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I can get terracotta pots for cheap enough locally, but do loaches (DCL, Yoyo, Dojo) prefer pvc pipes (seems to be what a lot of people suggest)? Do hardware stores (Lowes, Home Depot) cut them to size like they do wood pieces? I see that they sell long pvc pipes, but do not have the tools to cut them myself.

I also prefer the look of the plant pots over the pvc pipe, and those are cheaper than driftwood. Maybe once all of my tanks are fully stocked (will that ever actually happen?), I can start to accumulate driftwood to replace the man made hides.
 

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Depends on the loach... I know that Clown Loaches really like the big pvc pipes, while smaller loaches (such a Kuhlii) prefer pots and driftwood.

What species do you have?

—-

They should cut them for you, as they have machines to do it. I’m not sure if it costs you extra though.
 

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Yeah, depends on the loach. Mine like tighter places than pots; they mostly tuck themselves away under thick plant growth and leaf litter. If you like a more natural look (I agree--who wants a bunch of ugly white pvc lying around in their tank???), see if you can find some bamboo tubes, or ask your local high school pottery teacher to make you some terra cotta tubes.
 
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I have yoyo loaches, Dwarf chain loaches, and will be picking up some dojo loaches on Thursday. All in separate tanks, of course.
 
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I love my DCLs. They are very boisterous and busy little guys. I will be adding a lot of leaflitter to their tank, and put the leaves over some pvc pipe and hopefully hide them. I might get a bag of stones and break it up, then glue pieces onto the pvc pipes. Make some caves out of the rocks too. I was looking at terracotta pipes, but can't fine reasonably priced ones in sizes I like.

What size of pipes would be okay for each kind of loach once full grown? I don't want anybody getting stuck.
 
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So I added 3 pieces of black pipe to my 90 gallon "pond" tank, with the 3 dojo loaches. They have been in the tank for three days now (both loaches and pipe) and the loaches prefer to stack themselves along the tank glass instead. Is it normal for them to ignore the hiding places? They seem pretty comfy in the tank, and chase each other a bit.
But one of them has a hate on for one of the goldfish. One specific loach and one specific goldfish. Got home today and he had just about torn the poor thing to shreds.
 

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