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Top Fin Aquatics

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

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Clown Loach

The Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) is a favorite in the aquarium hobby, well-loved for its bright colors, lively nature, and curious personality. With proper care, these long-lived fish can grow to impressive sizes.

Highly active and social, Clown Loaches thrive in a wide temperature range and get along with many other fish species. They are omnivores, needing a diet that includes both meaty foods and some vegetables or fruits. While they accept high-quality dry foods, it's important to also offer live or frozen foods regularly. They might occasionally nibble on soft leaf plants but typically leave tougher plants like Anubias, Java Fern, and Moneywort alone. In well-fed, larger tanks, they rarely harm established plants.

These fish need an aquarium with plenty of plants, rocks, and driftwood to explore and hide in, which reduces their stress and keeps them active. They also need open space for swimming. Clown Loaches show sophisticated schooling behavior, often competing to lead the group. This behavior, while seemingly aggressive, doesn't result in real fights and keeps them very active. Keeping at least 6-8 Clown Loaches together minimizes any potential aggression. A secure lid is necessary as they can jump out of the tank.

They do best in clean, well-oxygenated water with moderate to high flow. While generally peaceful, their lively nature can stress very passive fish. They should not be kept with slow-moving, timid, or long-finned fish but do well with other fast-moving, hardy species. They help control pest snail populations but may prey on larger ornamental snails and shrimp.

Though Clown Loaches grow slowly, especially after reaching 6-8 inches (10-15 cm), they eventually become quite large and need a spacious aquarium, particularly as they must be kept in groups.

What We Like About This Fish:

  • Bright and beautiful coloration
  • Extremely active and bold, always swimming and foraging
  • Adaptable to a variety of water conditions
  • Active in the middle and bottom parts of the tank
  • Ideal for large aquariums

Recommended Tank Parameters:

  • Temperature: 75° - 86°F (24° - 30°C) with high dissolved oxygen levels at higher temperatures
  • pH: 6.2 – 7.5
  • KH: 1 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum Tank Size: 180+ gallons for a group of full-grown adults

Care Guidelines:

  • Diet: Omnivorous. Needs a mix of live and frozen meaty foods (like cyclops, Daphnia, Artemia, Tubifex, bloodworms), high-quality dry foods, and some vegetables and fruits (like cucumber, zucchini, blanched spinach, melon).
  • Social Behavior: Must be kept in schools of 6-8+ for healthy social interaction and to prevent withdrawal or aggression.
  • Origin: Borneo, Sumatra
  • Average Adult Size: 7.9 – 12 inches (20 - 30 cm), with older females potentially growing larger
  • Average Purchase Size: 5 cm

*Sample Photo is for reference only. Exact fish will vary in size and colour*

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