Freshwater Fish

The Perfect Clown Loach Tank Mates

Clown Loaches are by far one of the most popular freshwater fish to keep in a community tank. You can’t walk into a pet store and not see at least one of these guys for sale.

But those little clowns can be pretty picky about the company they keep, so if you already have a couple of Clown Loaches in your tank, there’s no way these guys will thrive if you just plop them in there.

While deciding on ideal Clown Loach tank mates, there are a few things you should know about these mischievous little fish before you adopt that first Clown loach.

Clown Loach Profile

Tank size: 75 gallons
Size: 12 inches
Water Temperature: 75-85°F
School Size: At least five
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Care Level: Intermediate

Clown Loach Overview

Clown loaches are a group of fish that are native to Asia. The most popular of these is known as the Clown Loach or Clown Fish (Chromobotia Macracanthus).

These fish are known for their unique markings and coloration, which can range from a solid gray to an orange and black pattern, with some shades in between.

The Clown Loach is an omnivorous scavenger that will eat just about anything it can fit into its mouth. They will eat leftovers from other fish, plant matter and even snails.

This makes the clown loach a great addition to any tank where you have other similar sized fish. The clown loach enjoys hiding in caves or under rocks during the day, but at night they come out and look for food.

These fish are also known for their ability to get along with most other types of fish. Clown loaches are very social fish that get along well with other species of clown loach.

They can be kept in groups or paired up with other fish, but they should not be housed with aggressive or territorial fish.

The clown loach is a very interesting fish that can be a very good tank mate for many other aquarium fish. It is important to research the type of clown loach you are interested in buying, as there are many different species.

Some of these species can be less than ideal as tank mates, but some can be great additions to your aquarium.

Most bottom feeders such as the Otocinclus or Corydoras catfish will make great clown loach tank mates because they all tend to stay near the bottom of the tank looking for food scraps.

These three types of fish tend to get along well together and make an interesting trio in an aquarium environment

A clown loach is a big fish, and they need big tanks to live in. A minimum of 75 gallons should be used for small clowns. However, the larger the tank, the better.

Clown loaches are easy to care for and are often recommended as beginner fish because they are generally hardy and easy to feed.

They do best in tanks that have plenty of covers such as driftwood and rocks, but they can also be kept in tanks without any decor.

Clown loaches prefer tanks that have a lot of hiding places, especially caves or overhangs where they can retreat when frightened. They also like a tank that has dense vegetation on the substrate and floating plants above the water line.

However, unlike many other species of fish, clown loaches are not sensitive to nitrates, so you don’t need to worry about keeping them in an established tank with high levels of nutrients.

Clown Loach Tank Mates

One thing that makes choosing the right fish for your clown loach tank difficult is that there are more than 100 different species so it can take some time to find out which ones are compatible with your setup.

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you choose the tank mates for your clown loach is that not all fish are compatible with this species.

Clown loaches like to burrow into the substrate, so it’s important to choose fish that won’t bother them when doing so. Here’s a list of some of the best clown loach tank mates:

1- Neon Tetra

Size: 1–1.5 inches
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous
Care Level: Easy
Water Temperature: 72°-76°F
Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are beautiful, hardy and inexpensive fish. Neon tetras are a schooling fish that should be kept in groups of 6 or more.

They are best kept in at least a 10-gallon tank, and they do best when kept with other peaceful, active fish.

The neon tetra is one of the most popular aquarium fish because of its bright colors and easy-care requirements.

Neon tetras are ideal tank mates for clown loaches. These two fish species will get along well together in your tank, but they do require some special care considerations.

Neon tetras are very delicate and more sensitive than other types of tropical fish. They need soft water with a pH level between 6.0 and 6.5 and temperatures between 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius) and 76 degrees F (22 C).

You should provide them with plenty of hiding places since they prefer to stay hidden from view most of the time. Feeding your neon tetra is also important because they have small mouths that make it difficult for them to eat large food particles or flakes.

 Instead, feed your neon tetra live foods such as brine shrimp or mosquito larvae once or twice per week for optimal nutrition.

Clown loaches have many similarities to the Neon Tetra, so they make an excellent pair. Both are bottom-dwelling fish that enjoy living in groups in their natural environment.

They also prefer similar water parameters and tank decorations, making them easy to care for together.

2- Rainbow Fish

Size:  2 inches
Minimum Tank Size: 12 gallons
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous
Care Level: Easy
Water Temperature: 73°-82°F
rainbow fish

Rainbowfish belong to the Melanotaeniidae family and there are more than 100 known species of these tiny freshwater fish that hail from Australia and New Guinea. Most rainbowfish only grow up to 2 inches long.

Despite their diminutive size, rainbowfish are quite colorful with iridescent scales that reflect different colors depending on how you view them under different lighting conditions.

Rainbow fish are one of the most popular and easy to care for fish. They are small, colorful, and peaceful.

Rainbow fish can be kept in almost any freshwater aquarium setup. Rainbow fish is a great choice for any low-level community tank.

They live in large schools and are very active swimmers. This makes them a perfect addition to your loach tank.

Rainbow fish are a great addition to your Clown Loach tank. They are active and use their fins to swim around the tank.

They are also very fun to watch as they spend their time swimming around the aquarium looking for food or hiding places in which they can rest until it is time to feed again. Rainbow fish are omnivorous, so they will eat algae and most prepared foods.

They prefer temperatures between 73-82 degrees F and should be kept in tanks with other peaceful community fish.

The males will develop bright colors during the breeding season but this does not affect their behavior towards other tankmates since they will still be peaceful towards them even when the breeding season is over.

Because these two types of fish have similar requirements, they are often kept together in the same aquarium, where both species can thrive together without any problems or aggression from either side of the tank.

3- Tiger Barb

Size:  2-3 inches
Minimum Tank Size:  20 gallons
Temperament: Playful and semi-aggressive
Diet: Omnivorous
Care Level: Easy
Water Temperature: 72°-76°F
Tiger Barb

The tiger barb is a small fish that has a round body with a pointed nose and long fins. The head is bright red, with yellow stripes running from the eyes to the gill covers.

The body is golden brown, but some individuals may have a silvery appearance due to lighter scales on the back half of their bodies.

Tiger Barbs are one of the most popular freshwater aquarium fish due to their bright colors, hardiness, and peaceful nature towards other tank mates. The Tiger Barb is a peaceful fish that makes a great tank mate for Clown Loaches.

It’s not a large fish, so it won’t compete with the Clown Loach for food. They are omnivores and will eat most types of foods including flake food, frozen food and live food such as worms and brine shrimp.

The Tiger Barb gets its name from the stripes on its body which resemble those on a tiger. The stripes help it blend into its surroundings when threatened by predators.

Tiger barbs need plenty of space since they like to swim fast and jump out of tanks if given too little room to move around in. They also need plenty of hiding places so they feel secure when resting among their tank mates.

Since tiger barbs can grow up to three inches long, you will need a large aquarium to house both species together.

A tank at least 20 gallons in size would be best for one pair of tiger barbs; however, you can add additional pairs if your tank is large enough or if you want multiple species of fish in one tank.

These fish grow quickly so plan on upgrading your tank size if you don’t want to replace these fish every few months.

Tiger Barb fish is an active species that swims rapidly in schools when they are kept in an aquarium environment.

In nature, they can be found in pairs or groups of up to 50 individuals during the breeding season and will form large schools during migration periods.

4- Plecos

Size:  20-24 inches
Minimum Tank Size:  30 gallons
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous
Care Level: Easy
Water Temperature: 73°-82°F

Plecos are catfish-like freshwater fish belonging to the family Loricariidae. They are native to South America and Central America but have been introduced to other parts of the world as aquarium pets.

They are also called plecostomus, siamensis and a common pleco. They have a rounded body shape. They have fleshy pectoral fins that help them grasp objects.

Their mouths have a thick layer of skin and spines to protect them from being eaten.

There are more than 100 species of Plecostomus and they vary greatly in size, shape and coloration. Most species have armored bodies with suckermouths.

Some species prefer brackish water while others prefer freshwater environments. The largest species can grow up to 30 inches long; however, most species only grow up to about 6 inches in length.

The common pleco, the black-striped pleco and the golden pleco are the most popular. The common pleco gets to be about 4 inches long and is a good algae eater.

The black striped pleco is smaller, growing only to about 3 inches long. It is also an excellent algae eater.

The golden pleco gets to be about 8 inches long and has a beautiful coloration that makes it very popular with hobbyists.

Plecos are omnivores and will eat both algae and meaty foods such as bloodworms and tubifex worms. In the wild, they will scavenge on dead fish or plants as well as algae.

In captivity, they can be fed sinking algae wafers and sinking pellet foods. They should be given fresh vegetables every day to supplement their diet.

Plecos need a tank that is at least 30 gallons in size with plenty of room for plants and rocks for hiding places. The tank should have good filtration for waste removal and aeration for oxygenation.

A pH between 6-6.5 is ideal for this species because it prefers slightly acidic water conditions with low levels of carbonate hardness. Plecos are nocturnal fish who spend most of their time hiding among rocks or plants during the day, coming out at night to graze on algae.

They are generally peaceful fish, but some species will become territorial with other fish of the same species or similar-looking species.

5- Gouramis

Size: 3-25 inches (depending on the species)
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Temperament: Semi-aggressive
Diet: Omnivorous
Care Level: Easy
Water Temperature: 72–82°F

The gouramis fish is a freshwater tropical fish native to Southeast Asia. This fish can grow up to 6 inches in length and live for up to 10 years.

Gouramis are commonly found in aquariums because they are easy to care for and have interesting personalities. These fish are also popular with beginners because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

However, there are many different types of gouramis so it’s important to know what you’re getting before buying one.

The most common types of gouramis are the dwarf gourami, giant gourami, paradise gourami and pearl spotted gourami. Dwarf gouramis can grow up to 3 inches long while giant gouramis can grow up to 12 inches long.

The other two types of gouramis are much smaller, only growing up to 6 inches long in most cases.

Male gourami fish are generally more colorful than females and have more developed fins. They also tend to be smaller than female gouramis, which can grow up to 8 inches long in captivity.

Gouramis are usually colored bright blue, green or red with black spots all over their body. Some varieties have different colored stripes running down their body as well as spots on their fins or tails.

6- Other Loaches

The best companions for clown loaches are other types of loaches. Other loaches such as Blue Botia and Zebra Loach could also be perfect tank mates for the clown loach.

These fish have similar requirements to clown loach, so they can live peacefully together in one tank.

1) Blue Botia

Blue Botia

Blue Botia loach fish is a freshwater tropical fish. It has a long body and can grow up to 30 cm. It is also one of the most colorful loaches available, with shades of blue, green, yellow and red on its body and fins.

The Blue Botia has a lifespan of up to 10 years when properly cared for in an aquarium environment. It has two pairs of barbels, one pair on the upper lip and one pair under the chin.

These barbels are used by the loach to locate food in the dark muddy waters in which they live.

The Blue Botia Loach fish is native to Asia and some parts of Africa. This species is also commonly known as the blue emperor, bluetail loach, blue tail, or royal blue dwarf loach.

The Blue Botia Loach fish has been introduced into many countries outside its native range as an aquarium pet and has become established in some areas outside its natural range, such as Florida and Hawaii where it is considered an invasive species

It is also one of the most colorful loaches available, with shades of blue, green, yellow and red on its body and fins. The Blue Botia has a lifespan of up to 10 years when properly cared for in an aquarium environment.

The Blue Botia is not an aggressive fish and should be kept with other peaceful tank mates such as clown loaches. They are best kept in groups of three or more individuals because they are social fish and like to swim in schools.

2) Zebra Loach

Zebra Loach

The Zebra Loach fish species are a very popular aquarium fish because they are so easy to care for. They reach a maximum size of about 6 inches and live up to 10 years.

The zebra loach is a bottom dweller that prefers soft, acidic water with a pH between 5.0 and 7.5. It also needs plenty of hiding places, especially when young.

The zebra loach has many variations in color depending on the type of environment it lives in. The most common color variation is brown with black stripes running down its body, but some variations have yellow or white stripes instead of black ones.

Zebra Loaches are omnivores, feeding on algae and other small organisms in the wild. In the aquarium, they should be fed a variety of high-quality foods including sinking pellets, frozen foods such as bloodworms and tubifex worms or live foods such as brine shrimp or daphnia.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 2 Clown Loaches Enough?

No. Clown loaches are a schooling fish so they need to be kept in groups of at least 5 or more. If you have only 2 tetras, they will feel very lonely and may become aggressive towards each other, which can result in injuries or death.

You will also notice that they become more active when they have company.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Neon Tetras?

Neon tetras are a good option for clown loach tank mates. Tetras have small mouths and gills, so they won’t be bothered by the larger clown loaches.

However, if you have multiple neon tetras in your aquarium, it’s important to make sure that there’s enough room for them to swim freely without being crowded or stressed out by another large fish.

How Long Does It Take For A Clown Loach To Reach Full Size?

Clown loaches grow to about 6 inches in length when fully grown. It takes about 2-3 years for them to reach full size, but some may take longer than others depending on how well-fed they are and how big their tank is.

Do Clown Loaches Clean Tanks?

Yes. Clown loaches love eating up all the algae around rocks or plants in your aquarium so it can help keep your tank cleaner for longer.

However, if there aren’t many algae in your tank then you may need a filter or plant to help keep the water clean instead of relying on them.

Do Angelfish Eat Loaches?

Angels can be aggressive toward other fish, so they’re not recommended unless you’re already keeping aggressive species like tiger barbs or Jack Dempsey cichlids. If you do want an angelfish in addition to your clowns, choose a species that won’t harass them.

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to keep clown loaches, you need to make sure that you give them the environment and tank mates that they need. The most important fish to keep with your Clown loaches are other bottom dwellers.

If you try and keep them with small or fast-swimming fish, they’ll have a hard time keeping track of their food, which could cause overfeeding and the resulting health problems to become more serious.

In addition, the presence of other fish in the tank will calm your Clown loaches down, meaning that they won’t spend quite so much energy chasing each other around.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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