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Observations on moving clowns

Posted By: tinwhistle
Date: Sunday, 28 April 2002, at 8:54 p.m.

Well today I took the first big step and moved some of my clown loaches to the new giant tank! I thought I'd post my experiences and observations just in case anyone is interested.

Well nobody likes moving and for sure clown loaches don't either! Catching the two bristlenosed plecos in the old tank was easy pick up a rock hold the net under it shake the rock catch the pleco! Into the specimen container and after acclimatization into the new giant tank. The first occupants of the tank (some tetras and another BN pleco from another tank) went to the opposite end of the giant tank to watch from a safe distance who can blame them!

I have seven clowns in the original 40gal tank (thats why they needed to move that tank was too small even though the water chemistry was perfect and stable they needed more loaching room) and let me tell you catching an upset loach is a lot of work! Fortunately I did the misdirection trick put the net in the tank wave my hand and in the traffic jam catch the loach, into the specimen container and to the giant tank for release after acclimatization! I got three clowns and one of the yoyo twins and in they all went. One note is that I made sure the water chemistries of the two tanks were as close to identical as I could get them, pH was identical and no ammonia or nitrites in either tank.

At first the clowns didn't all head to the same place but hung out in the dark corners of the tank. After about 5 minutes two of them found each other and headed for the giant loachy cave I had built at one end of the tank. About 5 minutes after that the yoyo located the cave, so all loaches were together except for one gal hanging out in the plastic plants behind a round rock at the other end.

Within 10 minutes the two clowns banded together and went out quickly exploring, this attracted the attention of the third clown who followed the exploring duo back to the main cave. The yoyo had never left so everyone showed up at once and there was a lot of tail wiggling! Plenty of bumping into each other wriggling together and of course landing on each other in that loachy way!

Once they all decided that they were all in good shape and this took about ten minutes of wriggling around together it was time to explore! At first the two youngest would go out for a brief dash-and-return, but eventually curiousity won out and all three are currently carefully exploring the tank!

It's interesting to notice that once one loach starts poking around the others don't mind joining in. On moving everyone was grayed out from stress but as soon as the gang was together color started coming back, so I'm glad I planned to move them in groups! They're a bit tentative about zipping across the whole tank they'll go zip to the middle and kind of brake midwater as if they're expecting to hit a wall and are suprised when they don't! This tank is 72in. long and the 40gal. they were in was only 36in. so maybe they're kind of used to the end of the world being sooner! The trio occasionally splits up to look around but they always end up in a group again, except for the yoyo he seems to be pretty brave poking his pointy little nose into all the caves! A lot of the rootwood is from the original tank so maybe it helps the tank smell more like home, between that and moving some of the gravel and slate over the past weeks while the tank cycled up I bet it helps with the stress!

They've been in the tank about three hours now and seem to have completely settled down! The last time I added a new loach to the original tank it took about a day for the new arrivals to settle in so I wonder if moving with buddies makes the transition easier, I would think so! Hopefully when the tank stabilizes with its increased bioload and I move the remaining fish over they'll settle right in with their old friends!

They're still kinda upset with me, when I get too near the tank they all duck into the big cave and give me what I'm sure is a loachy dirty look! If I sit still they'll go about their business but I don't think they like me much right now, even if the new tank is way better like I said nobody likes to move! I'm amazed I didn't get a spine stuck in me if I'd been a loach and I'd been netted I'd want to stick someone good!

The most excitement in the tank right now is the bristlenoses everyone is trying to settle on new territories! There are two males and one female from what I can tell (checking for whiskers) and from what I know the tank is large enough for there not to be too big a fight!

Well I've gone on long enough about my fish! Once everything is done I'll borrow a digital camera if I don't just buy one and put pictures up somewhere!


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