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Old 10-05-2006, 09:32 AM   #1
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Can I get 3 clown loaches?

Hey folks, I really really really want to get 3 Clown Loach but I keep hearing differing opinions on tank sizes etc. Surely my 27-30 gallon tank would be enough for just 3? Also currently in the tank just now is a plecostomus, 1 neon (don't ask), and 2 marble mollies.

The tank is fully functional and cycled for well over 2 years now so don't worry about bad water parameters.

Thanks folks!
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27g Freshwater Tropical Tank:

Plants:
2 Lilaeopsis brasiliensis
1 Microsorum pteropus
1 Echinodorus palaefolius var. latifolius
1 Echinodorus bleheri (paniculatus)
1 Echinodorus x barthii

Equipment:
Hagen Tronic Heater (150)
Fluval 3+ Underwater Filter
Whisper 900 Air Pump (1 Curtain, 1 Stone)
2 x 24'' Flourescent Bulbs - Aqua-Glow, Sun Glow
Fluval Glass Aquarium 80cm x 35cm x 40cm (126 Litres/27 G.)
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:20 AM   #2
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It'd probably be okay short-term, but clowns can put on some serious size. The good news is they're relatively slow growers.
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Old 10-05-2006, 02:41 PM   #3
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I kept 3 small clowns in a 30 gal, but I noticed they like the length of my 55 gal much better. Provide them with hiding places, like caves, preferably more than one. I even kept a vase at one time that they liked in my 30 gal, before I made caves and moved them to a bigger tank. If a clown cant hide, it can become very stressed.
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Old 10-05-2006, 03:22 PM   #4
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Unless you know you can provide them with a big enough tank in the future (125g+), don't get them.

There are tons of loaches that are a better fit for your tank size. Clowns are nice, but need a big tank eventually and while they grow slow, you won't be able to tell if they get stunted by keeping them in an improper tank.

I'm a firm believer that you shouldn't buy fish that will outgrow your tank unless you know you will upgrade later. There are more options if you can't upgrade.

What are the dimensions of your tank? You say 27-30...if I have the dimensions I can tell you exactly how many gallons it is.
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Old 10-05-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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As JOM20 says, dimensions are all important. If it's a 36"x18"x12" then you'd probably be ok with a school of three temporarily but you'd need to upgrade to a 55G later on and then so on and so on etc. You would save yourself the trouble if you had a larger set up to begin with, and they'd grow in to it and be much happier than if you moved them to a new home.

The reason dimensions are important is that they just need the space to roam and a long tank is better than a deep tank for a (primarily though not solely) bottom dwelling loach like the macracanthus.

I always recommend kubotai (polkadot) loaches nowadays as an ideal loach for beginners to keep b/c they grow to 4" or so max, and are very very peaceful and playful (as well as beautiful: it's rare to get all these things in one fish!). They also seem somewhat more forgiving than other loaches.
Others you might try are the botia almorhae (yoyo loach). They do tend to be aggressive though...
These two species you could keep in your 30G (a group of 3 of one or the other but not both) without a problem.
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Old 10-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
They do tend to be aggressive though...
I think its more YMMV because I've never had a problem with my 4. Usually if you have them in a group of atleast 3, they will play amongst themselves. I have heard of them being aggressive, but haven't had a problem with mine.

A couple more types of smaller loaches to add to Cold's list are Zebra loaches and Dwarf Chain. The latter may be harder to find.

I also like Polka Dot loaches. I've never kept them, but have wanted to. They are very cute!
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