I have two clown loaches that I have had now for about 5 years. They are around 4 and 5 inches long respectively, excluding tail fins. After looking at all of the photos here of big fat clown loaches, I am wondering if I should be feeding them something else! (although they where little guys when I got them!)
The staple item in their diet is Tetrimin Tablets. They seem to prefer these to most others. I supplement this with Hikari algae wafers and once in a while, a few Malaysian Trumpet Snails. I had a small tank set up for a while, just to culture snails for the loaches, but I have not set it back up since I moved in May.
Other than adding snails back into their diet, (which they love!) What else should I offer? What do you loach-keepers feed your fish?
I have tried offering bits of salad shrimp in the past, but they seem to ignore it. A few years ago, I had Platies in their tank, and they would eat just a few of the very smallest newborn Platies only. The platies have now been replaced by Cherry Barbs and baby barbs seem to interest them not at all.
So, suggestions? Anecdotes?
You may not need to increase the actual amount you feed, but I would definitely suggest varying their diet up a bit more. In the wild these fish feed on small crustaceans, worms, insect larvae, and greenfoods, so a good substitution are many of the frozen fish foods that you can buy from your lfs. Mosquito larvae is always taken with much enthusiasm, as is brineshrimp, mysis, daphnia, and for larger Clowns - chopped cockle, krill, prawns etc. Also you'll find that they will very much appreciate slices of cucumber, weighed down with plant weights or a marine lettuce grip.
Your Clowns would definitely thank you for trying out some of these ideas.
Hope this helps,
East of the Sun, West of the Moon.
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Thailand Nature Explorer
As far as disease-free snails go, My mother has quite a large colony in her aquarium which came from the Malaysian Trumpet Snails that I had in the past. They seem not to have caused any problems in the three aquariums they've been kept in. Nevertheless, thanks for the advice, because this had not occurred to me.
The Clowns are spoiled. They get frozen Brine Shrimp, Bloodworms, Flake, Algea Wafers, Bottom/shrimp pellets, and the occassional veggie, plus whatever "pest" snails I pull from my other tanks (all disease free). No, not all at once I trade off every couple days so they get plenty of variety. The YoYos are with the Clowns, so they get the same thing.
The Kuhlis get mostly bottem feeder tablets, along with the regular fish food, bloodworms and any Ramshorn snails small enough for them to eat.
The Dojos get a bit extra stuff. I keep them with my Apple Snails, so they get more veggies, plus snail "cookies", flake food, and anything I feed the snails.
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