Question Clown Loach Compatibles

ThatMikeHill

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Hello everyone,

I’ll soon be getting my 55 Gallon Clown Loach tank ready to stock and I was wanting to ask those of you in the community who have multiple Clown Loaches a question:

I’ll be keeping my water temperature around 84F or 85F—What other fish if any are you stocking with your Clown Loaches?

Thanks!
 

Pat93

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I think they look awesome with tiger barbs, I don’t know the temp requirements for the barbs but I have seen them together many times.
I don’t keep clown loaches myself because they need a very large tank, they are a schoolers that get up to a foot long and the minimum Ive seen suggested you should keep is 3-4 in a 100 gallon tank,
Perhaps you have a 55 with some weird footprint to account for this so assuming you took the stocking and size the fish will get into consideration long ago as well as howmany waterchanges you gotta do to keep everyone healthyyyy
I suggest tiger barbs
 

Momgoose56

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Hello everyone,

I’ll soon be getting my 55 Gallon Clown Loach tank ready to stock and I was wanting to ask those of you in the community who have multiple Clown Loaches a question:

I’ll be keeping my water temperature around 84F or 85F—What other fish if any are you stocking with your Clown Loaches?

Thanks!
I had African Cichlids, common pleco, giant danios and large tropical catfish with mine in a 150 gallon tank. Clown loaches are great fish and really fun to watch! They're good with almost any large community fish like swordtails, bichirs, khuli loaches, big tetras, ropefish and other large fish that are non-aggressive. They do best in big groups of 6 or more and are very social. They play and do all kinds of goofy things together. A 55 gallon tank is pretty small for a group bigger than 3 or 4 max though. My biggest maxed out at 7 inches long and were fairly heavy bodied at that length.
Just one question, why such warm water? Clowns do okay with water as low as 76 or 77 F.
 
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Redshark1

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Recommended tank size for Clown Loaches these days is 150 gallon 6' x 24" x 24".

Minimum shoal number is 6 preferably more.

Females should reach a foot long if properly cared for and males half that.

Lifespan is long.

Mine are 25 years old and my 110 gallon 6' x 18" x 18" aquarium was considered overkill back then but now we know better.

In a 55 they will survive but will be stunted long-term.

These are gentle social fish and I would not recommend keeping anything other than "dither fish" such as large tetras, rainbows or barbs with them.

15.08.30 Chromobotia macracanthus Clown Loach 6' aquarium Steve Joul (2) - Copy.JPG
 
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ThatMikeHill

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Recommended tank size for Clown Loaches these days is 150 gallon 6' x 24" x 24".

Minimum shoal number is 6 preferably more.

Females should reach a foot long if properly cared for and males half that.

Lifespan is long.

Mine are 25 years old and my 110 gallon 6' x 18" x 18" aquarium was considered overkill back then but now we know better.

In a 55 they will survive but will be stunted long-term.

These are gentle social fish and I would not recommend keeping anything other than "dither fish" such as large tetras, rainbows or barbs with them.

View attachment 554058
The 55 is temporary until I get a good start then I’ll be setting up a much larger tank.

I had African Cichlids, common pleco, giant danios and large tropical catfish with mine in a 150 gallon tank. Clown loaches are great fish and really fun to watch! They're good with almost any large community fish like swordtails, bichirs, khuli loaches, big tetras, ropefish and other large fish that are non-aggressive. They do best in big groups of 6 or more and are very social. They play and do all kinds of goofy things together. A 55 gallon tank is pretty small for a group bigger than 3 or 4 max though. My biggest maxed out at 7 inches long and were fairly heavy bodied at that length.
Just one question, why such warm water? Clowns do okay with water as low as 76 or 77 F.
I’ve been told by a few and in my research found they prefer the warmer side of their temp and it also keeps ich at bay which is the number one killer for clowns since they don’t do well with medications.
 

Momgoose56

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Recommended tank size for Clown Loaches these days is 150 gallon 6' x 24" x 24".

Minimum shoal number is 6 preferably more.

Females should reach a foot long if properly cared for and males half that.

Lifespan is long.

Mine are 25 years old and my 110 gallon 6' x 18" x 18" aquarium was considered overkill back then but now we know better.

In a 55 they will survive but will be stunted long-term.

These are gentle social fish and I would not recommend keeping anything other than "dither fish" such as large tetras, rainbows or barbs with them.

View attachment 554058
I’ve been told by a few and in my research found they prefer the warmer side of their temp and it also keeps ich at bay which is the number one killer for clowns since they don’t do well with medications.
If you do regular water changes-like 50% weekly-have good filtration and water flow in your tank, cycle your tank before introducing them to the tank, feed them a varied, balanced diet, and carefully quarantine any new fish before adding them to the tank, you shouldn't have problems with ich or any other diseases. Fish in tanks usually become diseased because of poor water conditions. Even fish with minor injuries will heal with no intervention if their water is kept clean and they are otherwise well fed and healthy. In their natural environment, Clown loaches are in water that ranges from the mid 70's to mid 80's. Warmer water temps do not prevent ich. Ich is an opportunistic parasite that infects fish weakened by stress (which compromises their immune system), illness and/or poor water conditions (high nitrates or the presence of ammonia or nitrites or other pollutants).

Recommended tank size for Clown Loaches these days is 150 gallon 6' x 24" x 24".

Minimum shoal number is 6 preferably more.

Females should reach a foot long if properly cared for and males half that.

Lifespan is long.

Mine are 25 years old and my 110 gallon 6' x 18" x 18" aquarium was considered overkill back then but now we know better.

In a 55 they will survive but will be stunted long-term.

These are gentle social fish and I would not recommend keeping anything other than "dither fish" such as large tetras, rainbows or barbs with them.

View attachment 554058
@Redshark1, Do you have any close ups of those huge gorgeous Clowns? I loved mine! I'd love to have more but already have my 125 all stocked up...
 
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coralbandit

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Clowns and discus ,cardinals .rummies and rams !
All warm water fish . My clowns [all 11 of them ] are 11-16 years with me [always in a 6 foot tank ] and NOT the huge monsters so many say . Big fish ,Yes ..
Get them [6+ like mentioned ] and start saving for a BIG tank !
I love my clowns and every 5 years or so I figure out who I want with them as they outlive every other fish that goes with them !
Somewhere in the video in my signature Rich got my clowns in my 180g...
 

Redshark1

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ThatMikeHill

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The fish are photographed on a website called Fishlore LOL!
https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/clown-loach-photos.9405/

I've always kept mine at 80F.

They got ich shortly after purchase. No disease since.

Very robust fish but gentle giants. They like to chill and don't like fish that constantly harass them. Dithers are best.
How did you handle the ich on your Clown Loaches after you got them?

Do you think they would do good with one elephant-nose fish?
 

Redshark1

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I suspect the electric field produced by the elephant nose may annoy them. Clown Loaches like to chill and not be annoyed by other fish challenging, nipping and bothering them.

Nocturnal active fish like elephant noses, plecos etc. do annoy Clown Loaches at night (my observations) and stop them being able to get their sleep which will stress them.

Just keep the Clown Loaches on their own or with dithers and don't compromise their lives with the needs of other incompatible species. They really are enough on their own.

Ich was treated as per instructions with WS3 = formalin and malachite green. The silicone is still green from the stain LOL!

Five fish were cured quite routinely. One fish needed to be cured seperately in quarantine (ice cream tub floated in the tank).

Had to increase the dose to 3 x full dose for it to take effect.

Luckily it continued to take live bloodworm and recovered and I still have them all today.

It was my fault in a sense as I unwisely purchased some tiny Clowns cheaply and they were very weak and terribly emaciated. But I didn't know better.

I'd advise purchasing healthy well fed individuals.
 
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ThatMikeHill

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I suspect the electric field produced by the elephant nose may annoy them. Clown Loaches like to chill and not be annoyed by other fish challenging, nipping and bothering them.

Nocturnal active fish like elephant noses, plecos etc. do annoy Clown Loaches at night (my observations) and stop them being able to get their sleep which will stress them.

Just keep the Clown Loaches on their own or with dithers and don't compromise their lives with the needs of other incompatible species. They really are enough on their own.

Ich was treated as per instructions with WS3 = formalin and malachite green. The silicone is still green from the stain LOL!

Five fish were cured quite routinely. One fish needed to be cured seperately in quarantine (ice cream tub floated in the tank).

Had to increase the dose to 3 x full dose for it to take effect.

Luckily it continued to take live bloodworm and recovered and I still have them all today.

It was my fault in a sense as I unwisely purchased some tiny Clowns cheaply and they were very weak and terribly emaciated. But I didn't know better.

I'd advise purchasing healthy well fed individuals.
Thanks so much for this awesome info!

What type of dithers do you feel are best for the high temperature (84ish) that I’ll be keeping the Clown Loaches in? I was looking at some rainbow fish but most I found were saying a top temp of 82.

Thank you so much!!

Recommended tank size for Clown Loaches these days is 150 gallon 6' x 24" x 24".

Minimum shoal number is 6 preferably more.

Females should reach a foot long if properly cared for and males half that.

Lifespan is long.

Mine are 25 years old and my 110 gallon 6' x 18" x 18" aquarium was considered overkill back then but now we know better.

In a 55 they will survive but will be stunted long-term.

These are gentle social fish and I would not recommend keeping anything other than "dither fish" such as large tetras, rainbows or barbs with them.

View attachment 554058
TThe 55 Gallon is just until next year and I’ll be getting a 125 or possibly a bit bigger tank for them and then using my 55 gallon for others.
 
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Redshark1

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^ That's great.

I keep mine at 80F but don't know what dithers would do well at 84F as that seems unnecessarily high.

My favourite dithers are Congo Tetras. I currently have five females and one male and will probably keep this constant.

They are the right size for keeping with Adult Clown Loaches, are peaceful (mostly), active, easy to keep, readily available and live about 5 years (my current male is 6 years of age).

I don't mind that the females are not spectacular because the Clown Loaches are my focus and the dithers are there to do a job. But I do like them very much despite their muted colours.

I had two males but one bit the other repeatedly on the tail and had to be removed. This was unusual in my experience the males usually just display to one another.
 

AvalancheDave

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If you're worried about ich, get a quality UV sterilizer. In ~20 years of fishkeeping I haven't had a single ich infection.

High temperatures lower oxygen levels, increase bacterial growth, and shorten life spans.
 

Redshark1

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I haven't had a repeat ich outbreak in the last 25 years, but Clown Loaches get ich shortly after purchase probably due to their poor condition and the stress.
 
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ThatMikeHill

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This is a maybe b/c I'm not looking to put the Clown Loaches in harms way or add any unnecessary stress. But I'm thinking about adding two Julidochromis Cichlids to the tank with my 6 Clown Loaches.

Are these two compatible and and good tank buddies?

Also I would love to hear thoughts (preferably from experience) on other smaller Cichlids that make great tank buddies with the Clown Loaches.

Thanks!

^ That's great.

I keep mine at 80F but don't know what dithers would do well at 84F as that seems unnecessarily high.

My favourite dithers are Congo Tetras. I currently have five females and one male and will probably keep this constant.

They are the right size for keeping with Adult Clown Loaches, are peaceful (mostly), active, easy to keep, readily available and live about 5 years (my current male is 6 years of age).

I don't mind that the females are not spectacular because the Clown Loaches are my focus and the dithers are there to do a job. But I do like them very much despite their muted colours.

I had two males but one bit the other repeatedly on the tail and had to be removed. This was unusual in my experience the males usually just display to one another.
Do you find the Congo Tetras are very food greedy?
 
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Redshark1

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This is a maybe b/c I'm not looking to put the Clown Loaches in harms way or add any unnecessary stress. But I'm thinking about adding two Julidochromis Cichlids to the tank with my 6 Clown Loaches.

Are these two compatible and and good tank buddies?

Also I would love to hear thoughts (preferably from experience) on other smaller Cichlids that make great tank buddies with the Clown Loaches.

Thanks!

Do you find the Congo Tetras are very food greedy?
Hi @ThatMikeHill.

Higher temperatures will increase metabolism and may shorten life spans so are undesirable from that perspective.

Are you sure that 84F protects Clown Loaches from ich? I could claim the same for 80F over 25 years.

84F may be too high for Julidochromis but I would not recommend it to keep them with Clown Loaches anyway.

You mention a pair of cichlids. Are you breeding cichlids or keeping Clown Loaches? To do both in the same space would be compromising both fish species.

Most breeding cichlids (and some single individuals) tend to defend a territory.

Clown Loaches do not understand the concept of territory.

This would put stress on both parties and therefore I would not recommend it.

I don't find Congo Tetras especially greedy. What are you comparing them to? Adult or juvenile Clown Loaches?

They visit the surface more than Clown Loaches but if there is food on the bottom the Clown Loaches soon move them out of the way.

Congo Tetras should not be kept at 84F (73 min - 82 max).
 
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ThatMikeHill

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Hi @ThatMikeHill.

Higher temperatures will increase metabolism and may shorten life spans so are undesirable from that perspective.

Are you sure that 84F protects Clown Loaches from ich? I could claim the same for 80F over 25 years.

84F may be too high for Julidochromis but I would not recommend it to keep them with Clown Loaches anyway.

You mention a pair of cichlids. Are you breeding cichlids or keeping Clown Loaches? To do both in the same space would be compromising both fish species.

Most breeding cichlids (and some single individuals) tend to defend a territory.

Clown Loaches do not understand the concept of territory.

This would put stress on both parties and therefore I would not recommend it.

I don't find Congo Tetras especially greedy. What are you comparing them to? Adult or juvenile Clown Loaches?

They visit the surface more than Clown Loaches but if there is food on the bottom the Clown Loaches soon move them out of the way.

Congo Tetras should not be kept at 84F (73 min - 82 max).
Thank you, I will not get the cichlids—no I’m not breeding them, just was wondering if it would be good to have them both. The Clown Loaches are the focus so I will do just them and the dithers; nothing more.

I also will take your advice and keep the tank temperature between 80-82F

I appreciate all your words of wisdom and you allowing me to pester you with multiple questions. I’m learning a lot and thankful for you.
 
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