Genus name: Botia Macracantha
Also known as: Tiger Botia, Clown Botia
Distribution: Sumatra, Borneo
Length: up to 12″ (30cm), although it is very unusual in an aquarium. You can expect your Clown Loach to be no bigger than 6″ (15cm)
Water Temperature: 75-86F (24-30C)
Diet: Worms, small crustaceans, plant matter, dried food
Water: preferably soft water
Breeding: Egg Layer, but does not breed in home aquariums
Lives: At the bottom of the aquarium
The most colourful and popular of all the loaches, the Clown Loach has beautiful orange scales, with black stripes, which make them very distinctive. The Clown Loach is a very attractive fish to have in your aquarium, as it is not as shy as the other species of loach. Often active by day, they can be kept quite successfully in a community tank with other fish.
Clown Loaches like to have company, so make sure you have more than one in your aquarium, and they also like to have hiding places, so make sure you have plenty of places for then to hide. A hollow cylinder, a flower pot on its side, or a strategically placed rock is ideal for your Clown Loach to have a rest when it is tired.
Once they are established, Clown Loaches live for several years in an aquarium, where they grow slowly, but never reach the size recorded for wild specimens. They have not been bred in captivity, perhaps because they do not reach full size and therefore sexual maturity.
The Clown Loach is particularly prone to whitespot when stressed in any way, so look at the fish carefully before purchasing, and if possible keep in quarantine for at least 2 weeks before introducing it to the main aquarium. Check also when purchasing that your Clown Loach has a well-rounded body, particularly underneath, as a skinny Clown Loach is not usually a healthy fish.
This popular fish should give you hours of enjoyment, just be aware that the Clown Loach does have a habit of lying on it’s side from time to time, however it’s not ill, it’s just resting!