The Clown Loaches have very playful behavior which makes them a pretty addition to the tank.

Why need a beginner’s guide for Clown loach fish? Clown loach is one of the most active loaches and the ideal for a community tank, and these fishes do not have scales, they are susceptible to infections. Hence it is necessary to have beginners guide to take care of these fishes

Clown loach Fish – Overview

Common NameThe Clown Loach is also otherwise called Tiger Botia
Scientific NameIn 1852 their scientific name was Cobitis macracanthus. In 2004 its name was changed to Botia marcracanthus and later to Chromobotia macracanthus
Habitat or OriginTheir origin is the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Sumatra
Average SizeWhen they are young, they are around 2-3 inches in length. However, when they become adults, their size is approximately 12 inches.
ColorationThe body of the fish is blue and have white spots that look
like pearl and fins are red-colored
Life SpanThey can live up to 10 years or more in the right condition
DietA mixed diet of sinking shrimp pellets and algae wafers can be fed. They also feed on leftovers. Snails are their favorite food. The fish can be fed twice a day
Gender IdentificationThe male has their tailfin that is bent slightly inwards. According to their size, the females appear plumper than the males
BehaviorThey are peaceful fishes. However, males do not get along
with each other. They tend to be explorative in groups. Later
when they become comfortable in the tank, they are happy
CompatibilityThey are compatible with other community tank fishes like Cherry Barbs, Tiger Barbs, Black Widow Tetra, Kuhli Loaches. Apart from these Red-Clawed Crab can also be kept together
Ideal Tank ConditionsA minimum of a 75-gallon aquarium is necessary for a group of loaches. With each additional fish, an extra 30 gallon of water should be increased. The tank should have a substrate with pebbles and sand imitating their natural habitat. Plants like Java moss, Hornwart, or Riccia Flutians in the tank are necessary as they provide shade or protection to the fishes hence keep them stress-free. They also make the tank darker thereby making the fishes active
Water ParametersThe temperature can range from 77-86 degree F. the pH should be between 6 and 8
BreedingWhen the fishes are sexually mature they should be kept in separate tanks and be given nutritious food. Breeding these fishes require the special condition of the tank. The temperature should be 77.8-79.7 degrees F and the pH should be 6.2- 6.4. as the female lays eggs, the male fertilizes them. As soon as fertilized, the parent fishes should be removed from the breeding tank to avoid the eggs from being eaten. The eggs which are fertile appear pink in color. The unfertilized eggs turn brown in color. As the eggs hatch, they should be given cultivated infusoria as food. Later they can be fed with brine shrimps, fish flake food, etc.
Common DiseasesThey easily catch the disease as they don’t have scales on their body. White spot disease otherwise called Ich is the most common disease of Clown Loaches. They are also susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections
Approximate CostThey cost an average is around $9 depending on the size in the USA and in Southeast Asia/India they cost almost 1/2nd of the price
What to look when buyingAs these fishes are susceptible to ich, make sure the fishes do not have any white spots on their body. They should not appear skinny as these are symptoms of skinny disease which is internal
Species in the MarketClown loaches, Chinese Golden Zebra Loach, Dwarf Loach, Dojo Loach are a few species available in the market

Gallery of Clown loach fish


  1.  “Clown loach profile”. Badman’s Tropical Fish. Retrieved 2007-08-18.
  2. Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2016). Chromobotia macracanthus in FishBase. January 2016 version.