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Chromobotia (Botia) macracantha
| Quick stats:
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||Up to 18" (50cm)
||5.0 to 7.5
||Soft to medium. dH range: 5.0 - 15.0
||75°F to 86°F (24-30°C)
Clown loach, Tiger Botia
Borneo, Sumatra, Found in standing and running waters.
General Body Form
This fish is somewhat long and compressed laterally. The underside is
nearly straight and the back is convex. It has a large head and the
mouth is facing downward with four pairs of barbels and thick fleshy
lips. The barbels on the lower jaw are small and hard to see. The Caudal
Peduncle is short and deep. The Clown Loach can reach a length of 12
inches ( 30 cm ), but is usually smaller in the home aquarium.
The fins are bright Red and three black vertical bands from from the
back to the belly over Orange-Red sides. The first band runs from the
top of the head and through the eye, the second from the front of the
Dorsal fin to the belly and the third covers the start of the Caudal
peduncle and spreads on to the Anal fin. In healthy and happy specimens
the colors can easily equal that of the marine reef fish.
Clown loaches have no special requirements on water conditions, they
do however prefer a certain aquarium setup to be at their best. A tank
size of 48 inches (120 cm ) with the length being more important than
the depth. It is very important to have a soft or fine textured substrate
as they are continually probing the upper layers with their barbels
for food. The tank does not need to be heavily planted, but the fish
are shy and must have a place to hide - driftwood - caves - or even
a clay flowerpot. The lighting in the tank should not be overly bright.
Clown loaches are happiest living in small groups and will live peacefully
with all other fish. Sometimes they will form small troops with members
of the Corydoras family. Feeding is not difficult as they will accept
all prepared foods and like all fish relish the addition of live foods
especially small worms. The addition of a plant supplement is also beneficial.
Clown loaches once established can live a very long time.
Rivers and lakes in Sumatra and Borneo, especially the flood-plains
in the hill country. Please see the Asian Black-water biotope
to get an idea how to set up a home for these great fish.
Unknown. Have read some reports of sporadic breeding in the home aquarium
but have seen no details on it. In the wild this fish probably migrates
up river to special breeding grounds.