Clown Loach tank mates- Best and compatible

In this article, I will help you find clown loach tank mates that are suitable and comfortable with each other.

Picking up the right tank mate is never an easy task and due to this reason, most of the fish-keepers tend to make mistakes. Clown Loach Belongs to peaceful nature and it can be complicated when you talk about their compatibility with other tank mates.

Although, they are omnivores in nature and that makes them a great choice. Clown loaches are comfortable eating both plants and meat material, If you are choosing the tank mates that are comfortable eating both plants and meat stuff then you shouldn’t be worrying.

There are instances where people keep both omnivores with carnivores and this can make it hard for you as you should be feeding them both types of food. But, this can be manageable in most cases.

Clown loach requires a moderate level of care making them a complicated choice for fair beginners. But, If you are interested in fish keeping then you can achieve this with ease.

There are factors like the pH level, temperature, lighting condition, water current flow, and most of the other factors. Clown loaches are orange-colored with black bars on their body and while choosing tank mate you can choose the one you feel is matches and makes your aquarium look more beautiful.

The peaceful nature of clown loaches is something that is great while picking up the tank mates. Often, peaceful fishes are not much territorial and with least aggressive towards other fishes.

When you observe them carefully they are quite shy and you will find them in hideouts and mostly swimming around the substrates. You will find them to be happy with other fishes as they like playing with them in the fish tank.

Clown loach tank mates
Fish-Hed, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you observe, clown loaches have a strange behavior; you will find them lying at the bottom of the aquarium on their side and you might think that they are dead but, they aren’t it’s just a unique behavior they show.

Clown loaches can grow up to a size of 12 inches depending upon the maintenance and care level you are taking. These clown loaches are large schooling fish, and most of the time you will find them active swimming around the aquarium with their tank mates.

They prefer a large tank mate with plenty of space to swim around. As said above they like caves and rocks and found to be happy when you add them to a tank that has plenty of hiding space.

Clown loaches can get really big and might cause you trouble if you are not aware of it. It is completely possible to care for and manage these loaches till they reach their adult phase.

As they get larger in size it is quite hard to manage them as they grow and grow. You might wanna consider transferring them to a larger sized aquarium to make sure they have plenty of space to swim around.

Although, they are quite colorful making them a perfect choice for a fish tank. They have a lifespan of more than 10+ years when properly cared for maintained.  They are fine with a Diet of omnivores and making them a perfect choice to tank them with other fishes.

As they are peaceful in nature finding the tank mates for them is not a hard task when you consider the factors like the pH, the temperature, and the hardness of the water. The clown loach species was first described by Pieter Bleeker.

The renaming of clown loaches was done twice. They come from a family called Botiidae and are tropical fishes. For fish-keeping, they are very friendly and peaceful types of fish and finding them a tank mate shouldn’t be a problem.

They are mostly available in most pet stores but, if you find trouble in finding these fishes in pet stores you can try finding them online. They are great when kept in groups of at least 5 or more individuals.

The mentioned clown loach tank mates in this article match in almost every aspects making them a perfect choice. When you observe them carefully you will find them to be playful in nature with other fishes.

Most of the time these loaches play with other fishes chasing them. clown loaches can grow up to 12 inches. Although, size varies with the living habitat and Diet. In their juvenile stage, they grow up to 2-3 inches in length.

But the size varies when you speak about these in their wilder habitat. They live mostly in slow-moving water.

Let’s Dive right in!

Clown loach Tank mates

Tiger Barbs

Tiger barbs are very popular fishes and can be very compatible with clown loach as tank mates. They are ideal for a community tank and they can be slightly aggressive but this can be controlled without any hassles.

Editor General of Wiki, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

They have a lifespan of around 5 to 7 years depending upon the level of care and maintenance. They can reach up to a size of 3 inches at their adult stage. If you are looking for some small and peaceful fish as tank mates for clown loaches then this can be a very great choice.

Even if you are a beginner at fish keeping you shouldn’t find any problem keeping this fish in your aquarium. Tiger barbs require a water temperature of around 68 to 79° F that is very similar to clown loaches.

However, they can live in an unheated fish tank but, my recommendation is to add a heater.

Temperature plays an important role while choosing a tank mate as you will be adjusting a single temperature for all of these fishes together. Hence, choosing a tank mate that is comfortable with a similar temperature range plays an important role.

When it comes to diet, Both the clown loaches and tiger barbs are omnivores in nature making them a perfect pair and tank mate. You can feed them both meat stuff or plant material as they are comfortable with both types of foods.

Always feed them a mixed diet that ensures and provides different types of nutrients and minerals. Feed them frozen food or pellets from pet shops once or twice a week.

Tiger barbs are attractive and unique looking fishes making them stand out from other fishes. They are found to be the best and compatible tank mates clown loaches. You can keep them in pairs with clown loaches.

When it comes to pH they get themselves adjusted with a pH of around 6.5. If you find your pH in an aquarium is way too high then you can lower it with natural ways like adding driftwood. If you are unaware of pH then check this article on pH.

They are comfortable with slightly acidic and soft water. They like a fish tank with better lighting conditions. To maintain their health and improve their immunity system you should provide them a mixed diet that is generally fine.

Brine shrimps, flake foods, bloodworms are some of their favorite meat foods. They even eat cooked vegetables you should try feeding them.

Overall, Tiger barbs match most of the factors with clown loaches, and as they both are peaceful and require very little maintenance, and don’t cause much trouble for beginners.

They require almost the same living environment as clown loaches and this is something you should be looking for while choosing a tank mate. Finding tiger barbs shouldn’t be a problem as they are available in almost every part of the world.

Scientists have even achieved different colors like green, black, red, and albino by performing selective breeding which looks quite interesting.

Quick tip: They like natural environment! so, try keeping your fish tank as natural as possible.

Adding a live plantation with the fine substrate will give a very attractive and natural look to your aquarium and even fishes love this kind of setup.

You shouldn’t find any problem with tiger barb to pair them with clown loach as tank mates as they get along with ease.

Here is the next compatible tank mate for clown loach.

Cherry Barbs

Cherry barbs can be a great pick if you are looking for a bright-colored tank mate for your cherry barbs. They are quite popular in most of the regions making them a great pick.

cherry barb
Brian Gratwicke, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

People like their bright colors as they look very attractive even with very less lighting conditions. But, with lighting, they look really glow. They are popular in their family Cyprinidae.

If you are fairly a beginner to fish keeping world, then this fish could be a great pick for you as they are very peaceful in nature, and even beginners can easily manage this fish without much knowledge and complications.

Just like clown loaches, they are omnivores in nature too and that means you can feed them the same diet. As said above, my recommendation is to provide a mixed diet as this is very nutritious in all terms keeping them healthy, free from diseases, and also improve their immunity system.

Cherry barbs can live anywhere from 5 to 6 years depending on the level of care, and maintenance. Consider getting at least 25 gallons (for single cherry barb) of tank size to make sure your fishes are having plenty of space to swim around.

If you are planning to add cherry barbs to your tank then you should be adding them in groups as they like to be in groups and are found to be shy when alone. Just like clown loaches, they like fish tanks with plantations. Hence, it’s a great idea to set up your fish tank in this way.

Having plants inside your aquarium will provide a natural living environment for these fishes and will also make your aquarium look beautiful. They would love some driftwood and some areas to Hide and play with.

A dark substrate would enhance the looks even more making them stand out. Cherry barbs require a temperature of around 73- 81 ° F that is similar to clown loaches.

You can try adjusting the temperature to an average value which should be comfortable for both of the fishes. An adequate pH for Tiger barb, clown loach, and the cherry barb is 6-7.5. However, if you find your fishes to be adjusted then you need not worry at all.

As all fishes like aquarium water to be clean you should add a water filter with moderate water flow. Cherry barbs are fun-loving fishes and they like to play with other fishes.

A larger sized aquarium is what you should be looking for and the reason behind this is they like places to hide and swim. Plenty of hiding places is what they like to be. Their quite aggressive nature is something you should be worried about. But, this is manageable and even a fairly beginner can control this.

They eat foods like algae, plant matter, small insects, crustaceans, and other zooplankton, etc. These foods are highly nutritious and have a great number of minerals.

Caring cherry barbs are quite easy to care for and maintain. Also, they don’t usually catch diseases easily. The only way to prevent diseases is to keep the water clean and maintain a proper water change once or twice a week.

Most fishes usually get fin rot and this is caused mainly by dirty water in the fish tank. If you are looking for a tank mate that is calm, bright-colored, and super easy to care then you should consider tanking them with clown loaches.

Finally, cherry barbs can be a great tank mate with clown loaches considering factors like the pH, temperature, water hardness, and other factors.

Here is the next fish

Neon Tetra

Neon tetras are another tank mate that is comfortable with clown loaches. They require a minimal level of care that makes them perfect for beginners.

neon tetra
úlfhams_víkingur, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you talk about their nature they are quite peaceful and can get along easily with other fishes. They belong omnivorous and Hence they are comfortable eating both plant and animal matter.

Neon tetras are attractive fishes that stand out from other fishes. In their wilder habitat, they can live up to 8 years old. However, in the aquarium, you can find them to be living for around 5 years when properly cared for and maintained.

They can grow up to 2. inches long. Although, their average size is 1.5 inches.

Tip: Neon Tetras are very sensitive to water changes.

They are comfortable with a water temperature of around 70 to 81° F. But, you can adjust it to an average temperature when you find your fishes to be happy and peaceful.

Try maintaining a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0 and maintain soft water (<10 dGH). When you talk about the lighting condition you should be adding moderate lighting.

It is okay to add a sponge filter that does the job of keeping the aquarium clean. However, you should perform a water change of at least 25 to 30% once a week to maintain the water as clean as possible.

Diet and feeding are quite easy as both clown loaches and neon tetras eat very similar kinds of diet. They like to eat foods like pellets, flakes, frozen, or feeder fishes.

You can also feed them vegetables and plant matter to provide them good nutritional value to ensure they are getting all different types of minerals. Foods like pellets, flakes, frozen, and live food are of high quality in nature.

As their mouth is small you should feed them food that is cut into smaller pieces. While feeding them flakes and pellets consider feeding them in very smaller pieces. Feeding them twice a day should be okay.

Overall, Neon tetras are very peaceful fishes. They can be aggressive towards other fishes during their mating phase.

When maintained and cared properly they can be a very good tank mate with clown loaches. Most aquarists have tried to tank them together and found themselves getting along easily.

Lastly. you can pick neon tetras as clown loach tank mates. It is a great idea to add a heater to your fish tank because cold water might cause fin rots to neon tetras.

If you are a beginner at fish keeping then you can pick up this fish without any issues.

The next fish I recommend is Black widow tetra.

Black widow tetra

Black widow tetra fish is another great choice for clown loach tank mates. They were originated from the tributaries of brazil. This is one of the most common fish from the tetra family.

black widow tetra
© Nicklas Iversen /

These fishes move very quickly and a great pick for aquariums. But, consider adding them in groups or more as they like to be in groups.

They like planted type aquarium set up with some free space for swimming around. Both the clown loaches and black widow tetra fish support soft and acidic water. However, you can adjust this depending on their actions.

If you find them to be peaceful then you shouldn’t be worrying at all. They do not like sudden changes in water. Hence, you should be matching water conditions and then you can transfer them easily.

Pro Tip: Colder water can stress tetras

They are found to be eating mostly live fishes, fresh, frozen, freeze-dried, or flake foods. A mixed diet is a healthy diet. Feed them with different varieties of food.

Black widow tetras require a pH of around 5.8 to 8.5 pH. Considering the requirement of clown loach a pH anywhere from 6 to 7 should be okay.

As they are peaceful in nature they require very little care and maintenance making them a perfect choice for beginners. Keep the water hardness up to 15 dGH. They are comfortable with a temperature of around 68 to 79 ° F.

They require a very similar temperature you can regulate the temperature around them. But, only regulate the temperature if you find them to be stressful. They are territorial during their breeding phase just like any other fishes.

These fishes are active swimmers, so it would be great if you are providing them plenty of space to swim around the aquarium. If you like decorations then you can decorate your aquarium in a little creative manner.

Fishes often like fish tanks with decorations. Although, you can recreate and try giving your aquarium the best look. You can also add a live plantation that will give a natural feel and look.

Most of the fishes love this type of setup. Remember, Plantation shouldn’t be too dense as they are active swimmer and that might make feel harder while swimming.

When it comes to feeding and diet they like to eat foods like blood worms, brine shrimp, and other varieties of frozen foods. If you want them to grow much faster and healthier then you should feed them a nutrition-rich diet or pellets for their main meals.

They are often curious about the things that are going on and are quite very curious.

Final Thoughts

Overall, these mentioned tank mates for clown loach are found to be great with each other with the requirement of very little care. As they are not that much aggressive their aggression can be controlled without any problem.

But when it comes to maintenance and caring part you should be taking care of the fish. But in my recommendation, they are quite great and can get along with clown loaches easily.

You should be taking care of keeping the aquarium clean to prevent any sort of diseases and fin rot kinds of diseases. Consider getting a bigger sized aquarium as fishes require plenty of space to swim around the aquarium.

Factors like the pH, temperature, hardness of water, lighting conditions are very similar to each other and hence, they will be comfortable in a similar living environment.

I recommend you to add some driftwood and try making your fish tank look as natural as possible. Fishes love to be in their natural habitat and if you clone this type of environment in your aquarium. Also, they are found to be happier when you keep them in such a living environment.

Clown loaches are not much hard to care with. They are can be great if you are looking for peaceful tank mates with little maintenance. Often, Beginners make the mistake of choosing the wrong tank mates and realize it later.

These mentioned clown loach tank mates are suitable and perfectly compatible with each other.

If you have any queries you can drop a comment in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading 🙂 Have a great day

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