Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

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onebto
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Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by onebto » Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:14 pm

Greetings to you all on this fine forum, I have been keeping Clown loach for 2 years maybe more I do not know exactly but that is inconsequential as the joy of keeping these wonderful loach is the same today as it was when I first discovered there appeal in my early days.

Like most I have spent an age reading about the species as well as observing them, doing my up most to provide them with the best environment and food as possible for there good health and happiness.

However I have to admit some frustration in my knowledge of this fine species, so I thought I would venture some questions to you fine people to see if there is something new or something I have missed to plug the gaps.

Sexing the species: As I understand sexing the species is almost impossible on living Clowns and that we can only verify this when they reach there adult size and the females become more bulkier a wider width looking from above? There is a theory that you can at adult age identify a male from a female from the shape of there tail fin and that the males fin tips point in a little resembling a subtle claw like shape? Is there any fact to this? Are there any other ways that have been proven over the years other than doing an autopsy on a deceased fish?

I have mentioned about when a Clown loach reaches an adult age, when is this? I am aware that they can live to 20 plus years if kept in ideal conditions. So if we consider keeping a group of Clown loach in minimum conditions of a 6X2X2 tank with good water conditions plenty of flow subdued lighting with a good and varying diet. How old is a Clown at 2 inches in length or 6inches in length etc etc? I do realise Clowns are not going to grow uniformly they are going to vary in the speed they grow, but would any one like to venture there thoughts on this? is there a rule of thumb as the saying goes? I have read one article saying the 7 to 8 inch size I have also read 7 to 8 years of age is the point of maturity one can get very confused by it all and being an Engineer by trade I am guilty of liking exact facts and figures which I know I will never get when It comes to Clown loach but hey we can only try!

Breeding Clown loach? has it really been done in captivity I like most have read one or two brief accounts of breeding Clown loach in captivity is there anything to this? I am not asking how because I have absolutely no inclination of achieving what appears to be the Holy grail of Keeping Clown loach, well not at the moment anyway.

The Clowns we bye in our local fish shop's are they from the wild or are they from farms? I read the majority are from the wild, but do these farms I here about exist? This leads back to the whole age and size question in that: If the average juvenile Clown we see in the shop for sale is 1.5 to 2 inches long how old is it when it is caught how long do these poor little fellows have to endure what I can imagine is a retched trip to get to the shop? Or if they come from a farm are they being compromised due to the steroids and drugs I have read that are used to help bread them? Will the farmed fish over a period of decades de-gradate like some other species of tropical fish through in breading? Again how old are these fish when they are in the shops at the size of 1.5 to 2 inches and is there a difference in size between a farm fish and a wild fish?

I frequent many Local fish shops and never fail to stop and study every Clown loach they have as I have a great interest in what would be considered odd marked Clown Loach, just the other day I asked my wife to drag me out of one LFS before I purchased a 1 inch double dot on the belly clown Loach with one stripe! Fortunately for me and according to a couple of shops round my way odd marked loach are quiet unpopular so if he or she? is still there next time then maybe...lol.... so does the markings differ more on farmed or wild species?

Well I do hope some of you venture what you have learnt or experienced and please be assured I am not being lazy I have searched and searched on the web and read stuff from the tenth and twenty first pages as well as the first of Googles results I guess I just cannot get enough information on these magnificent Loaches but I am sure I have missed some of the good bits of information as you can probably work out from my ramblings above, the length of this post I must apologies for.

Regards onebto.

Diana
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by Diana » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:37 am

Youngsters can grow fast when they have been treated to kill internal parasites. I got some that were barely an inch, and treated them. They reached 2" (doubled in size, and a lot fatter) in less than a year.
After that they slowed down. I have had them about 3 or 4 years and they are about 4"+ now.
There is an article here, at the original site about odd markings. They just seem to happen, not induced by any treatment.
38 tanks, 2 ponds over 4000 liters of water to keep clean and fresh.

Happy fish keeping!

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onebto
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by onebto » Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:51 am

Diana wrote:Youngsters can grow fast when they have been treated to kill internal parasites. I got some that were barely an inch, and treated them. They reached 2" (doubled in size, and a lot fatter) in less than a year.
After that they slowed down. I have had them about 3 or 4 years and they are about 4"+ now.
There is an article here, at the original site about odd markings. They just seem to happen, not induced by any treatment.
I have had the same with my juveniles with there spurt of growth, yes thank you I have seen the article you mentioned it is very interesting.

Thanks for your response Diana.

Regards onebto

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Graeme McKellar
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by Graeme McKellar » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:36 pm

Hi Onebto,
This link might help - http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=18262
Cheers Graeme.
"I want to speak with many things and I will not leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without solving this affair, and people are not enough. I have to go much farther and I have to go much closer." - Pablo Neruda.

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onebto
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by onebto » Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:28 am

Graeme McKellar wrote:Hi Onebto,
This link might help - http://forums.loaches.com/viewtopic.php?t=18262
Cheers Graeme.
Thanks for that an interesting read

Regards onebto

ukloacher
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by ukloacher » Sun Apr 17, 2011 5:05 am

Diana wrote:Youngsters can grow fast when they have been treated to kill internal parasites. I got some that were barely an inch, and treated them. They reached 2" (doubled in size, and a lot fatter) in less than a year.
After that they slowed down. I have had them about 3 or 4 years and they are about 4"+ now.
There is an article here, at the original site about odd markings. They just seem to happen, not induced by any treatment.
Hi Diana,

What medication have you treated them with?
Last edited by ukloacher on Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

carphunter57
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by carphunter57 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:40 pm

Diana wrote:Youngsters can grow fast when they have been treated to kill internal parasites. I got some that were barely an inch, and treated them. They reached 2" (doubled in size, and a lot fatter) in less than a year.
After that they slowed down. I have had them about 3 or 4 years and they are about 4"+ now.
There is an article here, at the original site about odd markings. They just seem to happen, not induced by any treatment.
Well, that's a bit of a shock.... I upgraded my tank at the end of July 2010 to a 6' x 2' x 2.5' 800 litre beast and started stocking it with Clowns at the beginning of August and built up to a total of 14 clowns over a period of 3-4 months. I was a bit disappointed with their growth rates until I read the above quote. The smallest is scraping 2" and as fat as a little pig of the remainder 2/3's are over 3" with the other 1/3 over 4" and the biggest pushing 5", they are all beautiful deep bodied fish. So how old is a 6" fish????

EmilyMarie85
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by EmilyMarie85 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:15 pm

I have a question --

So, Clown Loaches pick up these parasites in their natural environment in the wild -- people catch them, export them, and with all that stress skinny shows. Now, it is my understanding that some clowns will survive skinny and some will not based on how well their body fights off the infection/parasite. I read something the other day, and it was suggested that the surviving loaches never really get rid of the parasite, their body just "keeps it in check" (just like they do in the wild) based on the overall health of the fish. So if stress increases for whatever reason, water quality is bad, etc., then the fish looses the ability to keep things in check, and skinny follows, which explains why a seemingly healthy clown loach can start showing signs of skinny without introducing any new fish to the tank.

In my mind, that does make perfect sense. So, my question: (If that is true) Every clown loach one purchases should be de-wormed regardless of how healthy it looks. Is that an accurate statement?

A user here, "Diana", has suggested a treatment in other threads that looks like this:
Levamisole
Maracyn I & II
PraziPro
Maracyn I & II
PraziPro

I think I am going to treat my entire group using this method (thanks Diana).

A little background: I recently purchased some oddballs, that came from a LFS where the tank was clearly infested with skinny -- which is why I purchased Levamisole in the first place. After treating them once with it, and seeing no negative side effects, I decided to treat my whole shoal (which I am in the process of doing now) with at least the Levamisole. Because:
True story:
About a year ago, one of my clowns started showing signs of skinny. I was not sure what to do -- I read a post from someone who worked at an evil pet chain store, that saw skinny in clowns all the time. This person said that he started putting the clowns on a very high protein diet, and the survival rate increased - most pulled out of it just fine. So, I put my clowns on a strict shrimp+clams and cucumber diet. Took a few months, but now a year later I can barely tell who had it. Obviously, this only works if the fish is still eating... but, based on the theory that it depends on the overall health of the fish to keep parasites in check, would make sense that this treatment did work. BUT, it also further leads me to believe that the parasite is still there, just not raging out of control. Which is why I decided to treat the whole shoal, with at least the Levamisole.

Sorry for the long post -- thinking out loud. So yeah, based on all that I think that "every clown should be de-wormed regardless of how healthy it looks" is a true statement (?)

NancyD
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by NancyD » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:36 pm

I worm all new loaches while they are still in quarantine. I've used levamisole but have also used antibiotic & deworming flakes from http://www.angelsplus.com/FlakeMedicated.htm
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millsn
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Re: Chromobotia macracanthus / Clown loach Questions

Post by millsn » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:53 am

I keep my clowns in the local hardwater. Having lost a few to skinny (before discovering "Kusuri wormer plus" which worked where levamisole did not), my theory is that exposure to the worms is limited by the naturally acidic environment the clowns usually live in. I wonder what skinny issues people have where they run acidic tanks?

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