Max Size: 15cm

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

The Clown Loach is quite popular and well-known in the aquarium hobby due to its personality and bold markings. The fish's body is long and symmetrical, has an arched dorsal surface and a flat ventral surface. Its head is quite large, and its mouth faces downward with big lips. Four pairs of barbels they are whitish-orange to reddish-orange, with three thick, black, triangular, vertical bands, One of the bands cover the head and eyes like a mask, one across the dorsal fin towards the anal fin and the other is between the two.

Clown Loaches are a playful, active fish with plenty of character and can live alongside medium-sized robust community fish. They are hardy so relatively easy to keep.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameChromobotia macracanthus
Other NamesTiger botia
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespanup to 10 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6 - 6.5
GH4 - 12
KH1 - 10
TDS50 - 175
75 - 81℉
23.9 - 27.2℃

Photos of the Clown Loach

Clown Loach
Clown Loach
Clown Loach
Male Clown Loach
Clown Loach

Natural Habitat

Clown loaches originate from the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia in soft acidic waters with thick vegetation with plenty of shade and leaf litter.

They prefer clear streams, but due to flooding the fish have to move into flooded flood plains, murky and blackwater lakes and rivers several months of the year. You will find them in plains of hilly areas.

What to feed the Clown Loach

Clown loaches are omnivores, and they are not fussy eaters. Still, they require a varied diet including quality dried food, live and frozen foods as well as vegetable matter such as cucumber, melon, spinach or courgette.

They love to feast on snails so if you have specialised snails for your aquarium then it is not advisable to keep Clown loaches with them or you will find yourself without snail.

How to sex the Clown Loach

It is quite challenging to define a male from a female Clown loach.

The female will be slightly smaller and more slender then the male and the male's tail will generally hook inwards like a claw rather than pointing straight out from the body like females.

How to breed the Clown Loach

Clown loaches are not that easy to breed, and even the most experienced fish keepers can find it difficult, but it is not impossible.

As long as you have a sexually mature pair, the water parameters are perfect condition, and there is plenty of plant coverage, it can happen.

Once successful and the eggs have been fertilised, make sure you remove the adults after or they shall most definitely eat their eggs.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
Golden Zebra Loach(Botia Histrionica)
Green Tiger Loach(Syncrossus Hymenophysa)
Hillstream Loach(Beaufortia kweichowensis)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 04/06/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 16:26:34