Chromobotia macracanthus

Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)

Dive into the fascinating world of freshwater aquariums with the Clown Loach, scientifically known as Chromobotia macracanthus. Renowned for its vibrant colors and playful demeanor, this beloved fish species adds a touch of charm to any aquatic setup. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at every aspect of the Clown Loach, from its unique characteristics to expert tips on care and maintenance.

Size and appearance

The Clown Loach boasts a striking appearance, characterized by its vibrant orange body adorned with bold black stripes. Growing to lengths of up to 30 centimeters (12 inches), this elongated fish showcases a sleek, torpedo-shaped body and distinctive barbels around its mouth. Its lively colors and playful antics make it a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts.


Indigenous to the tropical waters of Southeast Asia, the Clown Loach is commonly found in river basins throughout Indonesia, Borneo, and Sumatra. It inhabits slow-moving rivers and streams, often seeking refuge among submerged roots and vegetation.


Known for their playful and social nature, Clown Loaches thrive in the company of their own kind. They are active swimmers, often darting around the aquarium in search of food or engaging in playful interactions with tank mates. Despite their playful demeanor, they may exhibit territorial behavior, particularly during feeding times.


As omnivorous scavengers, Clown Loaches have diverse dietary preferences. In the wild, they feed on a variety of foods, including small crustaceans, insect larvae, and plant matter. In captivity, they readily accept a diet of high-quality sinking pellets, live or frozen foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp, and blanched vegetables like zucchini or cucumber. Offering a varied diet ensures their nutritional needs are met and promotes optimal health.

How to keep the Clown Loach at home

To ensure the well-being of Clown Loaches in your aquarium, consider the following care requirements:

Tank size: Provide a spacious aquarium with a minimum capacity of 200 liters (50 gallons) to accommodate a small group of Clown Loaches. They thrive in environments with plenty of open swimming space and hiding spots, such as caves or driftwood.
Water parameters: Maintain stable water conditions with a temperature range of 24-28 °C (75-82 °F) and a pH level between 6.5 and 7.5. Regular water changes – we recommend a 30% water change once every week – and filtration are essential to maintain water quality and prevent ammonia buildup.
Tank mates: Choose tank mates carefully, opting for peaceful species that share similar water parameters. Avoid housing Clown Loaches with aggressive or overly territorial fish that may intimidate them.
Compatibility: Clown Loaches are best kept in groups of three or more to prevent stress and promote social interactions. Ensure adequate space and hiding spots to minimize aggression within the group.

With their vibrant colors and playful personalities, Clown Loaches add a delightful touch to any freshwater aquarium. By understanding their natural habitat and specific care requirements, you can create an environment that allows these charming fish to thrive and flourish. Embrace the opportunity to care for Clown Loaches, and you’ll be rewarded with endless hours of entertainment and admiration for these beloved aquatic companions.

Scientific nameChromobotia macracanthus
Type of aquariumFreshwater
SizeUp to 30 cm (12 inches)
RegionSoutheast Asia
Ideal tank size200 liters (50 gallons) or more
Ideal water temperature24-28 °C (75-82 °F)
DietOmnivorous; pellets, live/frozen foods, vegetables
ReproductionNot common in captivity
Life spanUp to 20 years
SchoolingBest kept in groups of three or more.


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *