Animal Stories - Loaches

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Tina - 2013-11-12
I recently found out the name of this fish. LOL I have had this Yo-yo guy since 2000. It was by accident when I purchased a water plant for my aquarium. He made himself at home by eating all the snails including the big apple snails, he out lived my betas and other small fish. He even outlived a big pink aggressive cichlid that I thought would make a great tank mate for him. He even managed to survive many times of me finding him outside the tank after he jumped out while I was sleeping. Oh yeah, he really seems to enjoy my cat more than he does me since he only seems to come out of his hiding place whenever my kitty comes around. To this day he is still currently enjoying his food, I think his home and the odd snail he finds. I gave up on getting him a new tank mate. :s

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daphne - 2010-02-22
Two of my seven loaches are getting busy as I type! I have a few aquariums, but the one in question is a simply, a fully live planted tank with only a few snails, some harlequin rasboras, and the loaches. One of the largest loaches is swimming in a circular pattern, up and down, along the left vertical wall of the tank. These two have been doing this for days. From what I've read, this is the beginning of the mating cycle.

It is set to rain in a few days, and an expert told me to do small water changes until then. When the weather is supposed to change, I am to do a thirty to forty percent water change, and then over the next couple of days I am to watch for floating eggs at the water's surface. I use elodea and other floating plants, so I hope the eggs will last until I find them.

If these two get it on, I'll get back to you!

In the meantime, here's my advice:

Buy the loaches in large, uneven amounts, of over nine. Keep the water warm, flowing, and full of live plants. If you must have other fish in the tank, make sure they are small. Buy a few caves, or bury plastic cups or terra cotta planters halfway in sand.

I wish you the best of luck with your loaches!

P.S. Buy frozen bloodworms once a month, at least. They LOVE them.

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  • Shareallicu - 2010-10-09
    Hi, I am new to keeping Kulhi loaches. I saw them at the pet store and thought they looked interesting and fun: I was looking for something a little different from the "regular" type fish, of which I've kept most of my life.

    I asked the salesman if they liked companionship or if they were social amongst themselves (so I would buy more than one) he said no. I had a feeling he was wrong, but didn't want to buy too many if they were aggressive to each other. So I bought two.

    They burrowed together and laid next to each other ALL The TIME! I found that my instincts were right in the first place! They were social. So i went back about 2 weeks later and just bought 2 more. I will be watching them to see how the 4 get along.

    I wish I read your comment about keeping a lot of them together beforehand, but live and learn i guess hehe.

    I will give them bloodworms tonight, thanks for the info! :)
  • vic - 2013-06-07
    I have had two lots of baby java loaches and all doing great. They live under the under gravel filter and they enter and leave via the up tubes of the filter. I notice that they will gather in one place on top of the gravel with their heads in the gravel all within a two inch area. They will do this once or twice a month.
  • vic - 2013-11-11
    Since last I wrote I find now that I now have yet another batch of babies. At this rate I will have more than I can handle. Bye for now.
Animal-World info on Dojo Loach
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vicky - 2013-07-17
I have 2 Dojo loaches, I love watching them dart around our tank, but one of my little guys/girls is acting rather weird she is looking rather fat around her belly and is staying at the top. She is also farting out air bubbles, can anyone tell me what could be wrong please as I don't want to lose her. She also has a slight reddish color on her tail please please can someone give some advice? Oh I have a 6ft tank with plenty of oxygen. My tank is also going through a cycle at the moment so nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels are slightly up.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-25
    Red streaks and bloating are signs of a bacterial infection. Treatment with penicillin, amoxicillin or erythromycin should clear it up. Any pet store should carry these treatments. Read more on specific diseases at Fish Disease and Treatment.
Animal-World info on Skunk Loach
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Eugene - 2007-10-24
I love these little 'guys' They dart all over the place (when they are not hidden somewhere.) They do pick on the other species a little bit, but not so much that it is a problem at all. MOST important thing I LOVE about these guys is that they eat snails! I have two aquariums with a snail infestation. The one with the skunk fish is keeping the problem at a managable state. They 'suck' out the snail meat and leave just the shell. When I vacuum up the waste I always find a bunch of empty shells in the waste water. I am planning to add 3 or 4 of these guys to my other tank with the snail problem!

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  • Dan - 2013-07-01
    Only get one due to the fact that they will be aggressive to each other!
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go2garrett - 2012-02-13
I bought my 2 loaches at a local, family-owned pet store about 6 or 7 years ago and they grew slowly but are very entertaining and now measure about 6 inches counting the tail. They lived harmoniously with Angel fish for many years in a 20 gallon aquarium, until all the Angelfish got old and died. I was told they were called 'Leopard Loaches'. Thanks for giving the real name and history. No wonder I haven't seen them in other pet stores! :)

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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