Old Freshwater Clown Loach Lost his BFF

The June FOTM Contest Poll is open!
FishForums.net Fish of the Month
🏆 Click to vote! 🏆


New Member
Oct 17, 2021
Reaction score
Seattle WA
See my previous post below. My oldest loach (17 years) died last week, and I'm super worried about the guy that's left. He is about 16 years old, and the bigger and healthier of the two, but now he is not active, lays on the bottom much more than before, and kind of seems sad and lonely. I'm nervous to add new fish, but think he needs at least one new loach friend. Yes or no? More than one? He was still very active, and protective of his friend before he died. I do have a quarantine tank I would use before introducing new fish. Please help. He is still in a 30 gal tank due to room size constraints. TIA!

My previous post from 2021:
Hello! I have had a tropical, freshwater tanks for about 25 years. Mostly community tanks and cichlids. For the last several years I have just one tank with 2 freshwater clown loaches (tiger botia) that are the last two fish from a community tank. They are about 14 -15 years old, 6 - 7 inches long, in a 30 gallon tank. I am here to learn more, and ask questions about these guys, and the possibility of adding new fish. I'm pretty attached so I want to do right by them :) Happy to be here! Thank you!
Sorry about your losing that fish. That was a good lifespan with the tank size, and you must have worked at caring for those fish.

First, you have to keep observing the survivor. If the other fish died from an infection or something that could spread, then the lethargy could be something more worrisome. You wouldn't want to stress the survivor, or a new fish, by adding now. I would keep a close eye out for at least 3 weeks.
Then, you have a quandary. You have done a great job with those fish for them to have lived as long as they have. But the tank is too small.

Are they tiger Botia? There is a group of Syncrossus species sold with that trade name. Clown loaches are a different fish (Chromobotia macracanthus).
Clown loaches get over 12 inches TL easily. I lost my oldest about 8 months back and it was at least 23 and close and about 12 inches. My remaining 9, 2 of which are 10 or more inches, are in 1 50 gal. tank and it should be bigger.

So I will vote with Gary and say i am not sure your fish are clowns. Tiger botia is Syncrossus hymenophysa and it does not get anywhere near as big as clowns do. Look here https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/syncrossus-hymenophysa/ One of the things you will read there is
These loaches are gregarious, form complex social hierarchies and should be maintained in groups of at least 5 or 6 specimens, preferably 10 or more. When kept singly they can become withdrawn or aggressive towards similarly-shaped fishes, and if only a pair or trio are purchased the dominant individual will typically attack the other(s) repeatedly and may prevent them from feeding.

That said most botiids require regular contact with conspecifics, a fact exemplied by a number of behavioural rituals which have been recorded consistently in aquaria (see ‘Notes’).

Edited to fix typos
Last edited:

Most reactions