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Clown Loaches

2318 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  chapman76
I was wondering if these fishes (2) would be suitable in a 90 gallon tank with mbuna.
I'm setting it up and want them to dig in the sand to avoid having poisonous air pockets. These and a couple of bn plecos would cycle the tank while i slowly add the cichlids. Is this a good idea or will they get too big and not be compatible or what?
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I think they'd handle well in your tank. They are very slow growers and only grow 1-2" a year.

There is an good reference for clown loaches in the library.
I read it before adding 5 loaches. I really enjoy them.
They work well with Mbuna, but I would not use them or BNs to cycle the tank. I would use either some cheap trpoicals or go with the fishless cycle..

Heres the proper link to the clown loach profile:

Heres a link about fish-less cycle: ... ycling.php
I have 2 in my 90g pH7.4 soft water tank.
These guys think that they are so funny by freaking me out, lying on their backs to sleep belly up.
They always do that at the front of the tank, right in plain sight. :roll:

I'm setting it up and want them to dig in the sand to avoid having poisonous air pockets.
There is gravel in my tank with the clowns and I can't say they "dig".
They will sort of snuffle some through the gravel. With sand it may be different, tho.
I just don't think they will "maintenance dig" like you envision they would. (your mileage may vary)
Mine will scanvenger for left over food, which includes any eggs laying around.
There is alot written about these guys, so research on Google is easy.
Everything I have read about them suggests getting more than 1, so I'm glad you are getting at least 2. :)
Please don't cycle your tank with these guys. :( They are really nice fish and that'd be a shame.
If you are patient, you can train them to take food from your finger tips.
Mine swim throughout the water collum and are active through the day.
They can be shy. To take a break from everyone, mine like to wriggle in behind some slate that I have leaning against the back glass of the tank.
One other thing, be careful when handling them. For defence they have "razors" that can protrude from just below their eyes.
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I have two CL's in my tank. The Mnubas don't seem to mind them a bit. I have heard they are a magnet for ick though. Mine have gotten it once.
I have also had problems with clowns and white spot. Having said that i think they were poor quality stock from a lfs i wont go back to...

I have on lone clown loach left, and while i love the fish, they are so much more entertaining in groups of 5+.
I keep CL's in my mixed tank...

As far as ich... keep the temp of your tank above 80-82 and that shouldn't be much of an issue.

I bought a couple and noticed they had ich when I got home...

I tossed them in the tank and raised the temp and added rock salt and it was gone in a few days...

warmer water is a great ich defense.
I wouldn't recommend clown loaches be kept with Malawi. While they are adaptive and other "experts" will recommend them, if you keep them how you're supposed, you'd never do that to them again. Their personalities, growth, and overall health isn't as good in Malawi tanks.
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