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Clown loach

Clown loach
(Chromobotia macracanthus)

The most famous of the aquarium loaches! Be careful, however, it is sold young and small in the pet store but becomes very large! In addition, it absolutely needs its peers to feel good! Its purchase must be carefully considered. This sheet will help you better understand the needs of this friendly loach.

Scientific name

Chromobotia macracanthus
Botia macracanthus

Common name

Clown loach
Tiger botia

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Indonesia, Malaysia
Biotope: Asian

Dimorphism

what are the physical differences between males and females?

Not very apparent. The male is stockier and has a higher back

Group

Group

Cobitidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

600 L / 132 imp gal / 158 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this fish?

T°: 26 to 28°C or 79 to 82°F
pH: 6.5 to 7
Hardness: 1 to 8°dGH

Difficulty

Difficulty

Average

Size

what is the maximum size of this fish?

20 to 35cm (8 to 14")

Life expectancy

what is the average life expectancy of this fish?

15 to 20 years

Living zone

in which area of the aquarium does this fish live?

Middle and depth

Individuals

sociability of the species

6

Food

How to feed the Clown loach?

Food

How to feed the Clown loach?

Omnivorous, the Clown loach willingly accepts all forms of food. It remains mostly carnivorous, with a clear preference for live prey (snail, mudworms, etc...).

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Clown loach have?

Behavior

What kind of behavior does the Clown loach have?

Gregarians, the Clown loach must imperatively live in groups of 5/6 individuals minimum (10 ideally). This group will form a very complex social hierarchy. Normally, it is the largest female that has dominance on the shoal. If the group is too small, the fish can become aggressive between them. Indeed, the dominant individual can become so stressful that in some cases the dominated stop eating. Likewise, an isolated loach will become aggressive towards the species that resembles it.

In general, it’s a dynamic, lively, always moving, playful and even funny species (it sometimes swims sideways or upside down)! You will often see them settle in unexpected positions, wedged vertically or horizontally between the elements of the scenery, or completely lying on the ground. Do not worry, in most cases, these are natural resting positions.

Tendency to be active rather at night.

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Clown loach?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Clown loach?

Of a peaceful nature, the loach accepts community aquariums under certain conditions.

In fact, do not associate them with other groundfish such as Corydoras (which could starve in the face of this 30 cm (12 inch) wolverine!). Also avoid fish that are too small or too quiet that might be frightened by its intense activity. The loaches can also «pinch» large-finned species such as Guppy, Betta or many cichlids.

You can maintain it with Crossocheilus, barbs Pentazona, Garra, Epalzeorhynchos or the genera Balantiocheilos, Barilius, Barbonymus, Luciosoma for example.

Breeding

How to breed the Clown loach?

Breeding

How to breed the Clown loach?

Extremely difficult (only possible using hormones). The rituals of natural breeding are very complex and difficult to imitate in captivity.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Clown loach?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Clown loach?

Since the Clown loach is a groundfish, a substrate of non-cutting fine sand is imperative. Plan also many hiding places. You can do this by using roots, rocks (this fish likes raised positions!). Watch out for the stability and security of your decoration: the Clown loach likes to sneak into cracks, crevices and interstices. We must therefore ensure that the decoration is not sharp (use worn rocks for example) and that no hiding place is too small (the fish can then get stuck in). Complete your arrangement with very sturdy and secure plants, as the loach uproots and eats the most tender plants.

The Clown loach does not like bright lights and often looks for shady areas. Therefore, favor soft lighting or sift your aquarium with floating plants.

Finally, equip your aquarium with a good filtration, which ensures a good oxygenation of the water, will eliminate the organic waste and will offer a strong current much appreciated by the Clown loach. Be careful however to offer areas with lower current to allow the fish to rest.

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

This loach often eats snails. This peculiarity has become a selling point, but you will have understood, as for its need of congeners, as for its size and longevity, the purchase of a Clown loach should not be taken lightly!

In volumes too small, the Clown loach becomes dwarfed, becomes sensitive to diseases and its longevity is very seriously undermined: absolutely avoid this!

Particularly susceptible to the white spot disease and pharmaceuticals. Also note that the Clown loach does not like dirty water, so it will be necessary to provide a weekly water change of 30 to 50%.

Sometimes this fish emits an audible snap. The behavioral aspects of this phenomenon remain unexplained.

Note that this species loses its colour and becomes almost gray in adulthood.

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