How can you tell if a clown loach is male or female? I have ...

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5 years ago #1
Private Joker
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How can you tell if a clown loach is male or female? I have two now, one I just bought and the pet-store people said there was no way to tell. I know with my platys the male usually has like a tube by it's "butt fin." But I didn't see that on any of the clown loaches at the store.

Also, are they live-bearers or do they breed in captivity?

How long would that take or how can I tell when the clown loach is pregnant?

How can I get them to have babies if I do in fact (by luck), have a male and female? I have houses, gravel and plants. I also add aquarium salt about a tablespoon per 10 gallons and it seems to help keep the other fish healthy but will this harm clown loaches?

My big one is a year old and over 3 inches long. The new little one is only an inch long.

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #2
southern creature
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Gee mate you're chasing a bit of a holy grail here.

It is believed that this species of fish is NOT sexually dimorphic (has no detectable sexual difference). It is a very long lived fish, well over 40 years and grows to over 12", so any differences (if any) might not show up for some time.

There are some people breeding these fish by giving them hormone injections (like in the food fish trade) and all their reports suggest that the fish sexually matures around 7 inches long. Once these fish are injected, the sexual difference is detected by observing the fat ones are females. It is also not uncommon for a fish to be sexed through DNA testing these days.

There has been at least one reported spawning of clown loaches in an aquarium, through "natural" procedures. There was an article written about this in the British publication "Practical Fishkeeping" in the Feb 96 edition. I'm not too sure if this person ever bred them again or if it was all a fluke.

Good luck, I suspect you've got a big job ahead of you. If you want my advice, I say stick at it.
I bred African Butterfly fish when I was young (had the time) and at the time very few people had done it...stick at it, it's very rewarding.


BTW An amount of aquarium salt is OK. You should aim for a general hardness of 5-12 degrees (90ppm - 210ppm). Do you test for general hardness (GH)?

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5 years ago #3
Private Joker
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Ironically your right on. After I got off this website yesterday, I think I found that report about clown loach breeding. It was pretty detailed but still a lot of educated guess work on the part of the breeder. Sexes not so distinct. I guess they do lay eggs though.

As for water testing, I haven't been able to afford all the test strips. I stopped testing the water awhile ago but work on the aquarium every week, changing over 25-30% of the water and checking things over (making sure my platys aren't sick and the water is clean).

Oh, and in case you might have read some of my previous posts, I can't get that black stuff off my clown loach house. Tried to take it out, the big one wouldn't let go of the inside and thrashed around.....ultimately wedging itself up in the house. Really hoping it didn't get hurt, I guess I'll find out (if and) when it comes out tonight.

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #4
southern creature
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On the balance of probabilities your fish will be alright if you stick with the water changes and good maintenance, but you can NOT be 100% sure without testing.
When it comes to buying a test kit I recommend that you NOT buy the strip tests. Nearly all aquarists that I know find these to be much less reliable than liquid tests. Also liquid test give you many more tests per test kit, so they turn out to be much more economical.

Sorry that I failed to answer your question about whether these are egg layers or not. Yes they definitely are, the companies that breed these fish by using hormone injections "milk" the eggs into a net, then "milk" the milt onto them.

I have not noticed your posts about the "black stuff", I'll look for it now, also feel free to ask about it here!

I'm sure that your clown loach will be fine, they are real tough nuts. I once buried one for a few days, I actually thought it had jumped out and my cat took it, but then one day I was sitting in my lounge and I saw its head (under 3 " of gravel) through the glass.

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5 years ago #5
Private Joker
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Again thanks for all the help.

I think the black algae is called "black beard algae"? I was looking at some of the previous posts on the forums and seemed to get a mixed message about whether or not it was harmful. Most saying it wasn't because it could be part of the bio-culture. I've had it on the houses and it hasn't seemed to cause a problem. It's not on the plants or glass.

With the liquid tests, do the ones sold cover about all areas of the ph, nitrate, etc that I need to be concerned about (?) or does it just tell a few factors of testing? Wondering how many diff. liquid test kits I need?

The clown loach seems to be better. It came out last night. Time will tell. I was reading online that they should be kept between 78-84 degrees, is this the temp you keep yours at?

I really appreciate all the help!

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southern creature avatar
5 years ago #6
southern creature
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You're welcome to any advice that I can give. It is a pleasure for me to try and help anyone avoid the mistakes (and therefore heart ache) that often comes with keeping fish.

1stly there are various types of test kits available and yes there are some that cover everything. I'm not sure where you are, but if you're in the US you can pick up an API Master Test Kit for around $20 (I think) at Walmart. Which ever test kit you get it should tell you what it covers on the packaging.

Now to your black algae! It would be a rare thing to find a fish that will eat ALL your surplus fry and ALL algae. Primarily because one need requires a fish to be herbiverous and the other carniverous!! A lot of fish are omniverous, but there is ususlly a degree of specialisation, so taking live fish would be rare for an algae eater/scavanger.

So I think the issus of eating black algae and live fry should be done by 2 different fish.

1stly the black algae! There is a great fish caller the Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis) and this is expert at eating nearlly any type of algae and probably will eat the black algae. NOW choose your fish carefully as the Siamese Alga Eater has a look-a-like, the Flying Fox Shark (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus) and this fish does not eat as many types of algae as the Siamese Algae Eater.
I recomend that you do a bit of reading on these two fish to make sure you are getting what you want. In my experience, the easiest way to tell them appart is that the Siamese Algae Eater is not as "pretty" as the Flying Fox. The black line along the body of the Siamese Algae Eater is not as straight, in that it's scales don't run as smoothly on the edges of the line. Also the Flying Fox has a more redish colouring to it.

As to something that eats the fry, the adult mollies will do this.......if they are hungry enough.


BTW I think we should look at how many fish you have (or are going to end up with), I think you will need a bigger tank looking forward.

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5 years ago #7
Private Joker
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Yes, I will def. need a bigger tank. I had an algae eater that someone said was a chinese algae eater, then upon researching, I found it looked more like a flying fox or siamese algae eater. Needless to say it was mean! It had the long stripe, big head etc. It lived for a long time and got big. Didn't eat the algae though and it bullied all my fish, I even suspect it killed a few, including another algae eater just like it, that I had put in the tank. They were fine until my 1st one got bigger and then one day they started bashing their heads together. Now that they are gone, I'm hesitant to buy another algae eater ever again. Someone else mentioned a bristle nosed pleco, but I'm still worried about the size and temperment. My big clown loach is afraid, to this day.

Thanks for the help on the PH testing kit. I may have to look into that.

With the algae, I recently found my new baby clown loach has been eating some of the black algae when it finally decides to come out. The platys like the algae and pick at it but don't remove it all. I've been doing a lot more regular water changes to limit the amount of nutrients that may have started the algae bloom. The algae issue started awhile ago, hence why I bought an algae eater to begin with when I started the tank. Went to scrub off the heater suction cups just the other day and found the stuff had actually grown into the plastic suction cups and had became a part of the plastic.

As for the number of fish, I know I have way too many. That's why I need to get rid of some of the platys. I've got about 40 very small platys for a 30 gallon tank and just two clown loaches. The platys are so inbred that they have begun to stay small. Again, I thought about getting some danios to eat some of the platy fry. I had cherry barbs awhile back and they did nothing to lower the population. Wondering if neon tetra would do the trick, like danios often do?

Again, I'm really leary about what to add after my algae eater from Hell. I swear it made my big clown loach mental because even after the bad algae eater was gone, this one clown loach still hides and is hesitant to even go around the other houses. I've also noticed very recently that the big clown loach is bullying the little clown loach at night. During the day they sleep in the same house and hide together but at night, it seems like the little one is afraid to come out too and my big loach chases it all around the tank, when it does come out.

I'm really concerned and hoping the little one gets enough food. I know I'm reading too much into this but I wonder if it's like the cycle of abuse that people go through i.e. victims of abuse grow up to be abusers themselves? In hindsight, I really wish I had not gotten that chinese, flying fox, siamese algae eater. It didn't clean anything and was very destructive to the aqua-culture.

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4 years ago #8
petsmart
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the clown loach has a longer pointed tail fin check petsmart for details...

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Jase avatar
4 years ago #9
Jase
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That information is described in good detail all over the internet. Check google for details

aside from the larger and more hooked tail though, you can also tell the males by the tubercles too...
http://aquariumlore.blogspot.com/2008/04/sexing-clown-loaches.html

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4 years ago #10
minni
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hey i have a couple clown loaches too they are awsome and the best algae eaters are the bristle nose catfish they breed pretty well i have at two "litters" or fry and now i have about 60 and they are very calm NON agressive fish
the only time they are agressive is when the male is looking after the fry

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johnarthur avatar
4 years ago #11
johnarthur
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Clown loaches are difficult to sex and even more difficult to spawn in home aquariums. They grow fairly large and do much better in groups.

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3 years ago #12
james olsen
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hi i have two clown loaches the biggest one is about twenty cm long and about four cm tall and two cm wide the smaller one is about fifteen cm long and about two and a half cm tall and one cm wide

how do i tell if they are male or female

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3 years ago #13
kinsy1st
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I put my two clown loaches into a patio pond (27 gallons)about five weeks ago and now I have 5 or 6 clownies. The original pair are both about 1-1/4" long. The offspring are about 3/4" long.

The pond has plenty of vegetation. Anacris, hyacinyh, duck weed, red wendth, amazon sword and broad leaf ludwigia. Using small clay pots for the red wendth, amazon sword, and broad leaf ludwigia.

Using a Pond Master 190 filter and fountain, power head sponge filter, 100w heater, and a Resun 5w UV Sterilizer.
Also have two ceramic incense burners, ceramic tree logs, and a ceramic cave to provide shelter for the fish or places for them to hide.


Tank inhabitants:

Eight female Panda Mollies about 1-1/4" to 1-1/2"

Two Bushy Nose Plecos

Five or six Clown Loaches

Bye for now.

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2 years ago #14
tony
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you can get water tests free from most pet shops so it shouldnt cost u anything

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2 years ago #15
loach man
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wait, wait there is and answer to this, females have lighter colors than males, males have darker colors. there's your answer.

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2 years ago #16
Kimberly
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Males have longer forks on their tail fin, and they are heavier than the females.

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2 years ago #17
chris 300
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I have 2 clown loaches 3" and 4" n a juwel 300 with parrots plecos electric yellows glass bloodfin tetras gouramis and fu months bak al of a sudden there were 6 clown loaches and agen she's Prego fat as hell so expecting more 😊 is that wat u call breeding in captivity when they reproduce in your home tank??

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2 years ago #18
Kasey
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With any tropical fish it is a good thing to add more than one at a time. When you do add more fish change you tank around it confuses the fish so they are more worried about finding out what is going on and not about the new fish added. Good luck. I actually work at a tropical fish hatchery and I have a clown loach myself. I plan on getting another one and getting the hormones later.

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2 years ago #19
jake j
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The males will have a pen!s and the females have a v@g!na

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2 years ago #20
kasey
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Hey chris where are you located and would you sell those loaches? Let me know.

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2 years ago #21
chris 300
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I'm in Auckland ,NZ depends wat ya offering lol apparently there extremely rare to breed in a tank without hormones like suggested never givn them ne myself but each to their own. Will try put pics up. The fish with black spots is the baby of my parrots only 1 that hatched lol

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wijnands avatar
2 years ago #22
wijnands
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chris 300 wrote:
I have 2 clown loaches 3" and 4" n a juwel 300 with parrots plecos electric yellows glass bloodfin tetras gouramis and fu months bak al of a sudden there were 6 clown loaches and agen she's Prego fat as hell so expecting more 😊 is that wat u call breeding in captivity when they reproduce in your home tank??


Breeding these in captivity is very rare. I think the <email> would be interested. Please do consider signing up there and posting as much details as possible.
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1 year ago #23
samantha ann espinoza
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who wloud want to harm clow laches how dar you say that

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1 year ago #24
greg
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not true as far as the weight... the males have a flank in the tail fins as where the females are straight... the female get fat n plump and the males dont.. mature clowns to breed are a minimum of 7".. and also, the colors of the female are not lighter than the males.. the only color diff is lighter when the clown is stressed

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Joni avatar
1 year ago #25
Joni
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Greg that information is greatly appreciated! The thread is old and most of these people have moved on at this point but that information is very clear and concise. Thank you.

When responding to any of our threads try and keep it to current ones. Check the date in the upper right hand corner of the screen. However if you do find information that is clearly incorrect such as in this thread then by all means correct it. It would just be more useful if you put it on a more current screen.

Are you a breeder of these fish? Any other specialty areas you are interested in? I love meeting people that enjoy specific areas of this huge hobby. Enjoy the forum.

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1 year ago #26
greg
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breeding clowns in captivity is very close to impossible.. if your lucky enough to have a bonded pair, they have a better chance of breeding.. when the females r ready to spawn, thet will have irradic behavior as so will the male, they will start eating live baby fish and will plump up even more..

after laying eggs, i reccommend removing the adults as they will eat the eggs.. ive tried in the passed and only once did i come close to success.. i still continue to try but unfortunately due to hurricane sandy, i lost all my large clowns.. i think i have the knowledge to do it now, just need to find some mature males and females again..

i use a 300g tank and i wont give up trying.. ive ben in the hobby for 20 yrs and love it

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Joni avatar
1 year ago #27
Joni
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Nice meeting you. Please feel free to roam around the site. Or join as it is free and simple. You will not be spammed. Sounds like your a very information filled person.

Thanks for sharing.

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1 year ago #28
greg
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thank u, i actually just stumbled across this thread and i did notice after that it was an old thread, i hope that some of this info does help an old thread as i have plenty more info id love to share.. ive been a clown loach freak ever since day 1 of starting in the hobby..

clowns r unique and have some of the best behaviors ive had the pleasure of experiencing

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8 months ago #29
Jonnson
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Look at the tail fins if it comes out to a point it's a female. If they curve in its a male

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6 months ago #30
Steve
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Thanks for the info....I've had my clowns about 5 years now and one is starting to plump up a lot more than the other and I looked on here to get some info and found this recent response and wanted to thank u for the info

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