Clown Loach, Oto& brown algae

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Meandmyfish, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. MeandmyfishNew MemberMember

    I have a 10 gallon tank (I know, please refrain from commenting until you've read my entire post, thanks) with 1 betta and 1 2" clown loach. The tank has been set up for about 3mos, the betta has been in the tank the entire time, the loach (well originally 2) added around a month later. I didn't know anything about Clown loaches when we got them, all I could recall was that they got big. So when my boyfriend picked out clown loaches, I just said "I thought they got big" the guy at the pet store, knowing we had a 10 gallon tank said "it would be fine, they take a really long time to grow" which since have read is kinda true. I honestly tried to talk him out of the fish, but the guy at the store assured us it'd be fine, & when they got too big, he'd trade them for smaller ones. My boyfriend was dead set on these fish. & now that I've had em, I've fallen in love with them too. They're amazing fish. BUT, I am not leaving a clown loach in a 10 gallon tank. I am in the process of cycling a 55 gallon that will soon be his home, & hopefully 4 more. I know that even a 55 is not big enough for his whole life, but I'm hoping to get a Little while out of the 55, and get a larger tank.

    Now that you know the deal and hopefully won't scold me. I am planning to put Oto cats in with the betta after I take the clown out. Well, I have brown algae growing on some of my decorations. Last week when I did my weekly water change, I scrubbed off the decoration. Today, two days before scheduled water's all over it again. I've read in the past that Oto cats are great brown algae eaters, convenient since that's what I was planning to put in the tank anyway...but will Oto cats be ok with a clown loach for at least another few weeks? Maybe more.

    I've read that Clown Loaches should be dewormed, which is why I lost my other clown loach. I read and researched, I ordered some levamisole, and the day before I got it, I lost my guy. So I have a 10 gal quarantine tank I was planning to treat the new loaches with before putting them in the 55 with my original. Good idea, bad? Thoughts?

    Thanks everyone in advance.

  2. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    55 gallons still isn't enough for clown loaches, since they need to be in groups of 6 or more. Many on this site don't believe clown loaches should be sold for home aquariums at all, since their tank size need is so large.

    For brown algae, I've been advised to use Seachem Flourish, which I've been dosing every couple of days...I don't know if it's working so far, but at least the algae hasn't gotten worse.

  3. The Red SeverumValued MemberMember

    I've had good success "deworming" clown loaches with a garlic based food. Getting the clown loach to fight off the internal parasites is essential.

  4. MeandmyfishNew MemberMember

    I know, thanks. I have full intention of getting a bigger tank. We are moving next year to a bigger house, I wanted to wait until after then to get a huge tank. I care about the fish. If I didn't, I'd just leave him in the 10 alone, but I do.

    And thanks I'll check out flourish.

    Thank you! That's actually what I was doing while waiting for the levamisole with my other. I got fresh garlic and soaked his food in the juice. It's amazing what the fish store people don't tell you! After my clown loach experience I told my boyfriend he's not longer allowed to pick out fish! Lol! But I do love them! & since he's the one who picked out huge fish, it's his fault I have to get a huge tank. ;-)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2015
  5. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Just be sure to do your own research before buying fish :) People at the LFS will almost never tell you honestly whether a fish will fit in your setup. I've only had it happen once. When I was first starting out, I had a few guppies, and my girlfriend wanted one tiger barb, and the guy thankfully told me that was a bad idea.

    In contrast, I've had to return 3 different fish because the person at the store told me, "Oh, it'll be fine in your tank!" and then I got way different intel on this forum.
  6. MeandmyfishNew MemberMember

    I agree & have definitely learned my lesson.. Lol. But I've grown way attached to Loachy Boy. That's what my son calls him. Even though I really have no idea if it's a boy or girl. Haha! I have since learned a ton about a lot of different kinds of fish. And know exactly what I want when I go to the store instead of "just looking" I went to the Store I went to bc so many people recommended him to me. That he cares about the fish, they're much healthier fish, etc. & I've yet to go back, bc from our clown loach experience, he's definitely in it for the money. Which I know they all are, but how can he look me dead in the eyes and say it's okay to put him in a 10 gallon. The same day, I bought some albino cories for another tank and asked for 6 "because they're schooling fish, right?" After we had already gotten the clowns. Now why didnt he tell me then, too, that clowns are also schooling. I had no idea til we got home. Of course,I can't even put 5 babies in a 10, so I guess that it didn't really matter at that point. But it all just proved to me that he didn't care what ended up happening to the poor fish.
  7. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    The comments about the clown loaches aside, I wouldnt put Oto's with a betta. They might get killed by the betta's aggression.
  8. MeandmyfishNew MemberMember

    Really? I've read they'd be great tank mates for bettas? Hmm. Guess that I'll have to look into it some more. My betta is actually pretty nice. He and my Clown are best buds. I told my boyfriend just the other night that I hoped that neither of them would be upset about the move! Lol! I was scared when my other clown died of him getting depressed. & he did stay hidden a lot for the first week, probably. But now there's hardly a time I look in the tank and don't see him. & the betta was building a bubble nest last week. I think they're both happy. Hope it doesn't all change when I move Loachy boy.
  9. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    There's nothing wrong with "just looking"...I do that all the time, since I'm no expert either, and sometimes you can be limited by what your LFS carries :) But I've been burned enough times that I will no longer just buy a fish that "looks cool", even if the LFS person says it's fine. If I see a fish at the store that I'm not familiar with, I spend the extra time to go home, do some research, ask questions here, etc. Other than my initial few mistakes, that approach has worked out for me so far.

    From what I've heard, the risk with tankmates for bettas is that the betta, no matter how friendly it seems and how much it gets along with the other fish, could one day just flip out and start murdering the other fish. It's basically impossible to predict and happens seemingly at random. Not all bettas do that, but it's a risk.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2015
  10. MeandmyfishNew MemberMember

    Lol. Oh yeah, I get that. That's what I meant tho, I'm not going in a pet store to look and bring home something that just caught my eye :p I am a newbie to fish. So even tho I've learned a lot in the past few now, there's a ton more to be learned. FYI, the reason we have tanks is because we bought bettas with little betta bowls, as soon as we realized that was bad, upgraded each of them to 10 gallons. So in 4 months time, we went from two betta bowls to 3 10 gallons, 20, 29, 60 hex, & a 55. Lol. All of them were given to me but the 10s. When people heard I was looking for a bigger tank, they started showing up.

    Yes. I have actually learned this one from experience already. I am moving one of my bettas to a lone 5.5 gallon tank. He chases my cories. I've seen no real fighting. But am making the move before I do. A fish I once thought was convinced he was a Cory himself. But I have thought about putting both of them in solo tanks.

    Actually thought about dividing one of the 10s for both of them, but have read horror stories about that, so I won't be trying that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2015
  11. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Sometimes the dividers dont work and the betta can fit through the holes or jump above the divider. They'll try anything to get to their "tankmate".
  12. The Red SeverumValued MemberMember

    A Betta will be fine with Oto's. Especially if you have caves and what not for the oto's can hide if they are threatened by the Betta.
  13. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Also keep in mind that Oto's tend to be pretty sensitive. If it's a newly cycled tank I would wait a month or so and get it semi-established. Another great critter for brown algae eating is nerite snails. Beta's won't bother them at all. I have 3 nerites and oto's. The nerites do a great job at cleaning my ornaments while the oto's take care of the glass.

    Also keep in mind that if you do go with oto's, typically they will need other food than just your algae. Unless you have an over abundance, they will need additional sustenance. I thought I had a ton and the 3 oto's in my tank pretty much wiped me out after a week. I no longer have any hint of brown algae. What I do is put a small slice of frozen zucchini in the tank each weekend and leave it in there saturday and sunday. This gives them extra food to munch on to get them through the week. The little bits of brown algae sustain them pretty well as well.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015

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