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Chromobotia macracanthus (Clown Loach, Botia macracanthus)

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One of the most popular aquarium fish which are widely available. The fish you will find in the shops are usually juveniles, and you do need to be aware that they can grow to a much larger size, although most are unlikely to exceed 20cm in aquarium conditions.

Fish information (behaviour and breeding):

Clown loaches are very active and make good community tank inhabitants. They do need to be kept in pairs or groups (the more the merrier); otherwise they tend to be rather shy. They should be kept with a soft substrate because as with most loach species they like to forage and burrow searching for food.

Clown loaches have the alarming habit of resting on their sides, seemingly dead. They are also among the few aquarium fish that regularly make noises, usually clicking sounds. Clown loaches are notoriously sensitive to whitespot. Loaches can be sensitive to medications, so consult with your tropical fish retailer before using any medicines.

They have never been bred in aquarium conditions.

Family Group: Loaches & Sharks
Distribution Sumatra and Borneo
Temperature 24-29C
Size Up to 30cm
Water Parameters Soft to neutral conditions preferred
Water PH 6.0-7.5

Useful sources of information:

For a well illustrated and detailed reference guide on this and many other fish, consider the Baensch Aquarium Atlases. Volume 1 contains all the common species, and later volumes cover more unusual species. You can buy these books here.