Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Hiren 06-10-2008 11:36 PM

Clown Loaches, Odd behaviour and some other questions
Okay, I recently joined this forum (like an hour ago) Because I have been searching since last night but due to my lack of scholarly research techniques I can't find anything on this. Well, I'll start off by saying I only have two clown loaches (cruel I know, I shouldn't have only bought two but this was around five years ago when I was just starting) These two lovelies have been with me since the beginning. They were fed on *shudder* goldfish flakes for the first two years of their lives. But, I did alot of research on them a few years ago, (a since then become a fanatic) and they are now fed on blood worms, (with the occasional flake) and a mixture of something that my friend recommended me. The water is kept around 30 degrees (Celsius), and the tank is around 60/65 gallons (estimated, I think it is actually bigger). They are destructive of their plants which I gather is to be expected, and they have multiple hiding spots, their favourite being a broken castle. Well, the tank that contains them is in a room which has floor length windows about 4/5 metres away from them. Every morning the curtains to these windows get opened at or around 5.50am, and then shut again at 10/11pm. This is a routine that is always done. My loaches are fed at 8am sharp and then again at 3pm. Their fish light stays on from 7.50am-4pm.

I have some questions;

1) They are still really tiny, I think around 4", I'm not too sure of their growth rate but is this normal? I've seen some huge ones in my time.
Is this a normal size for this age? If not, is it healthy? I'm very scared of losing them.

2) I know they need more friends, but, will they be able to cope if a bunch of smaller clowns were put into the tank? Or vise-versa.

3) I've never had a problem until today. This morning when the curtains were opened, I heard a flopping sound, and upon turning around I saw one of my babies had jumped out of his tank. The only opening in this tank is a triangular gap about 2cmx2.5cmx2cm. This was a first. I thought maybe I had just scared him however. But before that, for the last week or so I have noticed odd behavior in my loaches, them were becoming more vicious to the lil unknown fish in their tank (their tank contains those two and one odd fish donated to me, this is because my loaches went mad a few months ago and killed off all the other fish) Well, when food was place into the tank the yellow fish would rush to the surface to eat, but one or both of the loaches would ram him away from the food and then eat everything in sight. (The yellow fish has since been moved out of the tank so he gets proper nutrition) Well anyway after my loach was put back in the tank this morning after his expedition to the floor he went beserk. I watched him race all around the tank faster then ever, his buddy came out to play but he couldn't seem to keep up. A few hours later I checked them and they were at opposite sides of the tank, one protecting his castle and the other (the one the had fallen out) sulking at the back. I fed them a bit of blood worms which they went INSANE over. It was different then they've ever re-acted. So i put in another lot of worms which were again devoured. I place in one last block and ran away so I wouldn't give in and feed them more. And now I'm here, wondering whats going on. Any ideas?

Gump 06-10-2008 11:55 PM

I think your two main problems are tank size and food offered. I dont think flake food should be offered for any fish over an inch or two. I feed my loaches chopped prawns, squid, tilapia, black/earth/red/blood worms, krill, peas, and a quality pellet for staple. They are very slow growers but with a good diet and room to grow they do put on size well.

Hiren 06-10-2008 11:57 PM

Thanks muchly Gump :)
I'm going to head out to the store, any brands better/worse?

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