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Clown loach

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Breeding Fish Tips: When breeding tropical freshwater fish, always make note of temperature, ph, water quality, food intake and unusual behavior. That way you can breed fish again easily by recreating these conditons or by observing unusual behavior between pairs. You set yourself up for the possibilities of new arrivals.
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The clown loach, Chromobotia macracanthus, is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Cobitidae (loach) family. It is the sole member of the Chromobotia genus. It originates in inland waters in Indonesia on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is a popular fish in the freshwater aquarium trade and is sold worldwide. [1]

The fish was first described as Cobitis macracanthus by Pieter Bleeker in 1852. In 1989, its scientific name was changed to Botia macracanthus.[2] In 2004, Dr. Maurice Kottelat divided the Botia genus, containing 47 different species, into seven separate genera, resulting in the clown loach being placed in a genus of its own, Chromobotia.[3]

The genus Chromobotia derives its name from the Greek word chromo, meaning “colour”, and the regional Asian word botia, meaning “warrior” or “soldier”; the specific epithet Macracanthus is derived from the Greek word macros, meaning “large” and the Latin word acanthus, meaning “thorny”, referring to the large spine below each of the fish’s eyes. The common name, “clown loach” comes from the fish’s bright colors and stripes (many tropical fish with stripes that stand out are commonly called a clown).

Information about the maximum size of the clown loach varies, with some estimates ranging from 11 to 14 inches (40 to 50 cm), and with typical adult sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches (15 to 20 cm).[4] The fish’s body is long and laterally compressed, with an arched dorsal surface and a flat ventral surface. Its head is relatively large and its mouth faces downward with thick, fleshy lips, and four pairs of barbels. The barbels on the lower jaw are small and difficult to see. Clown loaches can make a clicking sound when they are happy or angry.

The body is whitish-orange to reddish-orange, with three thick, black, triangular, vertical bands. The anterior band runs from the top of the head and through the eye, the medial band lies between the head and the dorsal fin, and wraps around to the ventral surface, and the posterior band covers almost all of the caudal peduncle and extends to the anal fin. There is some regional color variation within the species; the pelvic fins on fish from Borneo are reddish orange and black, while the pelvic fins on fish from Sumatra are entirely reddish orange.[5]

The fish is sexually dimorphic, with females being slightly plumper than males. In addition, the tips of the tail on the male curve inwards slightly, whereas the females have straight tips.[2]

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