Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fizzyface1000 12-20-2010 11:34 AM

Whats Going On With My Clowns
Hey Guys Ok Here Goes. I Have 2 Clown Loaches In My Tropical Tank and they keep bickering at the minute.
one is slightly larger than the other. Earlier on i noticed them fighting and the bigger ones black stripes turned grey.
after they stopped their fighting his stripes went back to jet black.
is this normal? some sort of defense? or have i just got a weird fish lol?

aunt kymmie 12-20-2010 11:48 AM

The problem you are having with your clowns is very typical, and it's because they need to be maintained in groups (at least 5+) as they are very hierarchical and VERY social fish. I'm not sure the size of your tank and if it's large enough to accomodate five but the behavior you are describing will never stop as long as there are only two of them. They are going to stress each other out and eventually their health is going to suffer. It's very common for loaches to "gray" out completely when bickering. The biggest of my clown (I have five) even has "battle scars" from all the extreme tussling they get into. I can't imagine what he'd look like if he only had one other tankmate to wrestle with.

fizzyface1000 12-20-2010 02:55 PM

thank you for this. i am now looking into getting a few more clowns, hopefully that will stop them. they dont always fight. only every now and then. the tank i have is 4ft by 1ft by 1ft.

aunt kymmie 12-20-2010 11:46 PM

Adding more clowns will definitely stop the bickering between your current two, I guarantee it.
Your tank is a good size for five, but not super long term. Clowns do get quite big but in my experience it takes quite awhile for this to happen. Mine went from just a little over two inches to six inches in a year's time. Since then their growth rate has really slowed. Two years later and they are just barely over six inches. I've heard it takes a long time for them to reach their eventual "lunker" size.
They are VERY cool fish and so much fun to watch in a group. Constant tussling but no one is harmed.
I have a few that like to just hang out on the bottom, flipped over on their sides, not even moving. Visiters to my home see it and say, "Oh no, you have some dead fish" and then they pop up and start jamming around. Another loves to jam himself into a nook in the driftwood upside down, chilling out. He also always looks "dead" when he does this. I love 'em! :-)

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