A lot of people are interested in buying clown loaches for their home aquariums. These fish are certainly great ones to own because of how pretty they look.
They can add a touch of color to a community fish tank if you choose to purchase some. Of course, you need to learn how big these fish will get to see if it’s even practical for you to get them.
Are clown loaches going to grow to be very big fish? Or are these fish that stay small?
Read on to learn about clown loach size and other important information. You’ll know what to expect as well as how fast you can expect these fish to grow.
Clown Loach Max Size
You might be surprised to hear how big clown loaches can get. In the wild, some clown loaches might grow to be as large as eighteen inches in length.
They don’t get quite that big in captivity, though. Generally, clown loaches will grow to be twelve inches long at maximum growth in captivity.
This is still very big, and it means that you’re going to need to have a large fish tank for these fish. For some, it might not be practical to own clown loaches due to their size at maturity.
If you’re someone who likes owning fairly big fish, then you’ll really enjoy clown loaches. They’re large and beautiful fish that will stand out in your aquarium.
Clown Loach Growth Rate
The growth rate of clown loaches is actually quite interesting. These fish grow fairly fast to a certain point, but then the growth rate slows down substantially.
Young clown loaches will quickly grow to around five inches long. It’ll take less than two years for clown loaches to grow to four or five inches long.
After this, they’re going to grow between half an inch a year and two inches a year. Exactly how much the fish will grow yearly will vary.
Since clown loaches have the potential to grow twelve inches long, it’ll take them quite some time to reach maximum growth. If you care for the fish properly, then they will get there over time.
How Fast Do Baby Clown Loaches Grow?
As mentioned above, baby clown loaches grow fast. It’s not going to take them that long to reach five inches long.
Two years is all it takes for these fish to reach lengths between four and five inches. During the first year, the growth will be the fastest that it will ever be.
Understand that the growth rate is going to take a while no matter what you do. It’s normal for the growth of the clown loach to slow down substantially after the two-year mark.
Even though it’ll take a while for the fish to get really big, it’s still wise to keep these fish in a large fish tank. Clown loaches like having a lot of space, and they can grow into a bigger tank.
How Long Does It Take a Clown Loach to Reach Full Size?
Clown loaches aren’t going to grow to full size quickly. It’s going to take many years, and you’re going to need to care for them well.
It’s estimated that clown loaches will take between eight and ten years to reach maximum growth. However, it can potentially take even longer than this.
With very good care, it’s not unusual for clown loaches to live for fifteen years in captivity. They commonly live longer than ten years in aquariums.
If the clown loach is growing somewhat slow, then it could take eleven or twelve years to reach its maximum growth potential. You’ll simply have to do your best to care for the fish to give it a chance to reach twelve inches long in your tank.
Do Clown Loaches Grow to the Size of the Tank?
There’s no evidence to suggest that clown loaches will grow to the size of the tank. These fish are going to get big if you care for them properly, and you’re simply not supposed to keep them in small tanks.
It’s said that you must keep these fish in at least a 75-gallon fish tank even when they’re young. Many say that it’d be better to go with a larger tank since the fish will need a larger tank as it continues to grow.
There are factors that can impact the growth rate of the fish. If the fish isn’t getting optimal care, then it’s not going to grow as well as it should.
That means that the size of the tank can play a role in the growth of clown loaches. If you were to try to keep these fish in small fish tanks, then they’d become stressed and probably wouldn’t grow as much.
Also, it’d be tougher to keep the fish healthy. Stress causes fish to develop compromised immune systems, and this makes them more likely to get sick.
Sick fish can experience stunted growth for a variety of reasons. So the tank size does play a role in the growth of the fish, but it isn’t exactly true that clown loaches grow to the size of the tank.
It isn’t as if the clown loach would be happy in a tank that is too small. It would negatively impact the health of the fish, and it’d be less likely that you’d get the fish to live a long and healthy life.
Tank size matters because fish need the ability to exhibit normal behaviors, too. Keeping clown loaches in large fish tanks that are the right size for them will ensure that they’re able to exercise and act normally.
Fish kept in smaller tanks might not exhibit natural behaviors. Thus, they will be at risk for not growing to be as big as they should.
How to Make Clown Loaches Grow Faster
Above, you learned that having the right tank size can help the clown loach to stay healthy and keep growing. You might now be wondering if there are ways that you can make the clown loach grow faster.
What can be done to increase the growth rate of the clown loach? Is there a reliable method to help these fish reach their growth potential in under ten years?
Honestly, it just comes down to providing the fish with optimal care. You need to take care of the basics really well to ensure that the fish has the opportunity to grow.
Below, you’re going to learn about the specific things that matter the most when trying to help clown loaches grow. This should help you to get the best results possible.
Feeding the Fish Properly
Feeding the fish properly will be one of the most important things to focus on. It makes sense that clown loaches would need good food to be able to grow large.
If you can feed clown loaches the right food, then they’re going to be much healthier. Most people feed clown loaches a variety of different foods.
You’ll probably be giving these fish sinking nutritional pellets of some kind. It’s also common to feed clown loaches algae wafers since they really like them and they provide the fish with good nutrition.
These fish will appreciate being given other types of food on a weekly basis. You might even wish to give them live food once per week as a treat.
They really seem to enjoy eating live earthworms and bloodworms. It’s fine to give them freeze-dried worms or brine shrimp if you’d rather not go with live feeding.
It’s well known that clown loaches love eating snails. You could purchase pond snails for the clown loaches to hunt down.
These fish are adept at chasing snails down and forcing them out of their shells. Your fish will really enjoy being able to eat snails occasionally.
You should be feeding the clown loaches twice per day. Try to get in the habit of feeding them on a consistent schedule.
Many choose to set alarms until they get used to the feeding schedule. Being good about feeding the fish will ensure that they have the best opportunity to grow.
Taking Care of the Fish Tank
Taking care of the fish tank is mostly about maintaining the right water conditions. Of course, you’re also going to want to keep the fish tank clean.
Clown loaches have a reputation for being hardy fish. It’s true that they can tolerate a range of different temperatures and pH balances.
Regardless, you’re going to want to keep things in the right range so that the fish will thrive. The optimal water temperature for these fish will be between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Try to maintain a consistent water temperature and pH balance. Test regularly to ensure that everything remains in the right range.
Monitoring the water parameters should help to keep the fish healthy. It’ll also make it easier to keep the water clean.
You want to be aware of issues with oxygen levels, elevated ammonia levels, and other problems. Testing regularly and keeping up with tank maintenance will make a difference.
Remember to change the water on a weekly basis for the health of the fish in the tank. You should be changing 15% of the water each week to do things right.
Keep the fish tank clean and try to ensure that all of the fish are happy. If you can do this, then it’ll be more likely that the clown loaches will keep growing strong.
Keep Clown Loaches in Groups
Did you know that clown loaches thrive in schools? These fish actually don’t like living alone or in very small groups.
You wouldn’t get the best results caring for these fish if you were to only keep one or two of them. It’s generally recommended to keep between five and nine clown loaches in your fish tank.
The fish live in schools in the wild, and they’ll be happier living in a group in your aquarium. If you don’t have enough space for at least five clown loaches, then it’d be better not to buy any.
Of course, you’re going to need a large enough fish tank for five of these fish. This is why you must plan things out ahead of time before you decide to purchase clown loaches.
When put in groups this way, the clown loaches are going to be happy and healthy. You’ll see them interacting normally and it’ll be more likely that all of them will exhibit good growth rates.
You’ll still need to focus on caring for the fish well, though. Simply keeping the fish in groups of five to nine won’t be enough on its own.
Be Careful When Picking Tank Mates for Clown Loaches
Being careful when picking tank mates for clown loaches will be for the best. You don’t want to pick tank mates that will wind up bullying these fish.
Even though clown loaches can get pretty big, they’re going to be susceptible to bully fish. Large, aggressive fish can truly be a big problem for clown loaches.
Clown loaches are excellent community tank fish because they have peaceful temperaments. The peaceful nature of clown loaches also makes them more vulnerable to bullying.
This is why you need to step up and do the research when putting together a community fish tank. Ensure that all of the fish are compatible before putting them in an aquarium together.
It will require a bit of work to look into the compatibility of all of the fish that you’re interested in adding to the tank. Understand that it’s necessary when you want things to go smoothly.
Failure to pick appropriate tank mates for these fish will have a negative impact on their growth rate. It’ll also make them less healthy due to stress.
Remember that stressed fish can get sick. There’s also the fact that bully fish could wind up harming the clown loaches.
Clown Loaches Need Aquarium Plants
Another thing that you should know about clown loaches is that they love aquarium plants. These fish don’t feel comfortable when placed in aquariums with no plants whatsoever.
You’ve learned that avoiding stress is important when you want the fish to thrive. Not having plants in the tank will stress the fish.
Clown loaches need to have places that they can go to hide. They hang out at the bottom of the fish tank and it’s normal for them to hide.
They’ll hide among the live plants that you put in the tank. Clown loaches will also hide in little caves or other hiding spots that you might have placed in the aquarium.
It can be fun to observe the clown loaches hiding. Sometimes many fish will try to cram into one hiding spot and they will jockey for position.
Seeking out good aquatic plants for your fish tank will be beneficial. It’ll help the clown loaches to feel more at ease, and this will make it easier for them to thrive and grow in your tank.
You’re going to have a good experience caring for clown loaches if you choose to buy some. It’s just important to ensure that you have the ability to care for them properly first.
Clown loaches have the potential to grow to be twelve inches long in captivity. Some might only reach ten inches long, but the potential is there for these fish to grow large.
They grow really quickly in the first two years they’re alive. By the time the fish is two years old, it should reach five inches long or it will at least be close to that length.
After the two-year mark, the growth rate is going to slow down substantially. Typically, clown loaches will only grow between half an inch and two inches per year.
It’s said that it will take between eight and ten years for many clown loaches to reach maximum growth. Some are going to take longer than ten years to reach their full growth potential.
Most clown loaches are going to be able to live for ten years when cared for optimally. It’s also very possible for these fish to live fifteen years or longer in captivity.
If you want the fish to grow strong, then you need to care for them well. Give them a fish tank that is the right size so that they won’t be stressed.
Remember that clown loaches need to be kept in groups. You should buy between five and nine clown loaches to have a good experience.
These fish are great community tank fish, but you need to pick appropriate tank mates for them. Clown loaches are peaceful, and this means that they can be bullied by certain aggressive fish.
Feeding the clown loaches the best food will make them grow better. Do your best to feed your clown loaches twice per day while giving them the varied diet that they need.
Monitor water conditions to ensure that everything stays clean. You want to keep an eye on the temperature of the water and the pH levels.
If you’re doing all of this, then you can expect your clown loaches to grow well. It’s still going to take years for the fish to reach maximum growth, but you’ll give it the best shot of growing to be large due to your diligent care.
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.