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Silly loachy tricks...

Posted By: Richard Campbell <rjc@guh.com>
Date: Wednesday, 26 February 2003, at 7:18 p.m.

Hi there... I'm a long time lurker of the loach forum, having found it shortly after discovering the wonders of keeping clown loaches.

Never had a need to post anything here before, although I greatly appreciate all of your posts... they've made me realize that my clowns aren't defective, that lying upside down is normal behaviour, that the loachy dance is a happy thing...

But, I have to break my quiet appreciation and share the most absurd thing I've ever seen a loach do.

A couple of months back I had a serious algae outbreak, which of course occured while I was out of town. Being a lazy sort not much interested in scrubbing everything in my tank, I bought a half a dozen large ramshorn snails to help with the cleaning...

I know what you're thinking, snails and loaches don't mix. But these are BIG snails, their shells easily an inch across. My five clowns are just not that big... the largest is maybe four inches.

And so, things went just fine. I had one snail who decided he didn't like the tank and up and died the first day... may not have even survived the trip home, I'm not sure. And the bala sharks that live in the tank with the loaches noticed that immediately... needless to say there wasn't much to clean up afterward, and the remaining snail shell was decorative, so I just left it.

Well, for whatever reason, today the smallest loach decided she ("she" because no boy is that cute) needed to check out the shell in detail. So she stuck her head into the shell... in her efforts to explore deeper into the shell, she turned upside down (not all that odd for a loach really)... pushing harder caused the shell to slide across the bottom, so she turned... and ended up upside down, rotating in circles with a snail shell on her head.

After doing half a dozen loops like this, I guess the other loaches decided it looked like fun, and now they're taking turns sticking their heads in the snail shell and doing inverted donuts across the bottom of the tank.

How do I explain this to regular (non-loach keeping) people?


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