Clown Loach Behaviour is Strange Indeed

To be the most popular, people have to like you for some reason. They don’t have to be able to identify or understand the reason, it just has to be there. In the case of clown loach fish it is easy to see that it is their personality that makes them so popular. If you have done everything right in your aquarium and your clown loaches feel comfortable, they will put on a show for you.

Often, the clowns will appear to dance. They’re movements will be very skittish and usually rhythmic, so it looks like dancing. They’ll do it solo and in groups. A group activity they engage in is what I call the “Volcano Tumble” (volcano because of their color and the tumble needs a little more explanation). This is a vertically oriented “dance” where a couple clowns swim upwards a little ways followed by the other clowns. The lead clown then stops and tumbles down over the clowns that are swimming up behind her. The she takes a position at the back and swims up again.

Sometimes the clowns can be seen swimming upside while they eat or sleeping on their backs. After watching them for a while it’s easy to see why their common name is Clown loach.

Experienced aquarists can use the clown loaches behaviour to identify potential problems in the tank. When normally out going loaches hide and become shy it may mean that the water quality or tank hygiene leaves something to be desired. If the loaches have white spots on their fins and body they are probably infected with Ich. You’ll notice it first on the clown loaches because they don’t have scales and are therefore more susceptible to diseases.

A peculiar characteristic of clowns is the clicking sound they make with their pharyngeal teeth. You will usually hear the clicking when they are squabbling, eating or excited about something. Sometimes, the clicking is so loud you may thing that your aquarium cracked.

You probably noticed that I always referred to the fish in the plural form. That is because you should always keep them with other clowns (at least 5 in the gang). A clown needs her gang otherwise she willl be shy, more susceptible to disease, won’t grow as much and will probably have a shortened lifespan. That’s not something anyone wants for their fish.

No comments