Before you go out and buy clown loaches, it’s going to be good to take a step back and think about things. These fish actually grow to be pretty large.
Often, people buy clown loaches when they’re rather young. Small clown loaches are generally less expensive to purchase, but they can grow to be so much bigger as the years go by.
This means that you’ll need a fairly large fish tank to house these fish. Not everyone is going to have enough space to keep clown loaches in their home.
What is the best fish tank size for clown loaches? Are there other factors to consider?
Keep reading to learn about picking out the right fish tank size for clown loaches. This will make it easier for you to find success caring for these fish.
How Big of a Tank Do Clown Loaches Need?
These fish are going to need to be kept in large tanks because of how big they can get. For this reason, it’s recommended that you keep them in large tanks even when they’re young.
A clown loach is going to grow large enough that it will require a very big tank. You’ll want to have a 75-gallon tank to start out, but some people say that it’s best to start with a 100-gallon fish tank.
Sadly, this does limit the number of people who can practically own clown loaches. If you don’t have a lot of space in your home to keep a large fish tank, then you might need to shy away from owning clown loaches.
A clown loach is likely going to wind up being 10 inches long once it matures. It might get even bigger than that, but it depends on various factors.
In the wild, these fish can grow to be quite huge, but they are slightly smaller in captivity. Regardless, you need a big fish tank for them, and there’s no getting around that.
How Many Clown Loaches Should I Get?
You aren’t supposed to keep clown loaches in pairs or by themselves. It’s recommended to keep clown loaches in small groups.
Experts recommend keeping five to nine clown loaches in the same fish tank. This will ensure that the clown loaches are happy with the situation in your aquarium.
If you make the mistake of buying fewer clown loaches than recommended, then you’re not likely going to have a good time. The clown loaches might appear to be lonely or unhappy in your tank.
Buy at least five clown loaches for your aquarium at once. This will keep them happy and you’ll enjoy having this many in your tank anyway.
Of course, you need a tank that will be big enough for all of the fish that you choose to buy. You’ll need a bigger tank for nine fish than you will for five fish, but that goes without saying.
How Many Clown Loaches Can I Keep Together?
You’ve learned that clown loaches need to live in groups. It’s necessary to buy at least five clown loaches at once for your fish tank.
How many loaches can be kept together in the same tank? It’s unclear exactly how many clown loaches would be acceptable to own.
Many recommend topping out at nine since this is a practical stopping point. It’d probably be fine to own more clown loaches than this, but it might not be practical.
Clown loaches get quite big, and they’re going to take up a lot of space. For this reason, owning 10 or more of them might be hard to pull off.
You already know that these fish need large fish tanks. If you tried to own more than nine, then you’d need a truly huge fish tank once the fish matured.
How Many Clown Loaches Per Gallon?
Determining exactly how many clown loaches can be put in a fish tank on a per-gallon basis is kind of tough. There are differing opinions on the subject.
It’s said that a 75-gallon tank is the minimum tank size for a young clown loach. However, you’re supposed to keep these fish in small groups.
Since five clown loaches are the minimum number you should keep in your fish tank, it’s important to plan for that. You want a fish tank that will give all five enough space to feel comfortable.
Experts say that five clown loaches will do well in a 150-gallon fish tank. This gives them some room to grow and should work out nicely.
If you do the math, you could say that 30 gallons of space per clown loach will be appropriate. However, you can’t care for just one clown loach or it won’t be happy.
There isn’t a situation where you should just buy one clown loach and keep it in a smaller tank. Doing so would be cruel and you’d see that the fish would be lonely from the very start.
This loneliness will stress the fish and it can wind up making it sick. Stressed fish develop compromised immune systems and are more likely to get ill.
How Many Clown Loaches in a 10-Gallon Tank?
It is not appropriate to try to keep clown loaches in a 10-gallon fish tank. Even one clown loach would not do well in such a small tank.
You need to keep these fish in large tanks where they can be comfortable. Ten-gallon fish tanks are so small that they shouldn’t even be considered as possibilities.
How Many Clown Loaches in a 20-Gallon Tank?
Likewise, a 20-gallon fish tank is not going to be big enough for your clown loaches. Fish tanks of this size might be appropriate for some small fish, but they won’t be good for clown loaches.
Clown loaches need more space than this to stay healthy. These fish really don’t do well when you try to put them in cramped spaces.
Clown Loach Minimum Tank Size
The minimum tank size for clown loaches will be 75 gallons. You can put young clown loaches in a 75-gallon fish tank, but you will have to upgrade eventually.
These fish grow to be pretty big once they mature. The fish can grow to be so large that you will likely need a 150-gallon tank or something even larger.
If you’re caring for five clown loaches as recommended, then you should consider a 150-gallon tank to be the minimum size. This will ensure that all five clown loaches will have enough space to move around.
If you want to get a larger group of clown loaches, then you’ll want an even bigger tank. You might wind up needing a 225-gallon fish tank.
Can a Clown Loach Live in a Fishbowl?
Fishbowls are not going to be appropriate for clown loaches. Bowls can be appropriate vessels for fish, but these are usually meant for small fish.
People often keep goldfish in bowls, but it won’t be good to try to stuff a big fish such as a clown loach in one. Usually, fishbowls are only going to have one gallon of space or maybe five gallons of space at the most.
This would be so small that a clown loach would likely not be able to survive long. The water would get very dirty and your poor clown loach would be in peril.
To add to this, there’s no way that multiple clown loaches would fit in a fishbowl. It’d be way too crowded, and you’re not supposed to care for only one clown loach.
Are Clown Loaches Community Fish?
Yes, clown loaches are considered to be among the best freshwater community fish. These fish are incredibly peaceful, and this means that they can get along nicely with other types of fish.
If you want to own a fish that will add color to a community tank, then clown loaches will work perfectly. They look nice in a community tank setting, and they’re likely going to get along with many of the other fish that you’ll think of adding to the tank.
That being said, these fish don’t get along with every type of freshwater fish. You’re going to need to do your research to ensure that you’re putting them with compatible tank mates.
Finding compatible tank mates for these fish will be simple enough. They get along well with many types of fish, and you’ll be able to create a truly stunning community tank.
Remember that these fish need a lot of space, though. You’ll need to purchase a large community aquarium for things to go well.
Also, you should add many aquatic plants to the fish tank. Clown loaches really enjoy hiding, and they’re going to feel a lot safer in a community tank if they have lots of hiding spots to choose from.
Can a Clown Loach Live Alone?
No, clown loaches can absolutely not live alone. Trying to force a clown loach to live alone would be cruel.
These are highly social fish that love being in groups of their own kind. You need to buy at least five clown loaches for your tank or you shouldn’t buy any at all.
It’s recommended to purchase between five and nine clown loaches for your aquarium. How many you will want to purchase will likely depend on how much space you have available.
Some people do make the mistake of trying to keep clown loaches by themselves. Not everyone knows that these fish need to be kept in groups.
When clown loaches are kept alone, they’re going to get so lonely. You’ll be able to tell that the fish is stressed by being placed in a tank by itself.
It’s very likely that you will see the loach swimming up and down the glass. This is likely in an effort to try to escape and find more of its kind.
This is obviously a very sad situation, and you don’t want to make a clown loach lonely for no reason. Keep these fish in groups or don’t buy them for your aquarium.
What Happens When You Put Clown Loaches in a Tank That’s Too Small?
So what is going to happen if you put clown loaches in a tank that is too small? If they technically fit in the tank, then is it just going to make them unhappy?
Trying to cram clown loaches in fish tanks that are too small for them will be a terrible idea. It will make it so the fish will become very stressed.
These fish need to feel as if they have room to move around. They’re fairly active fish that like to play with each other and move around the tank.
Clown loaches do spend a lot of time hiding, but they also like to swim. Under normal circumstances, you’ll likely see clown loaches swimming in circles around the aquarium.
They like to chase each other and play around when there’s enough room for them to do so. When they are put in a small tank, they won’t feel as if they can move around much at all.
You’ll be likely to notice that the fish will look worse than usual. They might start to look gray because they’re so stressed by the situation.
Clown loaches can and will change color when certain things happen. They change color a bit when their aggression levels rise, and this also occurs when they’re stressed.
You might see the clown loaches glass surfing to try to get out of the tank. They might be so unhappy with the size of the tank that they will want to find a way out.
The fish don’t know that there isn’t any water beyond the tank. You can avoid this sad situation by just putting them in a tank that is the right size.
If you keep the fish in a small tank, then the stress will begin to negatively impact the health of the fish. Stress will cause fish to develop compromised immune systems.
They’ll be more likely to get infected, and this can wind up causing the fish to die in extreme cases. Your fish will surely not live as long as they could if you keep them in a tiny fish tank.
What About Overcrowded Fish Tanks?
Overcrowded fish tanks will generally be just as bad as fish tanks that are too small. You can put the clown loaches in a 225-gallon fish tank and still have it be overcrowded.
Simply put, you can cram too many fish in the tank and make things uncomfortable for the fish. Doing this is going to be bad for all of the fish in the aquarium.
Granted, you’d need to buy a lot of fish to overcrowd such a large aquarium, but it is possible. It just goes to show that you need to be mindful of how many fish you’re putting in a fish tank.
Going overboard is not going to do you any favors. Consider the comfort of the fish and how many fish will be appropriate for the fish tank that you have.
Every fish that you add to the tank is going to take up a certain amount of space. If you forget this simple fact, then you’ll encounter problems.
Small or Overcrowded Fish Tanks Are Harder to Keep Clean
Did you know that small or overcrowded fish tanks will be harder to keep clean? When fish are pooping in a small tank or an overcrowded tank, it’s going to make the water dirty pretty fast.
Even if you have a very good filter, it’s going to be difficult to keep the tank as clean as it should be. It’d be much easier to have a big enough tank that it wouldn’t be an issue.
You’ll be able to focus on cleaning the tank at a normal pace. Simple weekly water changes and regular aquarium maintenance will be enough.
Dirty water is going to be so bad for your fish. It can make the fish sick and they aren’t going to like living in such conditions.
Clown loaches are hardy and will probably not die if the water gets a bit dirty. But other fish in your community fish tank will likely be more delicate.
Do your best to pick out fish tanks that are the right size. Don’t overcrowd the tank either since that only makes things harder for you.
After learning that clown loaches need large fish tanks, you’ll be ready to make a decision. Are these fish right for you and can you truly accommodate them?
If you don’t have room for at least a 75-gallon fish tank in your home, then clown loaches won’t be a good fit for you. You might even need to upgrade to a 150-gallon tank at some point.
Clown loaches must be kept in groups of five to nine to stay happy. If you try to keep them alone or in groups that are too small, then they don’t do well at all.
They also suffer if you attempt to cram them into fish tanks that are too small. If you’re thinking about keeping a few clown loaches in a 30-gallon fish tank, then you should think better of it.
The fish will only suffer if you don’t try to do things right. To keep the fish healthy and happy, you’ll need to keep them in a large fish tank.
Clown loaches are excellent community fish, but they need to have the right environment. Ensure that you’re able to give them what they need before you purchase them.
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.