Help with Clown Loaches/re-locating fish to different tanks

Discussion in 'Clown Loach' started by MrsMorocco2010, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. MrsMorocco2010Valued MemberMember

    Hello all--

    I have 10G and 29G tanks that got overrun with snails when I put in some live plants. I'm somewhat new to fish keeping and didn't know too much about anything. I went to the local pet store chain and they told me to put in a Clown Loach as they will take care of my snail problem. I went home and put 1 clown loach in the 10G with no hiding spots, and 1 in the 29G with 1 hiding spot. I was told they'd be fine, they can be solo fish, they will be ok in a 10G... so the next day the one in the 10G died and I started to do some research which landed me here. I need some help on where/when I can move some of my fish to other tanks to support the Loaches as they are now my #1 concern.

    I have 3 tanks in my house, the newest being a 46G with 4 small male guppies and 6 Buenos Aires Tetras set up on 12/28/12. I am weary to add any more fish at this time because I don't want any spikes with Ammonia or Nitrites that could be dangerous to the fish. The 29G tank I feel is over-crowded and maybe over-heated? I turned the heater up to 79-80 degrees for the Loaches. There are: 5 Black Skirts, 6 Guppies (4 female, 2 male--the babies get eaten), 4 Sunset Platies, 3 Clown Loaches (had to get at least 2 more to be tank mates with the 1 that survived), and 1 baby Pleco.

    I thoroughly washed out the 10G (like the pet store told me) and started cycling it on 1/3/13, using 50% new water and 50% water from the established tank, cleaned the rocks, and changed the filter pad. I'm curious to know WHEN and WHICH fish I can move and to which tank. I was thinking of moving the Black Skirts to the 46G and the Guppies to the 10G. I want to take care of the Loaches and move them to the 46G within the next 2-3months. And after that work on getting a 150G and maybe add 2 more to make them a group of 5.

    The Clown Loaches do not seem to come out of their hiding spot very often. I don't know if it's because they have not been in the tank very long (they were all added within the last week) or if they feel crowded. I feel like all the other fish get to the food before they do and since they don't come out very often I'm worried there won't be enough for them. Is this normal behavior? They are all very small still, maybe 1.5 inches. Usually 1 will come out to find food, but they don't really come out as a trio and play around or anything.
  2. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    with most fish the more hiding places the better. do you have more caves you can set up? or plants? fake or real doesn't matter atm just that there are places to hide.
    try turning the lights off and watch. loaches are like catfish how they come out more once the lights are off. feed an hr or so after you shut the lights off. at least some of your fish will probably be sleeping so your loaches can have a chance to get some.

    fyi water doesn't hold much good bacteria to recycle a tank (your 10gal) put a decoration or some gravel from one of your older tanks in the 10. you can also take some filter media from one of your other tanks and stick it in your 10gal. and changing the filter pad and washing the rocks probably wasn't a good idea. thats where the good bacteria live. there is a product by nutrofin to cycle your tank (fishless) in 3 days.

    to get rid of snails you can dip your plants in bleach. 1/10 bleach/water. for 30 sec. that will kill any parasite, eggs and snail. make sure you are not overfeeding. if the snails get food theyre numbers explode. adding aquarium salt to the water sometimes kills them, usually it just prevents them from breeding.

    i think your stocking plan sounds good :)
  3. AquariaUKValued MemberMember

    Yep, that sounds good. I agree that you need lots of hiding places, actually the more hiding spaces the more they come out. Move the guppies into the 10g and in a couple of weeks move the clown loaches into the 46g with some Tetra Safe Start which adds good bacteria to stop massive ammonia and nitrite.

    I like the 150g idea but you should also think of stocking a few months before you get it, because a 150g is BIG and the choice of fish is great. If I were you I would plant the 150g heavily because they look really nice.

    Another way of getting rid of snails is to put a leaf of lettuce on the bottom weighed down by a rock. In the morning take it out and dispose of the snails on it. I wouldn't recommend and chemicals or products because they can poison the water and kill any fish.
  4. MrsMorocco2010Valued MemberMember

    Thanks for the replies. I've added a rock cave with multiple entrances to hide, and also some live, snail free plants. I'm going to get one of those bubblers today too. I've noticed that 2 of the Sunset Platies look sick. Fins clamped and just kinda floating. 1 does have a few white spots, the other doesn't have any. I did a 20% water change yesterday and today and cleaned out some of the rocks with the vacuum. I'll turn the heat up more after I get the bubbler set up. I was contemplating using the 10G for a quarantine tank.
  5. JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    do you have any friends that have established fish tanks? you could ask for their used filter pad. keep it wet and stick it right in your filter. or just stick it in the tank. either way will work. the good bacteria live in the filter media so that would help with your ammonia and maybe jump start your cycle. just don't rinse it with tap water or you'll kill the good guys
  6. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Good morning and welcomerainbow.gif to Fish Lore!



    Some helpful links above. Best wishes for your tank and fish!

  7. Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    I have kept Clown Loaches for 40 years and my current shoal is 19 years old (I had to give my first up for university at the other end of the country).

    Clown loaches are absolutely the best aquarium fish of all.

    If I were you I would give them priority.

    They will clear all snails in the aquarium but they need a big aquarium. Mine are in a 110 US gallon which was considered overkill when i started but I would say is on the small side now we know better. After all we want the fish to reach their natural maximum size don't we? My biggest is 9" and they can reach 12" (I have seen this), though wild caught adult ones are reported by local people to be 8-10".


    Incidentally, there should not be so much overfeeding or leftover food that snails become a problem IMO.

    With Clowns you need to provide good water quality, current and aeration, 80F, a safe non-sharp substrate and a good hiding place. Mine disappeared into the cave for two weeks without me seeing them at all, but gradually came out knowing they had a safe retreat.

    Feed when the aquarium is lit and they will become accustomed to it, otherwise you will only see them in the dark.

    Also, know exactly how to cure whitespot and look for it carefully every day as part of caring for your loaches.

    It's a great reward to have a shoal of these large colourful sociable and interesting fish and the work to provide a good home is well worth it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  8. MrsMorocco2010Valued MemberMember

    None of my friends have fish. I used to have some fish a long time ago, had them 5 years with a Pleco about 10" long. One day my husband decided to help out by changing the water, cleaning the rocks, AND changed the filter pad (I was not home). Needless to say, it was awful watching my fish die so here I am again, 3 years later trying to get it right! We were given the clown loach in as a quick fix, but my heart feels so bad for them that they are now the priority. I'm working on getting the 46G cycled and then putting the loaches in there for now. The water has become a little cloudy so I'm doing water changes every other day about 20%. Maybe I should change more?

    Right now, the loaches are in the 29G with rock substrate. Some rocks are larger and some smaller. I do believe we have an ICH problem with some new Platies. I'm working on doing the natural curing and the temp is 83 and rising.

    I did not do many water changes in the past and I never cleaned the bottom before, but now I've cleaned 1/3 of the rock and do partial water changes (around 20%). I can't see if the loaches have any white spots because anytime I go near the tank they flee into hiding. I can see 1 outside right now digging around, I wonder if the rocks are too large for it to move. Everywhere I've read said they are such sensitive fish, I feel like anything I do will kill them!
  9. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Redshark your clowns are amazing ! I hope mine grow that old!

    If you don't mind - how fast do they grow? I've had mine a few months but I haven't noticed any size gain. They are 1" tops and in a 55. Just wondering how soon I need to plan thier upgrade!
  10. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    When I had clown Loaches they went to 7 inches in the first year then slowed down.
  11. MrsMorocco2010Valued MemberMember

    How often can I change the substrate without interfering too much with their environment? I'd also like to change the filter, for some reason I don't seem to have a bio-bag? The filter is older, maybe it got lost a while back.
  12. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I wouldn't change the substrate right now as most of your beneficial bacteria is growing on the gravel. I have had my clowns on gravel and sand and they were fine so that shouldn't be aa concern right now. Get them well then if you want to change the substrate do it.

    You can buy bio bags to put in your filter that way you wouldn't have to lose the bacteria in your filter.
    How are they today?
    Welcome to FishLore!
  13. ToniaWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome MrsMorocco!!!!

    The advice you've been given already is awesome and I really don't have much more to add other than sending out HUGE welcomes!!!

  14. Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    Thanks Her-max! My Loaches took ten years to reach 7". They grew very slowly but appeared very active and healthy so I was not worried. However my Sailfin Plec who lived with them grew very fast.
  15. Mer-maxWell Known MemberMember

    Good so I've got myself some time
  16. Redshark1Fishlore VIPMember

    POssibly, but others have grown much faster. May depend a lot on how you feed?
  17. ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Mine reached 7 inches in the first year then slowed down. They were eating shrimp pellets every morning and various thawed frozen foods as a snack at night. they were in a 75g.

    Clowns are also bulky, massive fish and that has to be taken into consideration when feeding and housing.