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Best plants for tank with clown/yoyo loaches?

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:16 pm
by SondraT
Hello Everyone!

I have been searching, but have only been able to find tidbits of info here and there about the types of live plants that can be successfully planted in a tank with adult clown/yoyo loaches. I would love to convert my sand substrate tank with artificial plants to an Eco-complete/tahitian black moon sand substrate with live plants. What does everything think of this idea? And mainly, does anyone have any suggestions/good sources for plants that won't be eaten by the loaches, other than java moss? Thanks so much for the help! :)


Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 4:17 pm
by shari
If The Book was out this would be covered...but since it's not I can tell you that I keep mine with cabomba, limnophila (which they occasionally snip off at mid level leaving me to find pieces floating in the tank) java moss, java fern, anubias, and cryptocornes and what the lfs calls 'microsword' but is really dwarf saggitarius.

The only damage I ever see is the occasional nipped limnophila which is insignificant because it reproduces by runners and is much like a weed. I prune it once a month, along with the cabomba because it will take over the tank if I don't. They never seem to bother with the anubias, crypts (tho others have seen 'popping' of holes in them in their tanks) or other plants.


Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:08 am
by Lotus
Mine seem to do fine with most plants. The only exception has been any attempt to put in foreground plants, which they seem to take great joy in ripping up :) It can also be hard with "floaty" stem plants, which they often accidentally uproot (such as bacopa).

Among the plants I have are Vallisnerias, swords, crypts, anubias, Java ferns, wisteria.

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:42 am
by NancyD
Up until today I'd have agreed most plants are safe with clowns. All mine were tasted when I first added fish to a newly planted tank but left alone after that. I feed romaine & leaf lettuce 3-4 days a week and sometimes peas, cucumber or zuccini. I thought that filled any veggie cravings but this week I tried slightly cooked zuccini & the loaches have gone food crazy :twisted: . They are out most of the time now & even eat flakes mid-water. I took away a skeletonized lettuce leaf this morning & 2 hours later 1 amazon leaf was covered in chew holes but no other leaves were touched. Tonight after feeding bedtime tablets 1 loach cruised the holey leaf several times even though i sat only 2 feet away. Was this some kind of loachy threat -- more zuccini or the amazons get it? :shock:
Anyway you may want to stick with Java fern, crypts and sag unless you don't mind feeding expensive "amazon lettuce".

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:31 am
by Martin Thoene

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 1:33 am
by Mike Ophir
oh man good times!!

I forgot all about that song man.


Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:02 am
by shari
Too funny! :lol:

There's a bunch of them in that thread 8)

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:05 am
by SondraT
Hello everyone, and thanks for the replies! Here's what happened to me..Put in one lone java fern just to see what would happen (couldn't find any java moss at my lfs), and they put a pretty good shredding on it! :) I may have to feed more greens now! I've been slacking off, and this feels like a little warning of what may be to come! Could anyone recommend a good online aquarium plant supplier as well? Lfs has somewhat limited selection at this time. Thanks so much for the ideas and help! :D

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:50 am
by mamaschild
What ever you do, don't give them ANY Lilys :) I have a nice red one in my tank, and although it's growing, ever leaf is punched full of holes :roll:

I've found the larger Anubias' and Java Ferns are more or less safe. Elodia (Anacharis) is fairly safe as well. My only problem with the Anubias' is that the big loach seems to think if they are in his way, it's ok for him to push them around :? Not that I mind TOO much, but by the end of the week, at least half of them are floating around the tank :!:

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:05 pm
by Emma Turner
It probably depends on the size of your loaches, and the numbers you keep, but my huge shoal of Clowns munch their way through everything except Java Fern (which supposedly tastes bitter to most fish). Even then, I do find the odd leaf floating here and there with a few holes in it. And it's not like mine don't get a good helping of greenfood either!


Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:48 pm
by SondraT should I forget about trying to have a planted tank then? I have 5 clowns, two of which are about 5" in length. I'd really love to have live plants. :?

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:01 pm
by JD
I wouldn't go to the extreme of no plants. Just pick some that grow well in your conditions and either the loaches leave alone or grow faster then they can eat. What has been said already is good advice, and here are a few more I have found work. Vals, they seem to hate them. Crpyts too must taste bad.

Here is a 90 gal tank I set up in '96, this was taken in '03, and it's still going today. You can see the Vals, Anubius, Crypts, and anackirus.

Here is a 35 gal hex tank that's mostly Java fern.

Setup up the tank for the plants and the fish will thrive.


Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 8:48 pm
by Mike Ophir
Interesting that some of you kept yours with cabomba...mine always tore them to shreds, finding the tiny needle like leaves stuck on the intake filter tube, and inbetween the pebbles of the substrate.


Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2006 9:17 pm
by shari
Until the cabomba was growing wild I did have some loss of leaves. Once it matted up into a huge floating mass, the loaches left it largely alone. They'd skim through it's outer edges looking for leftovers, but stopped snipping it.

They left the snipping for the limnophila pieces of which would end up floating on top of the cabomba mass. :wink:

Posted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:20 am
by mamaschild
Yes, definately don't give up on a planted tank. Although this is NOTHING compared to what JD posted, here's my 125g that has 9 Clowns ranging from 4" to 10+" ... =117&pos=4

I have managed to get a few large Anubias' doing quite well. The Anacharis is "funky" but the loaches are leaving it alone. I've put a couple crypts in, but I think melt took over and the loaches just took advantage of some soft leaves to munch. They aren't completely gone, and they are getting some new leaves, so I have hope for them :)