|Complete List of Pet Articles @ PetManiacs.com | Home|
Scientific Name: Botia macracanthus
Other Scientific Name(s): Cobitis macracanthus, Botia macrocanthus
Common Name: Clown Loach
Clown loaches are very popular aquarium fish; however they are not always easy to keep successfully since they easily succumb to ick and are sensitive to poor water conditions. This article is intended to help new clown loach owners provide a good home for their loaches. Clown loaches are found in Indonesia (Sumatra and Borneo), and almost all clown loaches in aquariums are wild caught and distributed around the world before being sold. This can put considerable stress on the fish, and a vital step in getting a healthy clown loach school in your aquarium is choosing healthy fish. But how to make sure that you get healthy fish?
- Check the general conditions in the fish store. Are there dead fish in the aquariums? Is the water clean? If some tanks are mistreated there is a good chance that there might be unfavourable conditions in others too. Only buy fish from stores that take good care of their aquariums.
- How do the clown loaches look? Clown loaches can give you an indication of their condition based on their coloration. A healthy clown loach shows clear distinct colours, while a stressed one loses its colours and becomes whiter. Only buy loaches that show their correct colours.
- Are the clown loaches well fed? Those that haven't been fed correctly are hard to nurse back to health, and it is more than likely you will end up with a dead fish if you buy one. Look at their bodies and see if they look well fed, and ask the shopkeepers how often and what the loaches are fed.
- Are the clown loaches active? Healthy clown loaches are very active and full of energy. A healthy clown loach should be hard to catch.
- Do the clown loaches have hiding places? Hiding places are very important to relieve stress in clown loaches, and you are likely to get higher quality fish from aquariums with hiding places.
- Don't buy clown loaches smaller than 2 inches/5 cm if you haven't kept clown loaches before, since they are much more sensitive when they are younger.
So ideally you should look for the most coloured, most active clown loaches you can find, and buy these to have the best starting point possible. You should also consider the water conditions in the store and try to find one that keeps their clown loaches in water condition similar to the water conditions in your aquarium, to reduce stress on the clown loaches. It should also be stated that clown loaches like resting on their sides, looking almost as if they were dead. However this is completely normal and should not be seen as a sign of poor quality in the fish but rather the opposite. When you have decided where to buy your clown loaches you should buy at least 3 (preferable 8-10). Clown loaches are schooling fish that should never be kept alone!!!
Once you get home with your new clown loaches you should let the bag float on the water surface for 10-15 minutes, and then slowly every 10 minutes add a little water from the aquarium (a coffee cup). Repeat this 4-5 times before you release the fish into their new home.
Clown loaches can be kept in aquariums of 100 L / 20 G or more. Keep in mind that even though clown loaches grow very slowly they will get big eventually and need an aquarium of at least 540 L/ 125 G, and that should be considered a minimum.
Decorate your aquarium using a bottom substrate of sand or fine gravel that allows the clown loaches to dig . I recommend keeping your clown loaches in a planted aquarium, however the choice of plants differs greatly depending on whether you keep juvenile or adult clown loaches. Juvenile clown loaches can be kept with most plant species, while adults can be kept only with hardy plants such as Java fern and Anubias. All other plants will be destroyed and/or eaten by the adult clown loaches. I also recommend using floating plants to dim the lighting, which makes the loaches more active during the day.
Clown loaches want a setup with a lot of caves and other hiding places, preferably so narrow that they can just barely squeeze themselves into them. Don't be concerned if your clown loaches have squeezed themselves into caves they dug under rocks or aquarium equipment. Odds are they are not stuck - they just like it that way.
Hiding places can be created with rocks, roots, PVC pipes, flower pots, coconuts and different kinds of aquarium decorations. Sharp objects should not be used to decorate aquariums for clown loaches. You can not create too many hiding places and you should create several for each loach.
Clown loaches are sensitive to poor water quality, and they require good filtration. Higher water circulation is also appreciated since clown loaches live in currents in the wild.
Clown loaches are excellent jumpers, and you should make sure that your tank is properly sealed.
As I said earlier, clown loaches are very sensitive towards poor water quality and are usually the first fish that get ill or die if the water quality drops. Water changes of at least 25% a week are recommended. Because of their low tolerance to poor water qualities they are sometimes called indicator fish, since their health indicates the status of the aquarium. Clown loaches are very sensitive to chlorine, and even small amounts can cause a mass death of loaches.
This species are very prone towards getting ick if the water quality isn't good enough, and are sensitive to most ick medicines and salts. So keep an eye on your clown loaches and only use half the recommended doses of medicine, otherwise you risk the medicine killing the loaches.
Clown loaches are carnivores and only eat vegetables to complement their diet. It is therefore recommended that they are given food that reflects this. To get your clown loaches to grow, optimal feeding 3-5 times a day is recommended. (They still grow slowly). Their diet should contain a variety of foods, and can include almost any carnivorous food. A good base may be shrimps, different sinking wafers, different frozen foods, and as they grow older, fish slices. Clown loaches can make a clicking sound, and they will do this when they are content. Therefore you will soon find out what is your loaches' favourite food by them clicking when they receive it. Like most other fish, clown loaches might need some time to accept new foods, however once they do it might become a favourite. Clown loaches are one of the few fishes that eat and like snails, and can therefore be of good use in snail control.
Clown loaches have been bred in aquariums, however it is very rare. Sexing clown loaches externally is hard, but possible by looking at the tail fin. The tail fin tips on the male are slightly bent inwards, making the fin look a little bit like a claw. The tail fin tips on the females aren't shaped like this.
Clown loaches have to be quite old and at least 7 inches / 17 cm before they are sexually mature. In the one good account of clown loaches spawning they spawned under the following conditions:
- Temp: 84F
- pH: 6.5
- Ammonia & Nitrite: 0
- Nitrate: < 25
Four large clown loaches (over 25 cm /10 inches) were kept together in a planted aquarium, and a few weeks before spawning they changed their behaviour and started eating live fish as their only accepted food. The females in the group grew very fast on this diet, and had doubled in girth by the time of spawning. The night during which the spawning took place, two clowns were swimming close beneath the surface entwined in each other and "clicking." The next morning, 450 eggs were found spread about the aquarium. Clown loaches eat their own eggs, so it is recommended moving the parents if you wish to succeed in spawning them.
The fry were fed liquid fry food for the first two weeks, after which they accepted crushed flakes. They grew relatively fast, to 2.5 cm/ 1 inch in 6 weeks. After that the growth rate slowed down.
It's suggested that older fish are essential for breeding since this fish might have to be quite old to be sexually mature. Clown loaches live to be about 50 years, so it is quite feasible that they may spawn later in life than many other species.
William Berg has over 20 years of aquarium experiences and runs an aquarium website with a lot of information about aquarium decoration and all other aspects of aquarium keeping aswell as different fish species such as cichlids, bettas, catfishes and even crayfish.
This article was originally written for a site about clown loaches.
Five Powerful Reasons Why Owning A Pet Could Make You Live Longer
You may have heard that pets have been scientifically proven to increase your chances of living to a ripe old age. Well the rumour is true, but how exactly is it possible you may be wondering.
Interior Decorating for Cat Owners - Protecting Your Pet
Part 2: Protecting your petIf you own a cat, then designing the décor of your home will require taking several precautions in order to protect your pet from harm. Glass items should be avoided both because they are easy to shatter, and because fragments of glass can then become embedded in your cat's skin.
How Many Dogs Are Too Many?
I'm a pariah among the dog fanciers in my community. Why? Because I testified in support of a new regulation to limit pet ownership to no more than a total of three dogs and/or cats, older than six-months of age, in one household.
My Needs are Simple and Few!
My dear owner,Thank you once again for giving me shelter. (Lick, slurp, lick, slurp) Aside from food, shelter and love, my needs are simple and few! Since I am dependent upon you to provide for me, we should discuss my basic needs.
Canine Communication and Body Language
A couple of years ago a Japanese electronics company came up with a Gizmo which they claimed could convert dogs barks, yips and whines into human language, thereby allowing us to understand "Doggie" speak for the first time. I was on a radio program recently, discussing the merits and usefulness of a new dog collar that was also a mobile phone.
Cat Scratching Solutions
For a cat, scratching is a natural, necessary act. Besides keeping her claws in top shape, the stretching involved in a good scratch keeps her upper body strong and loose.
7 Puppy Naming Tips
You've picked out the perfect puppy. You spent hours on the internet, researching the right breed for you and your family.
Bringing Home a Puppy - Be Prepared!
So you just loved that sweet little puppy that you found in the pet shop. It will keep you company, and give you kisses, and guard your valuables.
The Cat Learned How to Work the WHAT?
When I carried him home, he was this tiny little bundle of fur, approximately three weeks old. He is mostly white, with some mutlicolored stripes, cute beyond belief, but he was being abused and starved at his current home, so I just couldn't leave him there.
Interesting Old Dog Tricks: For Dog Owners Looking For Fun & Laughter
The teaching and training of dog tricks while not a necessary part of a dog's education, is an achievement that offer dog owners and his friends a great deal of amusement and adds materially to the value of a dog.Training your dog tricks can be difficult and frustrating if you cannot achieve the results you want.
Life Long Nutrition A Comparison of Dog Foods
This article discusses two foods in paticual. For the puppy stage, Eagle Pack Puppy food and for the adult stage, Royal CaninLabrador RetrieverPuppy NutritionWhen deciding on the nutritional components that will determine the diet of my pups it is important to recognize and keep the following key factors at the forefront:- The pups will mature quickly, meaning that they will need the best diet possible to allow them to safely grow with the aid of the necessary amounts of the 6 major nutrients present- Starting at birth and lasting for the first 5-6 weeks of life, my pups will need a high quality Colostrum based formula due to them not being able to ween at birth.
Vaccinations Cause Vaccinosis - Your Pet is Being Harmed
Annual Vaccinations for Your Dog?Are they really necessary? - In a word, NO!You probably receive an annual reminder from your vet that your dog is due for his/her annual checkup and vaccinations. I do.
Dog Training Collars: Teaching Your Dog Basic Obedience and Breaking Bad Habits
Dog Training CollarsHaving a pet means having to provide for the pet's safety. But, that is not all a pet owner is obligated to do.
Why Cats Flip For Catnip
If you've ever watched as a cat "flipped" over fresh catnip perhaps you've been struck with the question; "what causes Catnip to affect cats that way?" Catnip is indeed an unusual phenomenon among cats, it has the ability to alter your cat's behavior like nothing else can. So what exactly is the reason for what scientists have coined as "the Catnip effect"?Unfortunately for such inquisitive minds the exact reason of why Catnip affects cats in such a manner remains mostly a mystery.
Train Your Dog To Be Your Frisbee Playing Buddy
On the surface playing Frisbee with your dog may seem like just a bit of fun, but this activity actually holds other benefits as well.1.
What is It About Horses and Young Girls?
In a world of computer games, theInternet and shopping malls, what is it about this four-legged farm animalthat seems to capture the heart of most of them?According to a recent study by the American Horse Council, 1.9 millionAmericans own horses -- just over 4 million people are recreational ridersand 3.
If You Want a Friend, Get a Dog!
Carl Icahn, the hostile takeover master who was THE original corporate raider, is often quoted as saying, "In this business, if you want a friend, get a dog!" The rest of us already knew that dog was man's best friend, and with good reason. Dogs as pets date back at least as far as the days of Pompeii, where the remains of a dog stretched out next to a little boy were recovered from the rubble at Pompeii.
Health Concerns for Goldfish
Most of the diseases that threaten goldfish can be cured. But better still these diseases can be prevented.
Chocolate And Your Dogs Health -- What You Should Know
Chocolate. Who can resist it?Your dogs health depends on it! (resisting, that is).
Have an Itchy Dog? Consider These Grooming Tips Before Turning To Chemical Treatments
Many dogs today suffer from itchy skin caused by a variety of factors. Dogs actually have more sensitive skin than humans, and are often exposed to a variety of irritants in their environment.
PetManiacs.com's Free! Pet Classified Ads
Click here to Post your ads | View by Location | View by Subject
Click here to Post your ads | View by Location | View by Subject
Pet Website Owners Wanted
Pet Maniacs home | site map | Pet Article List