Clown loach (scientific name: Chromobotia macracanthus) is one of the ray-finned fishes of the Cyprinidae family. It is also known as the three-room rat or the clown loach and the crown loach on the market. It is a tropical freshwater fish native to Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and Kalimantan. They are generally found in rivers and bodies of fast-moving water.
The clown loach is one of the biggest and brightest loaches. Their vibrant colors and comical personality will make them a star in any aquarium. But keeping one is a big decision. Although it is not the easiest fish to keep in the tank, it is certainly one of the most rewarding.
If you are an avid fish enthusiast who has a passion for colorful, interesting fish, you have probably been drawn to the clown loach once or twice. Keep reading to learn more important things you need to know about clown loaches.
Clown Loach Description
The clown loach is also known as the Tiger Loach and Tiger Botia. They are endemic to Indonesia and are prized for their bright orange and black colors. Even in dimly lit aquariums, they are shining. Their playful personality is also part of their charm, but it may unnerve smaller and more anxious fish. Before keeping these small fish, you must fully understand how to take care of them to ensure that they can grow healthy. They will need a very large and well-maintained tank or pond, and their compatibility in communities is very limited. These loaches are also more susceptible to illness and injuries because they do not have scales. The following are more basics.
|Tiger Loach and Tiger Botia
|Orange with black bars
|Up to 12 inches
|Over 10 years
The clown loach is best known for its unique coloration: orange and black striped body and red fins. The body of the Clown Loach is noticeably arched. The dorsal line is curved, while the bottom of the fish is flat. Everything from their shape to their color is unique. Several pairs of barbels surround their fleshy lips that help scavenge for food.
Clown loaches can grow up to 12 inches long in the tank or a bit longer in the wild, making them one of the largest members of the Botiidae family. When you see these fish in pet stores, they are usually no more than two or three inches long. As a result, many potential owners make the mistake of thinking that these are small fish.
The typical clown loaches' lifespan in captivity is at least 10 years. There are a lot of factors that can affect the life expectancy of this fish. In natural habitats, this species can reportedly live up to 25 years. However, this is quite rare in captivity.
Clown Loach Care
Remember that poor living conditions and a lack of good care can cut their lives short. In the wild, these fish live in clear, slow-flowing rivers and streams of the islands. Therefore, when you prepare new fish tanks for them, you need to pay special attention to controlling water quality and water temperature. Clown loaches are playful by nature and enjoy chasing each other around the tank. They are best kept in large community tanks containing at least three individuals in a shoal.
|Minimum Tank Size
|6 and 7.5 pH
Because they prefer to be kept in a group, you will need at least a 100-gallon aquarium for a group of 3. If you plan to keep more than 3 of these loaches, you will need a large outdoor setup. As a good rule of thumb, adults need about 30 gallons of space each.
In the aquarium, you may want to provide a mixture of substrates like pebbles and sand to give the tank a more natural feel. Clown loaches love a well-decorated tank filled with plants and natural hiding spots. Subdued lighting is key as these fish become more active in darker conditions.
The tank's water temperature should be set as close as possible to the upper tolerance limits (86°F), as they tend to survive longer at higher temperatures and are less susceptible to diseases. The water pH should always be maintained at an optimal 6-7.5. As with most aquariums, you will also need a heater and filter.