Care Level: Moderate
Live Plant Safe: With Caution
General Description: The Clown Loach is native to rivers of Indonesian islands, including Borneo and Sumatra. Identified by their interchangable orange and black stripes, the Clown loach is a popular fish among enthusiasts not only for their color and overall peaceful demeanor, but for their natural ability to control nuisance snails that may sneak into your aquarium on live plants. There is considerable variation in the maximum adult size of Clown loaches. While wild, and few aquarium, specimens have been recorded to reach a size of up to 12″, the average Clown loach in the home aquarium tends to reach a size between 6 to 8″.
Diet Requirements: In the wild Clown loaches are omnivores. A diet made up of various high quality vegetable based and protein based flake foods, tablet foods or sinking pellet foods are ideal, in addition to offering frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp and other mixed freshwater preparations. Live blackworms are an appreciated treat. Variety is the spice of life in order to maintain color, immune function and longevity of your fish. Younger/smaller Clown loaches are less finicky than more mature ones.
Care Requirements: An extremely established minimum 40 gallon aquarium is ideal for a Clown loach. Size up accordingly to accomodate larger individuals. Clown loaches are intolerable of nitrite or ammonia spikes. Biweekly or weekly water changes are encouraged to keep water parameters pristine (Nitrates < 15 ppm). Deteriorating water parameters will stress Clown loaches, making them more susceptible to health issues or disease, such as Ich. Given the rivers in which they come from, Clown loaches require more turbulent water flow and a well oxygenated environment. The aquarium should be aquascaped with a fine substrate, smooth rocks, driftwood, flower pots or various other furnishes to create caves and hiding places. Clown loaches are not nocturnal, but may spend considerable time hiding throughout the day. Clown loaches are to be added “with caution” to live planted aquariums because they have been observed to feed on soft plants. Thicker plants, such as Anubias spp., will likely be left untouched. Clown loaches are relatively peaceful and rarely conflict with tank mates, unless they are similarily shaped. Multiple Clown loaches can be kept together, but 5 or more is recommended because they develop complex social heirarchies. Clown loaches should not be mixed with small fish that may be intimidated by their size and activity level, or long-finned fish that are subject to being nipped. Recommended water conditions, 74-84° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.5.
Purchase Size: Small: 1-1/2″ to 2″; Medium: 2″ to 2-1/2″
Note: Your item may not look identical to the image provided due to variation within species. Purchase sizes are approximate.