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How Long Do Clown Loaches Live? (Plus 5 Tips to Increase Lifespan)

How Long Do Clown Loaches Live? (Plus 5 Tips to Increase Lifespan)

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This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addition, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Clown loaches are great fish to buy if you’re a beginner. When you’re new to caring for fish tanks, it’s best to buy fish that aren’t overly picky.

You want to be able to feel like things are going to go well even if you make a few mistakes. This way, the fish won’t die if you make rookie mistakes, and you won’t have to feel bad.

Since clown loaches are hardy, does that mean that they will live for a long time? How long can you expect a clown loach fish to live on average?

Continue reading to learn about the average life expectancy of clown loaches. You’ll also get some important information about how to keep these fish alive for as long as possible.

How Long Do Clown Loaches Live in the Wild?

In the wild, clown loaches have the potential to live for a really long time. Some clown loaches have been known to live for as long as 25 years in the wild.

This is an incredibly long time for a fish to live. Of course, not all wild clown loaches are going to be lucky enough to live so long.

There are many different things that could cause clown loaches to die early in natural conditions. They might have to worry about predators or they could die due to exposure to certain weather conditions.

In the best natural conditions possible, they can live for up to 25 years. It’s very common for these fish to live for at least 10 or so years.

Getting specific information about the average lifespan of these fish in the wild is difficult. It’s simply known that some have lived for very long times.

There are certain enthusiasts who suggest that clown loaches might live much longer than 25 years in the wild. However, there isn’t enough information to say for sure.

How Long Do Clown Loaches Live in Captivity?

In captivity, clown loaches are generally not going to live to be 25 years old. There are some situations when captive clown loaches have lived to be that old, but it’s not a typical situation.

That being said, clown loaches still live for a long time in an aquarium setting. On average, you can expect clown loaches to live 10 years in your fish tank.

It’s very possible that your fish might live for a little bit longer than 10 years with ideal care. Conversely, the fish might not live nearly as long as 10 years if you do a poor job of taking care of it.

When you do your best to meet the care needs of clown loaches, they’re going to thrive in your fish tank. These fish are considered to be pretty hardy, and that means that beginners often purchase these fish.

Beginners gravitate toward clown loaches, so the fish don’t always live as long as they could. Novices are more likely to make mistakes that might shorten the lives of these fish.

Even so, they’re hardy enough that they will live for many years even if you make mistakes now and then. If you have a bit of experience taking care of freshwater fish tanks, then you should have an easy time keeping these fish alive.

How Can You Make Clown Loaches Live Longer?

There isn’t anything that you can do to prevent clown loaches from getting old and dying. That doesn’t mean that you can’t extend the lifespan of the fish by providing them with optimal care, though.

As mentioned above, clown loaches have the potential to live for 25 years in the wild. Some enthusiasts have been able to get these fish to live for much longer than the 10-year average in captivity.

This is done by giving the fish ideal conditions. If you’re caring for the fish to the best of your ability, then it’ll be easier for you to keep them alive.

Clown loaches aren’t super picky fish, but they will do best in certain water conditions. Monitoring the water parameters is a good place to start when you wish to help your clown loaches to live for as long as possible.

1 – Maintain Excellent Water Conditions

Maintaining excellent water conditions will be imperative if you want to keep these fish alive for a long time. They can tolerate quite a range of different temperatures and pH balance levels.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t have sweet spots that will be perfect for them. To give the clown loach the best possible water temperature, you should keep things set between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

Try to keep the pH balance at 7.4 to give them the best quality water for their health. You’ll want to regularly test the water to try to keep things in the right range.

It can be trickier to try to keep the water conditions from fluctuating. If it goes up or down slightly, then it won’t be a huge deal, but it’s still best to strive for ideal water conditions.

Also, you need to try to keep the fish tank as clean as you can. This means using a high-quality filter and cleaning the tank regularly.

It’ll be smart to do weekly water changes as well. Change 15% of the water on a weekly basis and everything should be fine.

2 – Give Them Enough Space

Giving the clown loaches enough space will be another key element to increasing their lifespan. These fish grow to be pretty big and they don’t like being crowded.

Clown loaches are meant to be kept in fish tanks with other clown loaches. They make good community fish as well, but they need to live in a small group with other clown loaches.

The best recommendation is to keep five to nine clown loaches in the same tank. That’s a lot of fish, and you’ll need a big fish tank to accommodate all of them.

At a minimum, it’s recommended to give these fish a 75-gallon fish tank. Truly, you’d be better off going with a 100-gallon fish tank if you want things to be quite spacious.

It’ll be easier to keep the tank clean if you go with a larger tank, too. Plus, it gives you the option of turning it into a community tank since there will be enough room for more fish.

3 – Feed the Fish Well

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that feeding the fish well is imperative. These fish are omnivores that aren’t picky eaters, but you need to give them the right nutrition to keep them strong and healthy.

You can feed clown loaches algae wafers and sinking nutritional pellets. Clown loaches occupy the bottom of the fish tank and will need food that will easily sink to the bottom.

Giving the fish live food as a weekly treat will also be highly recommended. You can give them earthworms or bloodworms as snacks.

These fish love chasing snails in the fish tank, too. Putting pond snails in the tank will allow the clown loaches to hunt the snails down.

They’re very good at removing snails from their shells. It can actually be fascinating to observe if you’re so inclined.

4 – Watch Out for Diseases

Watching out for diseases will be wise no matter what type of fish you’re caring for. Being an observant fish tank owner really helps out.

Like most fish, clown loaches are going to be susceptible to certain conditions. Most of them won’t be a problem if you keep the fish tank clean and monitor the water parameters.

Even so, monitoring your fish will help you to notice symptoms early on. This will ensure that you can get the fish treatment before things get too bad.

Try to pay attention to how your fish are acting. If you see them being lethargic or notice that they aren’t eating normally, then you’ll want to try to figure out what is wrong.

One of the most common conditions that clown loaches have to deal with is ich. This is a disease that makes white spots appear on the body and gills.

It’s a parasitic infection that you probably won’t have to worry about if you maintain ideal tank conditions. You’ll still benefit from being careful and looking out for signs of trouble.

5 – Pick Appropriate Tank Mates

Picking appropriate tank mates for the clown loaches will be another thing to keep in mind. These fish are popular community tank dwellers, but putting them in a fish tank with the wrong fish can be problematic.

You see, clown loaches have a very peaceful temperament. If they get put in tanks with large and aggressive fish, then they can suffer.

Typically, the loaches can look out for themselves, but some fish will be capable of bullying clown loaches. For this reason, you must do your research to ensure that only recommended tank mates are added to the aquarium.

Clown loaches are compatible with many great fish. They can live with angelfish, black skirt tetras, and various types of barbs.

Final Thoughts

Clown loaches have the potential to live for a long time. They can live up to 25 years in the wild, and they’re likely to live at least 10 years in captivity.

To keep your clown loaches alive as long as possible, you’ll want to take care of them to the best of your ability. So long as you’re putting in the effort, you should get good results.

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Sunday 10th of March 2024

My clown loach just died--age 17 years. I think it could have made it longer but I didn't diagnose a bacterial disease until too late.