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Why Are My Clown Loaches Fighting?

Why Are My Clown Loaches Fighting?

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

For the most part, clown loaches are considered to be among the most peaceful fish that you can buy. These fish have very calm temperaments and they don’t bother other fish in the aquarium.

If you notice your clown loaches fighting, then you’re likely going to be concerned. Why would these normally peaceful fish start fighting?

Read on to learn about why clown loaches might start fighting. This should help you to better understand clown loaches so that you can take care of them properly.

Don’t start worrying when something such as this happens. The best thing that you can do is educate yourself so that you can make an informed decision to help your fish.

Sometimes Clown Loaches Tussle with Each Other

Several Clown Loaches Gathering at the Bottom of an Aquarium

It’s actually normal for clown loaches to fight with each other a little bit. You’ll see the clown loaches tussling with each other as a way to establish a “pecking order” in the group.

You might already know that it’s recommended to keep clown loaches in groups. Commonly, people care for five to nine clown loaches in one fish tank.

The fish will establish an order in the tank where certain fish will be seen as dominant. Those little spats that you’ve been noticing are just normal behavior.

Clown loaches won’t hurt each other when they fight like this. It isn’t anything serious and you shouldn’t need to worry about it at all.

Why Are My Clown Loaches Kissing?

If you’re seeing two clown loaches kiss each other, then you should know that they aren’t actually kissing. This is a form of fighting that occurs between fish.

Once again, this isn’t a serious or scary type of fighting. It’s just a way of determining dominance.

Whenever you see two clown loaches kissing, it’s fine to simply ignore it. This behavior is normal, and it’s not likely going to keep happening once one fish has established dominance.

Also, you should know that the fish generally won’t hurt each other during exchanges like this. It should be fine to ignore this situation.

Are Clown Loaches Fin Nippers?

Several Clown Loach Against the Glass in a Community Tank

Have you seen your clown loaches bothering other fish in a community tank? Normally, clown loaches are considered to be peaceful fish that stay away from their tank mates.

However, clown loaches have gained a reputation for being “fin nippers.” Some types of fish that have long fins might not be suitable tank mates for clown loaches.

There have been situations where fish have had their fins nipped aggressively by clown loaches. For whatever reason, clown loaches seem to like nipping the fins of fish that have long and flowing fins.

Fish such as bristlenose plecos and bettas could be in danger. It might be more likely for things such as this to happen if the fish are being kept in a crowded tank, too.

It’s Not Normal for Clown Loaches to Fight Other Fish

Fin nipping is a fairly common behavior for clown loaches, but they usually just leave other fish alone. If you see clown loaches fighting with other fish in the tank, then that could be a sign that something is seriously wrong.

Clown loaches are so peaceful that they’re actually in danger of getting bullied by other aggressive fish. This is why you must pick appropriate tank mates for them.

If the clown loaches seem to be bothering other fish, then you might be doing something wrong when caring for them. For example, you might be keeping the fish in an aquarium that is too small.

These fish can act strangely when they’re forced into cramped fish tanks. Remember to only buy clown loaches if you have a big enough fish tank to house them.

Another possible problem involves keeping these fish in groups that are too small. Clown loaches like to live in groups of at least five.

If you only have one or two clown loaches, then the fish might become stressed. The behavior of the fish might be erratic due to not feeling comfortable in the fish tank without more of its kind.

It may be possible to solve any issues with fighting by simply figuring out what is going wrong in the tank. If you aren’t keeping enough clown loaches in the tank, then you might need to buy more.

There could be issues with incompatible tank mates as well. Clown loaches can defend themselves against fish that try to bother them.

In fact, clown loaches possess spines near their eyes that come out when they get excited or when they feel threatened. These spines are sharp and can be used to defend against attacks.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to determine what is going on so that you can get things to calm down in the tank. Under normal circumstances, clown loaches are more likely to hide than they are to fight.

Put More Hiding Spots in the Tank

Clown Loach Swimming Toward Decorative Rock

Putting more hiding spots in the fish tank might encourage the clown loaches to hide rather than fight. These fish love hiding among aquatic plants and other hiding spots.

If your fish tank doesn’t have any aquatic plants, then the clown loaches might not be comfortable. Consider adding some plants that the clown loaches will like.

You’ll need to go with hardy plants such as java ferns since clown loaches will sometimes eat plants or dig them up. Plants that don’t have strong roots won’t do as well in tanks with clown loaches.

It can also be good to put little caves or other hiding locations in the fish tank. Your clown loaches will appreciate having options that will make it easier for them to hide at the bottom of the aquarium.

Final Thoughts

After reading the information above, you should have a much better idea of what is going on. Clown loaches fight with each other sometimes because they want to establish dominance.

This is normal and you don’t need to worry about it. Clown loaches are peaceful fish that usually won’t bother other fish in the tank.

They might sometimes nip the fins of fish that have long, flowing fins. Also, stress and other issues might cause clown loaches to have erratic behavior.

Fix these problems to ensure that your clown loaches will do well in the tank. You might need to get a bigger tank or you might need to keep clown loaches in larger groups to help them feel safe.