keeping a solo clown loach

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ontheairship
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 pm

keeping a solo clown loach

Post by ontheairship » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:15 pm

Currently I have a 55gl freshwater planted tank. I am running about 500-650 gph or enough for about a 150gl. I bought some fish online locally from a girl who was coverting to saltwater. I got 3 discus, 2 clown loaches, about 4-5 Agassiz's corys, and 4-5 otto cats. I already had a red tailed black shark, 2 paradise gouramis, and some tetras. I gave 1 loach to a friend who also has a 55gl planted tank and kept the bigger one for myself. Since then I have rehomed the discus and currently have 4 gouramis, the loach, cats, shark, and african leaf fish, and a school of buenos aires tetras (plus one rosy barb who thinks he's a tetra and schools with them). My tank is 4ft long and has gravel substrate, a bige chunk of driftwood, live plants (basically the stuff you get at pet smart, nothing too exotic) and some larger stones. I have made a small cave where the shark and the clown loach like to hang out, but I have never seen them fight. he also stays between some of the larger stones unless its feeding time and he's all over the place. I feed a mix of flakes and sinking discs (with a clown loach on the bag from pet smart) and frozen brine shrimp, blood woorms, tubifex worms, and beef heart (recommended by "discus girl"). I have seen how potentially large my clown loach will get and have always seen them in groups but I was wondering if I could keep one solo loach in a 4ft tank, or if I could keep one solo loach at all. Right now I just don't have the space for a bigger tank and it really wont be years until I do.

I am getting bored with how the tank is set up and would like to re-do it. I would like to take this time to make it more loach friendly if that will increase my chances of keeping him happy and healthy long term. I really love things to look natural and realistic so I would probably make him a few more rock and driftwood caves instead of getting pvc or clay pots (unless I can cover the pvc with stones).

So what does everyone think? Can I keep this guy happy? what changes should I make to my tank? what changes do I need to make to the tank mates i have for him? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

ontheairship
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 pm

Re: keeping a solo clown loach

Post by ontheairship » Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:51 pm

And! I have a skunk botia. Just got him so I forgot about him

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Emma Turner
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Re: keeping a solo clown loach

Post by Emma Turner » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:57 pm

Hi ontheairship, welcome to Loaches Online.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you what you would like to hear. Clown loaches are highly sociable fish and NEED to be kept in groups (preferably 5 or more) for long-term wellbeing. They form a complex social hierarchy and absolutely must have company of their own kind. Without this, you are depriving the fish of its natural behaviour. Until you have seen them interacting in large groups, it can be difficult to grasp just what they are missing out on.

If you can't commit to giving a group of Clown loaches the space they deserve, then I'm afraid it is simply unfair to keep the one you have on its own. Just because it is currently on its own does not mean you can get away with a smaller tank. You'd be depriving it of space and social interaction. The best thing you can do for the fish is rehome it with someone who already has a large tank of Clown loaches.

The skunk loach also needs housing in a separate 'boisterous' tank with more of its own kind. Again, if this is not possible, you really need to think about rehoming this fish as well. They are notoriously aggressive and will harrass more placid fish such as your discus.

Sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but hope the advice helps you in making the right decision for your fish.

Best wishes,
Emma
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ontheairship
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:38 pm

Re: keeping a solo clown loach

Post by ontheairship » Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:23 pm

I no longer have the discus. It is in the original post. And what I have is a skunk botia, I don't know if there is a difference. In any case, what is the minimum length tank I will need to keep a a happy school of clown loaches?

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Emma Turner
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Re: keeping a solo clown loach

Post by Emma Turner » Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:21 pm

Skunk botia and Skunk Loach are both common names for Yasuhikotakia morleti:

http://www.loaches.com/species-index/ya ... ia-morleti

Even though you rehomed your discus, Y. morleti are not suitable for the general peaceful community aquarium. This is the sort of scenario that highlights why it is important to research your fish prior to purchase rather than impulse buy.

Clown loaches need a 6ft x 2ft x 2ft tank as a minimum (with powerful filtration and water movement), upgrading to larger quarters as they grow.

Emma
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