Clown Loaches ... A mistake to buy them????

LoriLK
  • #1
Recently I bought 3 small Clown Loaches for my tank. They are small, just shy of two inches.

Water Parameters: pH 7.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, temp 74. ( I recently bought some PhosPure filter pads from Drs. Foster and Smith, and they WORK! Phosphate went from off the chart to 0.0, plus the pads also absorb nitrate, and that is at 0.0).

I still want to do a water change this weekend, just to get some fresh water in the tank, and clean up the gravel.

ok, finally to my problem .... what is wrong with my Clown Loaches?! I almost NEVER see them. In fact, the only time I do see them, is in the morning when I turn on the tank lights. They rush up to the top of the tank (along with my two Rosy Barbs and two Dwarf Gouramis), and are eager to feed. (No I do not feed everyday, but the fish are always hopeful, lol)

The Clown Loaches then swim around the bottom of the tank, and eat up any food that has fallen to the gravel. Then the three of them rush to a big log with several branches, go inside and hide. I never see them again until the next morning. Never!

I'm really disappointed ... I'm feeding fish I never see. And they are so beautiful. Now, I know fish take time to adjust to a new tank ... but I've had these Clown Loaches for 3 weeks now. Is this normal? I'm beginning to feel like taking them back to the fish store. I'd like to see them at least a few times, other than feeding.

Plus, if the Clown Loaches are THIS timid, how will they react to a water change? I'm really uncertain what to do.

Any advice/help is greatly appreciated!
Lori
 
junebug
  • #2
Your loaches and tetras are both schooling fish, and you're keeping them in insufficient numbers. I bet if you add a few more loaches you'll see them more often... assuming your tank is large enough.
 
Chris99
  • #3
As for being shy it took my yoyo loaches and angelicus loaches a few months before they weren't in constant hiding. Now they are always front and center and a lot of fun to watch.

I would probably take them back either way. Clown loaches can grow to over a foot long. For as common as they are in the hobby I really feel a 6 foot tank is the minimum for them. They are very active swimmers and like to dart around the tank.
 
Chris99
  • #4
Some good info on clown loaches.
 
Junne
  • #5
Sorry about your clown loaches... I don't have any advice to give you.
My KuhlI loaches are exactly the same way! They rarely if ever come out but my Dojo loaches are very personable ( likes to be hand fed and petted )
 
BornThisWayBettas
  • #6
This may sound ridiculous, but have you tried positioning a video camera near the tank and then leaving for a while? Maybe they're just shy of people?
 
Anders247
  • #7
You need a school of 6+, which is why they're being timid.
If this is your 46 gallon, I'm sorry to say, but they're far too big for it. They'll get a foot long.
A 150 gallon minimum imo.
 
Redshark1
  • #8
Well you've found out that fish don't always do what You want they often do what They want!

Plus, you need to develop patience. You've only had them 3 weeks. I've had mine 20 years and it's only by keeping them in suitable conditions over a long period that you get to understand why so many people rate these as the No.1 tropical fish (as voted for by readers of Practical Fishkeeping magazine in the UK for example.

They should be kept in groups of at least six.

I'm certain a 6ft aquarium is the minimum size for a group.

I advise keeping them at 80 to 82 Farenheit (mine always seem happiest there).

I feed mine twice a day, why don't you?

Whilst my nitrate is low (usually 5-10ppm) I'm not sure whether zero nitrate is a good thing, time to research I think.

Choose a regular maintenance regime and stick to it. That is key to mine reaching a good age. Surely you can continue yours without disturbing their refuge where they need to feel safe? Just clean round it!

Finally, good luck whatever you do. I can appreciate that you may just be used to fish that are "in your face" all the time, but it really is cool to have fish that aren't on display all the time. Eventually they will learn to associate you with food and then it can feel quite special when they come out "because of you".
 
KarenLM
  • #9
I believe having nitrates stay at 0 can result in problems. I can't remember which chemical starts to be produced but it was a bad one, an acid.

You want some nitrates in the tank.

A friend of mine has one clown (not good) and he may see it once a month, if that. They need a school to be happy.

Remember you can keep them in a smaller tank for a while but you need a plan to upgrade in the near future.
 
Jebuchanan
  • #10
I currently have 4 in a 75G. They are out quite often.
 
LoriLK
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Thank-you everyone for your kind replies and advice. I have been talking this over with my husband, and we do think it's the right thing for the fish, by taking them back. I agree the Clown Loaches would feel better with more company. But honestly, I can't go out and buy two or three more, because my tank is 46 gallons. I agree that's it's not fair to the fish to put 6 in a 46 gallon tank. Right now they are small, but they need room to grow.

It is so hard knowing who to trust when you are a beginner. When I was looking at the Clown Loaches in the fish store, the lady (and she is one of the managers!) I talked to about them said 3 small CL would be fine in my tank. She said when they got too big, The store will take them back. This LFS has a big display tank, and she did show me what the clown loaches look like when they got bigger, but she said that fish was 7 years old, and they grow slow. So, taking her advice, I bought the three Clown Loaches.

I would not buy 3 Great Dane puppies and put them in an apartment, so I'm not doing this to the fish. They deserve the same kind treatment any pet needs.

I'm gonna have to do more research before buying more fish for the tank. There are so many different opinions it all gets confusing.

It it is sad, because they are such pretty fish, but their well-being comes first.

I'm sure my husband and I will find fish more suitable for our current aquarium! I can see how MTS hits ... 125 gallon tank in the future would be awesome.

Thanks again to everyone for your kind advice!
LorI
 
Redshark1
  • #12
I applaud your attitude and know how difficult it can be .

Do your research on here! It's a great place to ask questions and find information!
 
Danjamesdixon
  • #13
Thank-you everyone for your kind replies and advice. I have been talking this over with my husband, and we do think it's the right thing for the fish, by taking them back. I agree the Clown Loaches would feel better with more company. But honestly, I can't go out and buy two or three more, because my tank is 46 gallons. I agree that's it's not fair to the fish to put 6 in a 46 gallon tank. Right now they are small, but they need room to grow.

It is so hard knowing who to trust when you are a beginner. When I was looking at the Clown Loaches in the fish store, the lady (and she is one of the managers!) I talked to about them said 3 small CL would be fine in my tank. She said when they got too big, The store will take them back. This LFS has a big display tank, and she did show me what the clown loaches look like when they got bigger, but she said that fish was 7 years old, and they grow slow. So, taking her advice, I bought the three Clown Loaches.

I would not buy 3 Great Dane puppies and put them in an apartment, so I'm not doing this to the fish. They deserve the same kind treatment any pet needs.

I'm gonna have to do more research before buying more fish for the tank. There are so many different opinions it all gets confusing.

It it is sad, because they are such pretty fish, but their well-being comes first.

I'm sure my husband and I will find fish more suitable for our current aquarium! I can see how MTS hits ... 125 gallon tank in the future would be awesome.

Thanks again to everyone for your kind advice!
LorI

If only everyone had this attitude. My respect to you.
 

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