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COMMON NAME:Clown Loach
SCIENTIFIC NAME:Botia macracantha
ADULT SIZE:12 inches
LIFE EXPECTANCY:10 years
Minimum Tank Size
Spawners (rarely bred in captivity)
6 - 8
5° to 15° dH
75°F - 85°F (24°C - 29°C)
Origin and Distribution
The Clown Loach hails from the rivers and tributaries of Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, and Kalimantan. During spawning periods, they migrate to flooded areas of the rainforest where soft water the color of tea flows through boggy, slow-moving streams. This loach prefers waterways that are slow-moving shaded by leafy plants and lined with plant detritus such as fallen leaves, twigs, and plants.
Coloring and Markings
Like all loaches, the Clown Loach has a long, pointed nose surrounded by sensitive whisker-like barbels and a sharp defensive spine beneath each eye. These spines are used for defense; in captivity, they may prick fingers snag on nets, so it's important to be careful when handling your pet.
The Clown Loach's arched body is long and lean, ideal for cutting through the water. True to its name, its body is bright orangey-yellow, and its fins and tail are bright red. It has wide black V-shaped stripes along the sides of its body and a third black stripe running vertically through its eye.