Animal Stories - People Talking About Loaches

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Troy Finke - 2009-03-16
Are you sure they weren't just trying to "play" with the koi or school with them. Every single loach or botia I have had love to try to school with other fish whether it be a jaguar cichlid or tetra. I also notice they like to act as cleaner wrasse somewhat. I have seen mine swim sideways against other fish and what not, and I know a lot of koi can be very paranoid and jumpy so it's possible your koi freaked themselves to death from the loaches trying to interact with them. I don't know, it's a thought, I wasn't there watching your loaches so I cant really say.

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michael - 2007-01-01
Hearty, amazing little loaches. Mine have been very active, actually to the brink of honest curiosity. I have to admit, they are aggressive fish. I've had trouble keeping Dojo Loaches with them, as well as any other lazy, dopey fish of that nature. It's quite amazing to see HOW voracious they can be, almost like chihuahuas chasing rottwielers. I've seen mine (at only 1 inch!!) chase and beat a cichlid for fifteen straight minutes, until the cichlid was removed from the tank. I've also seen mine tirelessly attempt to devour a crayfish easily THREE times its size, gracefully dodging the claws, and going for the belly.

You'll hear plenty of clicks, and have plenty of fun watching these little titans hulk around your tank. As said, avoid Dojos and other lazily curious fish, as they will doubtlessly be picked on. I've seen, in my own experience, that these fish are LESS aggressive when kept solitary (that is, only ONE Skunk). My trio was split up VERY quickly, as they all waged war with my tank. When kept alone, they tend to be very curious, very entertaining fish.

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Ike - 2012-12-29
Hey, anyone have advice on keeping marble loaches? I need feeding, habitat, and tankmate information.-----------Help!

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  • Joel - 2013-03-26
    Hello Ike, though this is an older question, thought I'd throw my 2cents in. We feed our BBL's Hikari sinking wafers, Cobalt shrimp pellets, and Omega One veggie rounds as their main diet. We also make sure they get snails often, and seedless cucumber as a treat. We also feed them frozen bloodworms and mysis and brine shrimp as treats. You really should consider getting a larger tank before they get bigger, maybe a 40g long ? you'll want to provide hiding places galore for any of the Botia loaches, and it's good to have some 'dither fish' as tankmates. The dithers give your loaches the 'all clear' to come out of hiding. If you only have 3 loaches, the alfa loach may pick on the others and they will be stressed constantly. I really would suggest 5 as a minimum. As far as tank mates, we've done well with peaceful tetras. We have 6 full grown diamond tetras in our loach tank, with 7 BBL's, and 7 Clowns. Just make sure your tank revolves around your loaches needs first. We are currently running 1 big canister filter, 2 'hanger' filters, and a 750gph powerhead. You really need to be turning your tank water over 10-15 times an hour for loaches as they do need pristine water. We've been doing 30-50% water changes every 1-2 weeks. Loaches can survive with less maintenance, but they won't be happy, and probably won't live a full life. They are also much more entertaining. Hope this helps.
Animal-World info on Clown Loach
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fisheninthedark2008 - 2008-12-28
Several Clown Loaches, came to live in our (mainly Tetra) community, just before Christmas. I have had my tank for about a year now, and it was suggested, in one of my aquarium books, when it comes to loaches....Make sure the tank is well established (not starting with loaches, when you first put your tank together) environment wise. I followed this suggestion, and hope that all goes well. They were well worth the wait! My suggestion, as suggested in my aquarium book, wait to get loaches, until your tanks environment is well established. It is worth the wait. They make their "clicking" noises at supper time...LOL

Henry - 2011-05-27
By any chance is it true that a clown loach will directly get stunted if he's the only one of his kind in the aquarium? I have 1 in a 55 gallon tank, and like Calvin, he is with 6 tiger barbs. With that space, I assumed I can't house any more of his kind, and I'm just a kid so I can't afford a bigger tank. He's out all the time and hides only to sleep at night (quite frankly, he doesn't even hide when I make water changes). He is also a pig when it comes to eating, LOL. Under those conditions I immediately concluded that I really didn't need to buy any more of them. Right now he's only 1.75 inches, and has stayed with me for 3 months. I thought I was taking really good care of him until I read on some sites that keeping a clown loach alone will stunt it, which really alarmed me.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-27
    You can have just one clown loach and they won't get stunted or die. It is OK. When you have more than one clown loach they are more active just because there are other loaches to play with. Sounds like yours is doing fine. There is no reason it should be stunted. That is dependent on food and size of tank.
  • Henry - 2011-05-28
    Thank you so much! That's what I thought, too. I just really needed to confirm it from experienced individuals such as those from this site. I hope the other sites will be more careful with information. They may have right intentions, but everyone deserves to know the truth. I'm really happy and relieved. Thanks!!!
  • Makaila - 2011-08-18
    A few years ago I'd have to pay soemnoe for this information.
  • ug - 2012-01-15
    i really think it has something to do with its size. if the clown loach is bigger than the tiger barb it will still get provoked, but if the clown loach retaliates it will no longer attack. However, it is out numbered by other spieces so more than likely it will not come out of its hole, only if it is hungry. u will need to buy more loaches by the warmer season...
  • Ryan - 2012-04-07
    I don't know, but i had a clown loach in a 10 gallon with cory cats and some others. He was only a couple inches long and then I moved him to my dads 75 gallon tank that had a wide vareity of fish some being agressive but he held his own. I don't know if he was stunted cause he was the only one or if there wasnt enough space or if it was just his max size but after about 4 years he died at about 4-5 inches from ick.
  • Fiona - 2012-12-30
    I have a very large clown loach (approx. 11inches long) in my tank (I call her Big Bertha), she lives with a Black Ghost Knife fish, 2 Maingano's (who have just had babies), 2 Jewels, 2 Green Terrors, a kissing Gourami, an upside down catfish. I bought her when she was very small as she was the only one left at the store. Her growth has not been stunted at all, she is the biggest in my tank! Just a side note: I bought her when I first started out with cichlids & I have had no issues at all.
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Shez - 2008-11-26
In my 28 liter or 7 gallon tank I have 5 of these eel like fish. One of them is really long and quite fat. I think she is full of eggs. They are great fish to keep because they are really strange and easy to feed. They will except pretty much any fish food that sink to the bottom including old or moldy left overs. They are very hardy because the can live in the dirtiest tanks. A clean tank wouldn't be as good as an old one because there is not much rotting fish food. They should be housed with at least 3 or 4 of the same species because they like company. If you have at least four they will be more active than just having one. Mine live with a male veil tail betta splenden, a small angelfish, a large black skirt tetra, 2 cory cats (small albino and large bronze) and 3 mollies (golden male sailfin, black molly male and a female dalmatian shes pregnant).

The Fish Guy - 2008-12-17
These snake like fish make a pretty good clean up crew. I have 5 of these little snake like fish and they eat most of my tanks left overs. The corries help as well. These fast little critters make an excellent addition to a non aggressive topical tank. I've had no trouble with them except I don't know what little mischief they get up to. I'm not even sure if they are all alive. I have 2 big ones who are always out and about. If you do find an interest in these fish and you want to buy, make sure they are in a small shoal of 4 or more. If you have 2 or 3 you wont see them often. If you only have one, don't expect to see him often. When they are visible they usually travel in 2's or 3's.

Animal-World info on Dojo Loach
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val - 2013-01-10
i have 2 dojo's they are about 4 years old. They have always been active but the last few days all they do is lie at the top draped over the pump. I have not seen them eat for a couple of days, they do seem to be breathing rather rapidly, every now and then they swim yo the bottom but go straight back to the top. DOES ANY ONE KNOW WHAT MIGHT BE WRONG .

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-10
    Check water levels.  How is the water movement?  May want to add some airstones.
Animal-World info on Polka Dot Loach
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dennis donato - 2009-07-22
Hi, I just bought my first 10 gallon aquarium tank and I have 1 kissing gourami, 1 blue gourami (who by the way is very terratorial), 1 tri-color shark, and 1 algea eater. What other fresh water fish could I get for my tank. P.S. My fishs are about 2 1/2 to 3 inch. long.

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  • Lori Henson - 2012-04-21
    Hi Dennis. I have always heard to stock your aquarium 1 inch of fish to 1 gallon. When counting fish inches you should consider their adult length. You are probably at your max.
  • Ike - 2012-12-29
    I agree. In my aquarium, which is ten gallons and was setup not long ago, I have only one Marble Loach (plan on getting two more) that is about one inch long and a two inch long Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami.
kathy - 2007-01-15
I was amazed when I saw these guys in person! The color was so much brighter than the picture here...I brought two of them home, and added to the tank with 2 clown loaches, 3 koi angels, 2 white tetras and a black ghost fish, and lastly a golden dojo!
They fit in at once, and began playing by nightfall. A joy to watch, they circle each other, and are very active...still am amazed by the beautiful black/brown and bright gold colors they have.

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  • Ike - 2012-12-28
    I just got one of these and they are absolutley amazing! Mine is quite small at a little less than an inch long. These are the absolute best loaches.

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