like watching the natural behavior of fish, the Clown Loach is a great choice for some cute entertainment.  

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