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What Do Clown Loaches Eat? (And Do They Eat Algae?)

What Do Clown Loaches Eat? (And Do They Eat Algae?)

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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.

You’ll find that taking care of clown loaches is very satisfying. These fish have become very popular over the years due to being good beginner fish.

It’s still important to know how to take care of them optimally, though. If you want your clown loaches to grow to be big and strong, then feeding them will be an important piece of the puzzle.

When you’re new to caring for clown loaches, you might not yet be sure exactly what to feed them. What do clown loaches like to eat?

Continue reading to learn about the various types of foods that clown loaches like to eat. This will help you to ensure that you’re doing things right so that your clown loaches can stay as healthy as possible.

The Best Food for Clown Loaches

Clown loaches are omnivores, and this means that they will eat all sorts of foods. You don’t have to stick to feeding your clown loaches just one thing.

That being said, the most common thing that clown loaches eat is likely sinking food pellets. These food pellets are inexpensive and they’ll be able to easily get to the fish at the bottom of the tank.

You can find sinking food pellets at just about any pet store that sells fish food. Also, it’s easy to buy what you need online.

Saying that this food is the best food for clown loaches might be a bit of a stretch, though. It’s better to give your clown loaches a varied diet that also contains other types of foods.

You’ll learn a lot about what you can feed these fish if you continue reading. Since clown loaches aren’t picky eaters, there’s a lot that they will eat, but it’s still important to give them the right stuff.

Are Clown Loaches Bottom Feeders?

Clown Loach Looking at Sand at Bottom of Tank

Yes, clown loaches are considered to be bottom feeders. Like many other types of loaches, these fish like to hang out at the bottom of the tank.

To get them to eat food easily, it’s recommended to buy foods that sink to the bottom of the tank. You can find nutrition pellets that are designed to sink that will be perfect for these fish.

Sometimes these pellets are sold as bottom feeder pellets. It should allow you to feed the fish without having any problems.

Of course, fish are going to like eating more than just these sinking pellets. There are plenty of foods that clown loaches will enjoy eating.

It’s a good idea to give your fish a varied diet. As such, you’ll want to keep reading so that you can learn about other things to feed your clown loaches.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Algae?

Clown loaches will indeed eat algae in your first tank. You shouldn’t rely on this to feed your fish, but they’ve been known to eat algae.

These fish will even eat decaying plant matter that is left in the tank. Some consider clown loaches to be good cleaners since they will eat algae.

It shouldn’t be surprising that these fish will enjoy eating algae. They’re omnivores that eat many different types of food in the wild to survive.

The algae that forms in your fish tank won’t be enough to keep your clown loaches fed. But it’s still interesting to know that they will eat algae.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Algae Wafers?

Closeup of Algae Wafers for Fish

Algae wafers are likely the second most common thing that people feed clown loaches. Next to the bottom feeder food pellets, algae wafers are going to be another important thing to keep stocked for your fish.

Clown loaches seem to really love to eat algae wafers. These wafers are relatively inexpensive, and that makes them a practical choice for all clown loach owners.

If you want to, it’d be fairly simple to hand-feed the clown loaches using algae wafers. This isn’t necessary in any way, but it is something that certain enthusiasts like to do.

Buying algae wafers for your fish will be highly recommended. They’re nutritious and easy to feed the clown loaches.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Snails?

You’ll find that one of the best snacks to give clown loaches will be snails. These fish adore chasing down snails and eating them.

When you put snails in the fish tank, the clown loaches are going to perk right up. They will chase the snails and push them to the edge of the tank.

Eventually, they’ll manage to pry the snail out of its shell and eat it. The fact that clown loaches are so good at eating snails is actually pretty remarkable.

It’s interesting to watch your clown loaches do this unless you’re a bit squeamish about such things. Many people choose to give their clown loaches snails as special treats.

You shouldn’t be feeding your clown loaches snails every single day. That would get expensive fast and it’s truly not necessary.

If you want to, you could feed the clown loaches snails every week or even just once per month. They’ll truly appreciate it.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Shrimp?

Brine Shrimp

Shrimp will be another favorite food for clown loaches. Many clown loach owners give their fish freeze-dried shrimp on a weekly basis.

You can also choose to feed these fish live shrimp if you’d like to go that route. The fish should enjoy hunting the shrimp down and eating them.

It’s very common for people to feed these fish brine shrimp. They’ll eat other types of shrimp, too.

For this reason, you can’t keep shrimp in the same tank as clown loaches. They will eat them up very easily.

This is simply worth noting since there are some who like the idea of keeping certain types of shrimp in community fish tanks. Don’t do so with clown loaches in the tank since the shrimp will just become an easy meal for the much larger fish.

Do Loaches Need Live Food?

Loaches don’t necessarily need live food, but they will enjoy eating it. Many people choose to give loaches live food on a weekly basis.

You already learned that these fish like to hunt down and eat snails. They’ll also happily eat live shrimp if you put them in the fish tank.

There are other options that you can consider. For example, you could feed the fish earthworms or bloodworms as snacks.

These are sold in pet stores that sell fish products, and your clown loaches will love eating them. This might be a good idea if you’re looking for a fun weekly snack for your fish.

Of course, you don’t have to give the fish live food if you don’t want to. It’d also be acceptable to give them freeze-dried food.

Some people might find giving the fish frozen foods to be more practical. Just make a decision and do what is best for you.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Other Fish?

It’s definitely possible for clown loaches to eat other fish in a fish tank. This has been known to happen, and it’s another reason to be careful when putting them in community aquariums.

Since clown loaches are omnivores, it’s going to be important to pick tank mates carefully. These fish will try to eat any fish that is small enough to fit into their mouths.

Remember that clown loaches are fairly big fish overall. They get larger and larger as they continue to mature.

Putting tiny fish in the community tank with loaches won’t be a good idea. Clown loaches, in particular, will be likely to eat tiny fish.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that clown loaches are aggressive fish. They’re simply following natural instincts to eat when the opportunity presents itself.

All omnivorous or carnivorous fish will eat smaller fish when they have the opportunity to do so. If the fish can fit it into its mouth, then it’s going to become a snack.

Are Clown Loaches Good Community Tank Members?

Clown Loach in Community Tank

Don’t be worried about the fact that clown loaches might try to eat smaller fish. They’re still going to be stellar community tank members.

In fact, these fish are widely considered to be some of the best community tank fish that there is. This is partially because they’re very peaceful fish.

Clown loaches are so peaceful that they generally won’t bother other fish in a community tank setting. There are exceptions to that, but they get along well with many other types of fish.

So if you need a reliable community tank fish, it’s good to choose clown loaches. You’ll just need to do the necessary research to pick compatible tank mates for them.

The peaceful nature of clown loaches can make them a bit more likely to get bullied by aggressive fish. This means that you’ll need to avoid putting them in tanks with many types of large and aggressive fish.

Usually, things like this won’t be a problem. Since clown loaches are bottom dwelling fish, they’re going to occupy a different part of the aquarium than many other fish that you might choose.

Even during feeding time, it’s unlikely that these fish will fight other fish. Sometimes clown loaches spar with each other a bit, but they don’t hurt each other.

One good thing to note about these fish is that they can tolerate many different types of water temperatures and pH balance levels. This makes it easier to find tank mates for them than other fish.

Overall, you’re going to have a good experience if you choose clown loaches for your community aquarium. They’ll be peaceful fish that will add color and joy to your fish tank.

Do Clown Loaches Eat Fish Poop?

It might sound pretty gross, but clown loaches have been known to eat fish poop. This is one of the reasons why people consider clown loaches to be cleaner fish.

They’ll eat both algae and fish poop in your fish tank. It can help to keep organic debris from sitting around in the aquarium for too long.

If you observe your fish for long enough, then you’ll likely see them eating fish poop at some point in time. This is a very common behavior when these fish are placed in community aquariums.

Of course, this isn’t going to wind up being a staple of the diet for these fish. This is just something that they happen to do sometimes.

How Long Can Clown Loaches Go Without Food?

Clown Loach Resting at Bottom of Tank Near White Rocks

What will happen if you forget to feed your fish for a while? Is it going to die if you forget to feed it for a few days?

Generally, it’s not a good thing to forget to feed your fish. Some fish need to eat quite often to stay alive, but clown loaches are hardy enough to go several days without food if necessary.

It should be fine to go three days without feeding a clown loach. You probably won’t want to wait too much longer to feed it, though.

Honestly, it’s not wise to avoid feeding your fish for three days even if they can technically survive without eating for that long. If you want to keep the fish in good health, then you should be feeding them daily.

Most enthusiasts say that clown loaches need to be fed either once or twice per day. Many say that feeding them twice per day is preferable.

When feeding the fish, you’ll want to feed them as much as they can eat in 10 minutes. Try not to overfeed the fish, but don’t feed them too little either.

Getting enough food is important for the fish to stay healthy. It’s also going to help to ensure that the fish will grow to be big and strong.

If you want the fish to maintain a consistent growth rate, then feeding them on time will be wise. It’s not that hard to do either.

To make things easy, you can set alarms and feed your fish at the same time each day. Many people feed their fish once in the morning and once closer to the evening.

Keeping a consistent feeding schedule makes it less likely that you will forget to feed the fish. Remember this and then plan accordingly.

How Much Do Clown Loaches Eat?

Clown loaches will overeat if you allow them to. You should try not to go overboard since you don’t want your fish to become sluggish or deal with constipation issues.

It’s best to feed these fish multiple times per day. Most people say that two times per day is optimal.

You can get away with feeding the fish once per day, but you’ll need to feed the fish more food. It’s likely easier for the fish if you feed it twice per day.

Just do your best to feed the clown loaches consistently. You want to give them enough food to thrive, but you should try to avoid overfeeding the fish.

What If the Clown Loaches Aren’t Eating?

Orange and Black Clown Loach Fish on Driftwood

Sometimes clown loaches will stop eating when they aren’t pleased with the food that you’re giving them. You might want to try mixing things up to see if you can make them interested in eating again.

Water quality issues can have a negative impact on the appetite and health of the fish. You might need to check to see if the water temperature or pH balance is way off.

Some types of diseases can cause clown loaches to become lethargic and stop eating. You should monitor the condition of the fish and take note of any symptoms.

If something is wrong with the fish, you’ll be able to figure out what is wrong and treat it. The fish could have some type of infection that is keeping it from being able to eat normally.

Even stress issues can sometimes make fish stop eating. Fish get stressed when placed in overcrowded tanks or when they’re having issues with bully fish.

Try to address any problems in the tank and you should be able to get the fish to eat again. Sometimes it just takes a while to determine what is actually wrong.

Final Thoughts

Clown loaches are going to eat many different things. They’re omnivores that aren’t picky about what they eat.

You’re still going to want to do the best job possible to give them the right food. They need to be given food with the proper nutritional value so that they can grow.

These fish have the potential to grow to be very large, too. They’ll be able to reach sizes of 10 inches long in fish tanks very regularly.

Some might even get bigger than that. If you’re feeding the fish well, then you can expect them to grow to be quite large.

Clown loaches love eating bottom feeder food pellets that you can buy from the pet store. They’re also going to enjoy algae wafers.

You can feed them treats such as freeze-dried brine shrimp, earthworms, and bloodworms. They also love eating snails, and it’ll be fun for them to hunt the snails down in a fish tank.

These fish might sometimes eat algae in the tank and they’ve also been known to eat fish poop. They’ll truly eat many different things.

Just remember to feed them often if you want to keep them healthy. Clown loaches thrive when being fed twice per day.

To keep things simple, try to feed your fish on a consistent schedule. Your fish will be happier, and you’ll be glad to see them doing so well in your aquarium.

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