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Re: Loaches behaving strangely - help!

Posted By: Joe Loach <jloach@gte.net>
Date: Monday, 12 October 1998, at 3:00 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Loaches behaving strangely - help! (Lydia)

Please keep in mind that what I tell you here is *my particular opinion*. Opinions of others may vary. :-)

The Clowns will eventually need more space. I have a trio that are now approaching 6". I've had two of them for 11 years now, the third I just picked up.

I wouldn't advise keeping goldfish and tropicals together. Higher temps are not good for them (the goldfish). On the other hand, your Clowns would love it higher (Baensch recommends 77 - 86F).

Tank overstocked? IMHO, yes, I think your tank is overstocked. *However*, after saying this I will also say that this is always such a tough thing to consider! Here's one rule of thumb for stocking levels that I've used: Keep the nitrAte level at or below 30 ppm. How do you achieve this? It's up to the individual. Have a small, overcrowded aquarium and feed a lot? Well, be prepared to make partial water changes several times a week -- or whatever it takes to keep the level at or below 30 ppm nitrAte. If you choose to have less fish in the same aquarium, then you will make less partial water changes.

Other method: 1" of fish per gal. (However, the mass of 4 - 1" Neon Tetras does not equal the mass of a single 4" Blue Gourami).

There is also another *very rough* rule of thumb I've used: If you keep small to medium sized fish, keep only 1/2 the amount of fish per gallon size of the tank. For example: 12 fish in a 24 gal tank *max*. I'd still use the nitrAte method to make water changes with this though.

It's been a very long time since I've kept small Clowns. Is there any fin damage on the other fish due to your Clowns? I'd think that this behavior would be more out of curiosity than anything else? Or testing of the waters to find out what is food and what is not? Hmmmmm. If the above is true, then a larger tank would cut down on the amount of these "curious encounters."

Those standard, orange, clay pots are fine, IMHO. I just took out some sandstone pieces from my tank and replaced them with whole and broken pieces of clay pots. The Botias are loving it! :-)

"The Drill" for me is knowing what I put into the water is going to end up as waste...and that I'm going to see it in the nitrAte level. More food means more partial water changes. I can deal with that. I tend to overfeed. I'd rather see a fat Botia than a skinny one. The consequence is that I need to make the water changes. I've accepted that. It's how you keep the fish healthy. Now, I've just got to put into action a emergent plant filter to eat up those nitrAtes and I can afford to be a little more lazy. :-)

Joe Loach

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