Tim's Tropical Fish






Clown Loach

Loaches Gallery

Clown Loach, Botia macracanthus

The Clown Loach originally came from Indonesia. It is distinguished by broad black vertical bands on its flesh colored scaleless body and by red in its fins.  The Clown Loach is a bottom dweller and likes to hide in the day, so adjust the aquarium decor accordingly.  Make sure the aquarium is covered too, as this bottom dweller is also a jumper.  It will eat a large variety of foods including any snail larvae in the tank and many of the plants.  If you have plants you are particularly proud of, keep them away from this fellow.  The Clown Loach can also be fed vegetable flakes, shrimp pellets and live or freeze-dried worms and brine shrimp.  It grows quite large and therefore needs an aquarium of at least 30 gallons.  Clown Loaches do better with 2 - 4 in a tank.  They seem to get ich easily, so keep the Quick Cure handy.

Clown Loaches will often stay in caves for days if they are stressed.  When they are comfortable, they will swim in groups and then rest lying over top of each other, on their sides or even upside down.  This can create the mistaken impression that they are no longer alive.  Clown Loaches are extremely hard to breed and most of them you find are wild caught.

Clown Loach, Botia macracanthus Clown Loach, Botia macracanthus

Comments by carolo from our Forum:  I have 7 clowns and all are still small. I have them with my gourmai's (not 3-spot) my bala sharks (also small) and a couple of other fish. I have one loach that is a real tiger, especially at feeding time. He chases the bala sharks around and even my gourmai's that are much larger.  I love them but do wish this one loach would not be so aggressive to these peaceful sharks.  Web sites can be conflicting on Clown Loaches, as well. Some sites mention they can become "very" large and others mention they won't get much over 5 inches. They can actually live 50 years in their native waters. wow

Scientific Name: Botia macracanthus
Family: Loach
Temperature: 25 - 30 C; 77 - 86 F
pH: 5 - 8
Size: 6 - 12 inches
Life Span: 10 - 15 years
Breeding: Difficult, Egglayer


Bala Sharks, Barbs, Catfish, Danios, Gouramis, Loaches, Plecos, Rainbows, one Red Tailed Shark, one Rainbow Shark