Considering A Clown Loach, But How Serious Is The "ich" Problem?

92Hughes92

Hey guys,

I'm thinking of starting a second tank and would like to add clown loaches to it. I've read a ton online about clown loaches and ich, though, and how common it is in the fish. Is this something where 90% of clown loaches get it? If I get a clown loach, and there is no ich present within 7-10 days, does that mean he's in the clear? Not sure the fish is worth the hassle

Thanks so much for the help!
 

Tony_097

IMO stability is a key factor to keeping them I got one from petsmart and its still alive and kicking. I may have gotten lucky but getting one from a trusted dealer is a good practice.
 

gsong321

Hey guys,

I'm thinking of starting a second tank and would like to add clown loaches to it. I've read a ton online about clown loaches and ich, though, and how common it is in the fish. Is this something where 90% of clown loaches get it? If I get a clown loach, and there is no ich present within 7-10 days, does that mean he's in the clear? Not sure the fish is worth the hassle

Thanks so much for the help!
Those guys get really big...I was going to go with them as well but my largest tank is only 75 gallons and I was discouraged by folk's...they're really neat though and I might like to look at it again...when I get a bigger set up.
 

86 ssinit

Yes clown loaches get big. They’ve been around forever and I never heard of them carrying ick. Because they’re scaless and have a slime on there body and stay on the bottom they usually get ick first. But they don’t start it. It’s usually a drop in tempature that starts an ick breakout. I think most fish carry ick but it a colder temp and stress that brings it out.
 

Redshark1

I started with Clown Loaches and still have them. Now they are 25 years of age.


19.01.03 Chromobotia macracanthus Clown Loach Anthia and Tiama 6' Aquarium Steve Joul - Copy.jpg

When I purchased them they soon had Ich (which we call White Spot here in UK) but they recovered. They have never had any disease subsequently.

I have been researching about Clown Loaches constantly and I know there is a very high chance of Ich in the aclimatisation period immediately following purchase.

Clown Loaches need to be kept in groups as they are a social fish and they need a minimum 6' x 2' x 2' tank.

They benefit from a shoal of dither fish but otherwise tank mates are unnecessary and probably have a negative effect on these gentle giants.

Females grow to 12" max and males grow to 7".

They do like a retreat to retire to and are not always on display.
 

92Hughes92

Thanks so much, guys! Probably not the right choice for me right now. Being in an apartment, my max tank size is this 40. The house is coming ... and with it a much, much larger tank!
 

Tony_097

This is one fish you should pass unless you're fully committed to keeping one.
 

gsong321

I think the reason they're more prone to infection is: they have such thin soft tissue instead of scales, they injure easier than most fish. They're really awesome fish though...my wife was really disappointed when she found out our set up wasn't big enough, those were the fish she really wanted but I think 125 gals would be the min.
 

r5n8xaw00

Wow! You guys weren't kidding when you said they get big. I never knew this.
 

92Hughes92

Wow! You guys weren't kidding when you said they get big. I never knew this.

Right?!

I was originally thinking of adding one to my 40g. The ones at my pet store were so tiny I thought, at most, they’d hit 6 inches. Boy was I wrong. Glad I did the research before buying!
 

r5n8xaw00

Right?!

I was originally thinking of adding one to my 40g. The ones at my pet store were so tiny I thought, at most, they’d hit 6 inches. Boy was I wrong. Glad I did the research before buying!
When I first started a year ago, I really had to stop impulse buying. Some successes but more failures. I have learned a lot over this last year, so doing research first and resist impulse buying is the right way to go.
 

86 ssinit

Ok my line of thinking towards the clown loach. These fish are just great fish with great personalities yes they can get very big. Most will not. Most don’t make it to the 6’ long tank. Some end up in fish bowls with bettas luckyier ones get 10gal tanks. Every fish store you go into has a tank with about 30 of these guys in it. If your a dedicated fish keeper and keep your tanks clean. Proper filtration regular water changes. You can keep a clown loach.
I bought my first clown loach when I was a kid 45yrs ago.Pet shop owner advised me to buy it because of ick problems. He told me that this fish will get ick first and to start medicating when it got the spots. Also that they are very strong fish and will survive.
For years them and pictus cats were my alarms that something was wrong. No test kits back than. They looked bad ment massive water changes.
I’ve had these fish for so long that I never read up on them. They to me are like Cory cats a must have in the tank. Last pair I had I kept with discus and lived close to 10yrs and never got bigger than 5”. They started in a 55 moved to an 80 and ended in a 200.
Right now I have a pair. These 2 are 5 yrs old and lived most of there lives in a 30. Last year they were moved to a 90. After living 4 yrs in a 30 they doubled in size this past year. One is 5-6” the other around 4”. My favorite fish. I wonder how many of the other 30 loaches are still alive today from the pet store.
So what I am saying is if your willing to take care of the fish they are a great option. Better in your tank than someone’s fishbowl.
8948D73E-817C-492E-B2BD-203DF0DE7C27.jpeg The smaller one is on the bottom to the right.
 

Redshark1

This is one fish you should pass unless you're fully committed to keeping one.

I don't believe in keeping one. They belong in groups.

I think the reason they're more prone to infection is: they have such thin soft tissue instead of scales, they injure easier than most fish. They're really awesome fish though...my wife was really disappointed when she found out our set up wasn't big enough, those were the fish she really wanted but I think 125 gals would be the min.

My experience with six fish over 25 years is that they do not get injured. Scaled fish are more likely to be injured.
 

Tony_097

I don't believe in keeping one. They belong in groups.
My bad for the bad wording lol I was trying talk about the species as a whole.
 

Redshark1

LOL I jumped on ya - sorry!
 

r5n8xaw00

Personally, I am a Cory fan. Love these guys. The selection of different species of Corys fits almost every tank environment, they get to a decent size but not so big that I can keep more of them in decent sized tanks. If kept in a sufficient enough size groups of six or more they are very active, and just fun to watch. Easy to breed, and easy to find in any place I look for my stocking plans.
 

Noroomforshoe

There are man many other loach species, I'm sure you could find one with an adult size that is suited to your tank.
I have zebra, yoyos and polka-dot loaches, they are active and fun and beautiful , they are the longest lived fish in my tank, some of them reaching 8 years that I can confirm. clown loaches are still tempting, every time I see them in stores, but I love my little monkeys!

You need to keep a stable temperature, and clean water to avoid ich, any fish can get ich and when it spreads to the entire tank, the scaleless speciess and the catfish have the worste time with it and with medicine. That is why I urge people to use the heat only treatment for ich!
So - you won't get more ich issues just because you have loaches or other scalelessfish, but if you do get ich, it is worse.
so - Quarantine "in a filtered cycled tank" and carfully, slowly, acclimate ALL new fish!
 

CHJ

Wow! You guys weren't kidding when you said they get big. I never knew this.
Yeah as a kid the LFS had the small ones so that is what I was used to and assumed they grew to 2-3" long.
Then they got in what I suspect was one the owner could not take care of or the owner got old and died. So then I'm looking at a clown that was ~1/4-1/3 of the length of the 55 (75?) it was in. Monstrous an alone and trying unsuccessfully to hide behind the big piece of driftwood in its tank, I feel bad for that fish.
When I asked the LFS owner said "Most of them don't get that big"... I did not properly understand that as "Most people put too few, in tanks that are too small, and kill them.".

I have never had any ich issues with mine.. not to jinx myself.
 

Noroomforshoe

I also saw a clown loach that was so big it scared me. It was a foot long and it was a chunky fish, and he wanted to play, but it looked more like he wanted to attack. I wish I had a tank big enough butI did not then and I still dont. It was at a local lfs that use to take in fish that people did no want or could not take care of any more. They had a big sine that said "we buy used fish"
 

Fishlover83

Ok my line of thinking towards the clown loach. These fish are just great fish with great personalities yes they can get very big. Most will not. Most don’t make it to the 6’ long tank. Some end up in fish bowls with bettas luckyier ones get 10gal tanks. Every fish store you go into has a tank with about 30 of these guys in it. If your a dedicated fish keeper and keep your tanks clean. Proper filtration regular water changes. You can keep a clown loach.
I bought my first clown loach when I was a kid 45yrs ago.Pet shop owner advised me to buy it because of ick problems. He told me that this fish will get ick first and to start medicating when it got the spots. Also that they are very strong fish and will survive.
For years them and pictus cats were my alarms that something was wrong. No test kits back than. They looked bad ment massive water changes.
I’ve had these fish for so long that I never read up on them. They to me are like Cory cats a must have in the tank. Last pair I had I kept with discus and lived close to 10yrs and never got bigger than 5”. They started in a 55 moved to an 80 and ended in a 200.
Right now I have a pair. These 2 are 5 yrs old and lived most of there lives in a 30. Last year they were moved to a 90. After living 4 yrs in a 30 they doubled in size this past year. One is 5-6” the other around 4”. My favorite fish. I wonder how many of the other 30 loaches are still alive today from the pet store.
So what I am saying is if your willing to take care of the fish they are a great option. Better in your tank than someone’s fishbowl.
8948D73E-817C-492E-B2BD-203DF0DE7C27.jpeg The smaller one is on the bottom to the right.
This is off of subject, I notice you have glo tetras with a Angel. How is that? I'm getting a bigger free tank today. It comes with 3 glofish tetras. I was worried aboht adding with my angels.
 

86 ssinit

Glo tetra is just a tetra that had something added. It’s still a tetra. There’s a school of Serpae tetras in there too. Never had a problem with angels and tetras.
 

Elkwatcher

Yes clown loaches get big. They’ve been around forever and I never heard of them carrying ick. Because they’re scaless and have a slime on there body and stay on the bottom they usually get ick first. But they don’t start it. It’s usually a drop in tempature that starts an ick breakout. I think most fish carry ick but it a colder temp and stress that brings it out.
86 ssinit my loaches are over 12 yrs old now and the only time ICH was ever present was after a 7 day power outage, in spite of trying to to keep the temps stable they weren't. You are right on the nose! It cleaned up fine with higher temps and titrated salt doses used with caution.
 

Fishlover83

Glo tetra is just a tetra that had something added. It’s still a tetra. There’s a school of Serpae tetras in there too. Never had a problem with angels and tetras.

I had to pull them out. These were on steriods and started circling and nipping my angels. My angels are half dollar size and these tetras were way bigger. Ive got them in a 10 gallon till I can get to my lfs tomorrow. To bad, but it is what it is lol
 

Loachlover357

Those guys get really big...I was going to go with them as well but my largest tank is only 75 gallons and I was discouraged by folk's...they're really neat though and I might like to look at it again...when I get a bigger set up.
I'm definitely not an authority on this issue, but I have a 75 gallon tank, and we just added 6. They are all really small. And I was told by another forum member that they would be good for about 2-3 years. Now when I say small, I'm talking like the size of my mollies. About 1.5-2" long, maybe .5-.75" tall. I was also informed that they are "pack" fish, and to make sure they have friends. If you plan on getting a larger tank in the future, id say go for it. They're great to watch!
 

86 ssinit

Ok we’re back on loaches! They should grow to about 3-4” within a year. Than about an inch a year. Now Redshark1 will know a lot more about them. But with 6 in a 75 they may grow a lot faster and a bigger tank is in your future.
 

Loachlover357

Ok we’re back on loaches! They should grow to about 3-4” within a year. Than about an inch a year. Now Redshark1 will know a lot more about them. But with 6 in a 75 they may grow a lot faster and a bigger tank is in your future.
Thanks 86 ssinit! I'm new here and I'm still learning my way around. I don't plan on being one of those new members that post a bunch of "urgent " posts and then never return. Lol! I want to learn more about raising a good tank and teaching my children. Also, I'm trying to learn the members as well, that way I know who to listen to about which topics. I'm so glad to find such a knowledgeable forum! Oh! And I do plan on getting a bigger tank, but not for another couple years.
 

Redshark1

Loachlover357 I think you will be good for at least a couple of years. After that you will probably want to give them a bigger tank because you will love them and want to do the best for them.

I added my little Clown Loaches directly to their permanent home. Mine grew slowly, possibly as I tried to feed the minimum to ensure good water quality yet healthy fish.

I take out cucumber and other veggies after 24 hours.

I feed my Clown Loaches at set times when I can watch them. They get used to this routine and can often be seen waiting at the front for food. But this behaviour must be learnt over time. At other times there may be only one or two out and about, often none.

They are crepuscular (I don't think they are nocturnal) but will change their behaviour. Mine stayed in a new ornament for several weeks without being seen. Just get on their wavelength and change things gradually. Be patient.
 

Loachlover357

Loachlover357 I think you will be good for at least a couple of years. After that you will probably want to give them a bigger tank because you will love them and want to do the best for them.

I added my little Clown Loaches directly to their permanent home. Mine grew slowly, possibly as I tried to feed the minimum to ensure good water quality yet healthy fish.

I take out cucumber and other veggies after 24 hours.

I feed my Clown Loaches at set times when I can watch them. They get used to this routine and can often be seen waiting at the front for food. But this behaviour must be learnt over time. At other times there may be only one or two out and about, often none.

They are crepuscular (I don't think they are nocturnal) but will change their behaviour. Mine stayed in a new ornament for several weeks without being seen. Just get on their wavelength and change things gradually. Be patient.
Thanks so much for sharing Redshark1! That's encouraging! They've hid since we got them except for the two littlest ones. We started out with 2 (about 3 weeks ago)and kept adding more each week until we had 6. I thought if I kept adding more, they'd come out n play. Lol! I guess I've been a little over worried. They're my most expensive purchase since I bought my hillies 3 years ago when we started.
 

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