Have you recently bought some clown loaches for your fish tank? These are great fish that you’re surely going to take a liking to.
One great thing about clown loaches is that it’s easy enough to get used to their care requirements. Even novices have a pretty easy time keeping these fish healthy.
If you notice that your clown loach is laying on its side one day, then you might become panicked. Immediately, you’re going to start to think that the fish has died.
What does it mean when clown loaches lay on their sides? Is this a sign that the fish is sick or that it is dying?
Keep reading to learn more about clown loaches. This information should set your mind at ease because you’ll understand what is truly happening.
This Is Normal for Clown Loaches
It’s understandable that you would be worried when you find your clown loach laying on its side. If you haven’t been caring for these fish long, then you haven’t been able to get used to what is normal for them.
Thankfully, a clown loach laying on its side is not really a big deal at all. This is totally normal behavior for them.
When clown loaches are resting or sleeping, they’re going to lay down like this. You probably just caught your clown loach when it was starting to feel sleepy.
If your clown loach is laying on its side, then it’d be easy to make the mistake of thinking that the fish has died. Many new fish owners get scared that the fish passed away when they see this for the first time.
It’s actually pretty easy to determine if the fish is okay or not. You just need to observe it closely and pay attention to its gills.
When a clown loach is just sleeping, you’ll be able to see that its gills are moving. This means that it’s still breathing and everything is fine.
Your clown loach is almost surely just fine when you find it in this position. If you’re still worried, then you can see if its gills are moving just to make sure.
Do Clown Loaches Sleep on Their Side?
Yes, clown loaches are known to sleep on their sides. At night, clown loaches are commonly going to sleep at the bottom of the fish tank on their sides.
They’ll often sleep right on the sandy substrate at the bottom of the aquarium. Sometimes the fish might sleep while hidden among aquatic plants as well.
While sleeping, clown loaches are going to be motionless. It can be hard to tell whether they’re alive when they’re sleeping like this.
As mentioned above, you can still see them breathing. You just have to focus on the gills to see that they’re moving.
Clown loaches are diurnal fish, and this means that they go to sleep at night. They sleep during the night and are active during the day.
Many other popular types of loaches are nocturnal. Clown loaches just happen to be diurnal fish, and that might help to make them more popular.
People are able to enjoy observing these fish during the daytime hours when most people are awake. Nocturnal loaches can still be fun to own for some, but they might not be as lively as the clown loaches that so many people love.
Although they are active during the day, they tend to stay away from light. It’s normal for clown loaches to hide among rocks or hide behind plants.
Sometimes Clown Loaches Lay on Their Backs
What if you see that a clown loach is laying on its back? Is this something that is more notable than a clown loach laying on its side?
Not necessarily. Clown loaches rest at night, and they’re going to get into a position that makes it comfortable for them to sleep.
Many clown loach enthusiasts have noted that these fish will sometimes lay on their backs. It isn’t necessarily as common as seeing them lay on their sides, though.
If you notice your fish laying like this at night, then it’s probably fine. If you’re worried, then you can always try to look closely at its gills to see if it’s breathing.
Admittedly, seeing a fish belly up is going to cause most fish owners to panic. It makes you think that the fish is dead, but this isn’t necessarily the case.
It could simply be that the clown loach is sleeping and chose to lay on its back. These fish do sleep in odd positions, but it’s not something that needs to make you worry.
Can Health Problems Cause This?
Generally, a clown loach laying on its side or back will have nothing to do with health issues. This is just something that happens when they’re sleeping.
You can safely ignore this behavior and go about your business. It isn’t necessary to check the gills each time you notice the fish doing this.
If you see the clown loach doing this during the day when it’s supposed to be active, then that will be more unusual. In this case, you’ll want to check to see if it’s alive.
When you’re concerned about clown loach sluggishness, it’s wise to check for other symptoms. For example, you should check to see if the fish is eating or if it has any physical issues.
Some diseases can make clown loaches sluggish even during the day. Being proactive can allow you to catch issues early so that you can treat the fish and nurse it back to health.
For the most part, clown loaches sleeping on their sides will be a normal sight. Sometimes these fish have been known to sleep on their backs, too.
Seeing them sleeping in this way will surely scare you the first couple of times you notice it. However, it’s just normal sleeping behavior for these fish.
Knowing that you don’t have to worry should make it easier to ignore this. The fish need to get their rest at night, and they simply like to lay in different positions sometimes.
If you’re concerned about the health of your fish, then just keep an eye on it. The fish shouldn’t be sluggish during the day, but there’s a chance that it might be sick if it appears to be lethargic.
That shouldn’t have anything to do with the fish laying on its side, though. Continue to care for your clown loaches to the best of your ability and everything will be okay.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.