I have 6 Clowns. 1 about 6 or so inches and five babies about 2 inches long.
Firstly I'm wondering about how old the 6 incher is as I brought him this size. And about how old would the babies would be. After some research I learned they grow up to pet shop size quite quickly (about 2 inches). Then slow right down till they hit adult size.
I suspect the babies are about a year old and the "teenager" is about 5 or so years old. But I'm new to clowns and would like some input from those who know better. How much would my babies grow per year?
Topic two is about shoaling. None of them do. I also researched this and apparently clowns are one of the few breeds that will shoal and not isolate other clowns of larger or smaller sizes.
None of my clowns are grouping together. .. except when all 5 babies jam themselves in a log together like clown mash. They eventually come out to eat...
Speaking of eating. I havent seen Tiger (5 incher) eat since I brought him about a week ago.... getting a little concerned. Is this ok?
the bigger one cant play or fight or dance wirt the small ones because they probably havnt learnt such behaviour yet.
is the big one not eating or dont you see it? Does he have caves to hide in?
Bigger clowns need more time to get accustumed to the new tank. Read some topics about the subject and compare them to yours.
If the big one has taken a hidingspot of his own, place some sinking food right in front of it, and see if he eats it. Watch him when he is out. A clown that just ate has a full belly. One that didnt eat for a week will be slimmer than before.
I too bought a large clown loach less than 2 years ago and he does tend to isolate himself from the others where the ones I purchased together grew up together and tend to stick together whatever they are doing. My theory is because he was kept as a solitary loach for years. He surely likes dancing with the others from time to time and lines up for food in the morning like everyone else. But he tends to be more nocturnal than my others, would come out way earlier at night on his own too. You can try feeding at night if possible for the time being. However, they learn when food time is and if you feed at the same times of the day, all loaches will learn and will be out waiting for you, wiggling tails. I feed mine early morning before I come out. Before I used to feed in the evening, and they'd all be out then instead.
As for growth rate, it's a lot dependent on you. From 2" to 5-6" they tend to grow relatively fast. It's harder providing that environment for long enough time because they still tend to grow slower than other fish that reach the same potential size. One needs to keep up with them for longer as they still need to be treated like fry, meaning they need good food regularly and clean water, so if you are serious about growing them properly, best is small feedings a few times a day and a couple of large water changes a week at least for the first year. But not many people, including me, have done this for them. I left mine on one feeding a day and 50% water change a week. My largest after 2.5 years is between 5-6" which doesn't count my big clown loach who's bigger and grew too in the time I had him but I didn't grow him myself from a small loach.
If you make the extra effort, I am certain you can bulk them up pretty quickly faster, in a year or two to 4-6 inches. They may not all grow at the same rate though and their are several theories why. Females tend to grow larger than males and also wider bodied. And the alpha loach will be normally a female, the biggest of all. This could role could automatically be given to your large loach but I think in my group my 2nd biggest is the alpha loach and she's shaped like a female(more ellipse sort of shape)
Some also say they excrete a growth inhibiting hormone, hence why large water changes are a good tactic to counteract this. Also, the less pushy clowns maybe getting less food. I feed mine smaller pellets, like NLS pellets that come in 0.5,1mm,2mm rather than "wafer" size pellets and this way everyone gets to them, otherwise the more aggressive eaters will just steal the food from the others each time and food for growing fish is as important as good quality water.
Good luck with them. They are very entertaining fish to own but take their time to feel comfy in the tank and also with their owner.
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I regard them as one of the easiest species to keep.
Very enjoyable too, though mine will bolt if scared by sudden movements etc..
Whitespot seems to be the only weakness, mainly following their aquisition or introduction of new tankmates.
The ability to maintain good water quality is important.
Aeration and warmth i.e. 80F are very useful.
Mine appear to eat anything offered.
If healthy they cannot resist frozen bloodworm.
Growth rates and final size vary so wildly there is no sense in seeking a guide or formula.
However, I would rate them as slower growing than the average species.
Mine have always shoaled.
Mine have not stopped growing yet.
Mine appear comfortable in their six foot aquarium but I believe they would only grow to their full potential in more suitable spacious accomodation.
The minimum size of such accomodation has not been determined and few people have 15" fish.
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