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Maximum size : 15 cm

Clown Loach - Chromobotia macracanthus : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus) is a fascinating and captivating addition to any aquarium. Their unique markings and playful personality make them a popular choice among fish enthusiasts. These fish have a long, symmetrical body with an arched dorsal surface and a flat ventral surface, while their large head and downward-facing mouth are accentuated by their distinctive whitish-orange to reddish-orange barbels. The Clown Loach is not just a beautiful fish; they are also very active and playful. They have plenty of character and are known to be quite mischievous, often playing games with their tank mates. They are relatively hardy and can live alongside medium-sized robust community fish. However, it is important to note that they do grow quite large and will require a spacious aquarium to thrive. Overall, the Clown Loach is an entertaining and exciting addition to any aquarium. With their unique markings, playful nature, and hardiness, they are an ideal choice for both novice and experienced fish keepers alike.

Clown Loach Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Determining the sex of Clown loaches can be a difficult task. Typically, males are larger and have a more robust body than females. Additionally, males tend to have a slightly concave ventral profile, and their caudal fins are hooked inward. In contrast, females are smaller and more slender with straight caudal fins that extend out from their body. Despite these physical differences, determining the sex of a Clown loach can still be challenging, especially in younger specimens.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameChromobotia macracanthus
Year Described1852
Other NamesTiger botia
Max Size15 cm
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

Natural Habitat

Clown Loaches originate from the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, located in Indonesia. Clown Loaches typically occupy soft, acidic waters with thick vegetation that provides plenty of shade and leaf litter. They prefer clear streams, but due to flooding, these fish often have to move into flooded flood plains, murky and blackwater lakes, and rivers for several months of the year. Clown Loaches can be found in plains of hilly areas, adding a unique and captivating element to their environment. Adding Clown Loaches to your aquarium is an excellent way to showcase their unique beauty and contribute to their conservation efforts. So why wait? Explore the wonders of Clown Loaches and bring a touch of Indonesia into your home today!\r\n


Breeding Clown loaches can be challenging even for experienced fish keepers, but not impossible. For successful breeding, it is essential to have sexually mature pairs, suitable water conditions and sufficient plant coverage. Once fertilized, it is crucial to remove the adults as they have a tendency to consume their own eggs.

Diet & feeding

Clown loaches are omnivorous and have an unfastidious appetite. Nevertheless, to maintain their health and wellbeing, it is essential to provide them with a varied diet consisting of high-quality dried food, live and frozen foods, and vegetable matter, such as cucumber, melon, spinach, or courgette. Clown loaches are known for their love of snails, so it is not recommended to keep them with specialised snails in the aquarium. Otherwise, you may find yourself without any snails.\r\n

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