Botia Clown In The Aquarium – The Complete Care Guide

A cute aquarium dweller who gladly eats snails and excessive vegetation is Macracantha or Botia Clown. The presence of the Clown loach or tiger botia represents the love of aquarists for its beautiful color and character traits. Unlike other members of its family, it is active during the daytime.


Clown loach in aquarium

Botia’s homeland is located in Southeast Asia, on the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Kalimantan and Sumatra (Musi River).

The fish lives in bodies of water with small or medium currents. During the monsoon season, it moves to the flooded plains, keeps in large flocks. Spawning takes place in the upper reaches of rivers. Botia Macracantha is loyal to the purity of water, calmly tolerates dirty reservoirs. The diet includes larvae, insects, plant foods. In nature, the size of an adult reaches 40 cm, in captivity no more than 30. Life expectancy in good conditions reaches 20 years. The regions where fish becomes food are famous.

A large beauty will decorate the aquarium. The Botia clown’s body is spindle-shaped, compressed from the sides. The back is more curved, the abdomen is more straight. On the lower part of the head there is a mouth adapted for eating bottom food, framed by 4 pairs of whiskers. The thorns under the eyes serve as protection from predators.

When transferring a pet to another container, it is worth catching it with extreme caution, since a frightened fish sets up a defense and clings to the net, risking damage. Plastic or ceramic containers are advisable. Adults can seriously injure the host.

Botia’s coloration is extremely attractive. The 3 wide black stripes covers bright yellow body. The pectoral and caudal fins are red. The pet pleases with the most juicy shades in youth, later it turns slightly pale, without losing its natural charm. Females are slightly larger than males and wider at the waist.

Aquarium Keeping

Macracanthus settles in an aquarium with a well-established ecosystem. It is better not to put it in an uninhabited tank. The fish is unassuming, has good immunity, but is sensitive to the chemical parameters of water. It must correspond to the specified parameters:

Rigidity Acidity Temperature
4-12 ° dH 6.5-7.5 pH + 24 … + 28 ° С

The concentration of ammonia and nitrite must be zero.

Due to the size of the botia clown, it is necessary to select the appropriate tank. It is recommended to populate no more than 3 individuals per 100 liters. Maximum permissible flock of 10 in a 400 liter aquarium.

When purchasing fry, they allow short-term maintenance in a small container, but not for long. Even toddlers are sensitive to small spaces and can stop growing.

The fish loves to dig in the ground in search of food, so they choose sandy with a small addition of pebbles. It is interesting to watch how Botia plays with pebbles, fingering them with his mustache. Decorations are installed at the bottom, the fish like to hide in them, but the size of the shelters is chosen impressive so that the pet does not get stuck.

Despite their size, botia clowns are playful and can jump out, so a lid on the tank is advisable. Light level is weak. If there is little vegetation, use a soft, subdued light.

Tank Mates

Botia clown is classified as a peaceful species, nevertheless, attacks of aggression occur when kept alone, without a pack. Relatively calm pets cannot swim past the veiled-tailed species, always striving to bite the fins. Among other things, the fish makes a clicking noise that scares the small species.

Species compatibility level:

Good Average Badly
Scalars Cockerels Astronotuses
Barbs Cichlids
Corridors Discus
Danio Acne
Gourami Goldfish
Guppy Koi carps
Botia Shrimps
Mollies Crabs


Botia Clown in aquarium

Natural predator prefers live food even in captivity. At night, Botia’s appetite is much higher, respectively, they behave more actively. Botia loves to eat a small shrimp, a snail, frozen bloodworms and earthworms.

In order not to infect the fish with parasites, it is important to monitor the purity of the feed or to freeze all the food. Some breeders process food with a weak solution of potassium permanganate.

For those who do not want to mess with live food, they can use ready-made dry mixes for bottom fish: Sera Granu Green, Tetra TabiMin. It is important to use herbal supplements in this diet, such as courgettes, cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, dandelion and nettles. Before serving, vegetables are treated with boiling water.


Reproduction of the Botia Clown at home is difficult due to the intricate reproductive cycle, so previously only caught wild individuals appeared on sale. Therefore the price is expensive. Later, in Southeast Asia, fish breeding facilities began to artificially breed offspring using hormonal injections. But even this approach does not guarantee a successful spawning outcome.

Fish reach sexual maturity, growing up to 12-15 cm. Specimens of no more than 20 cm in size usually migrate for spawning, the rest remain in the river. This suggests that after reaching a certain age, Macracanthi cease to reproduce.

During the entire observation of the fish in the aquarium, only one case of spawning in captivity was found. Quite by accident, while cleaning in the tank, an amateur from Montreal saw about 40 Botia fry under a bush of seaweed.

At that time, the indicators of water in the tank corresponded to:

Rigidity Acidity Temperature
2 ° dH 6.2 pH + 28 … + 29 ° С

What exactly happened at the time of spawning is unknown, since the pets hid in shelters and only swam out in the evening to eat. The aquarist fed the fish with grated beef heart and pelleted feed containing shrimp. The reservoir operated powerful aeration and filtration systems.


Summing up, let’s define the approximate conditions for the spawning grounds:

  • The size is not less than the main aquarium.
  • High oxygen saturation and good cleaning system.
  • Change of 1/5 water.
  • A strong current is achieved by rounding the inner corners of the spawning tank by installing Plexiglas panels.
  • The bottom is lined with smooth stones and snags.
  • Each female needs 3-4 males.
  • Injections are administered by a fractional method.

After the spawning is completed, the parents are set aside, the flow is turned off and additional aeration is installed. At a temperature of +31 ° C, soon you can find transparent eggs, whitened ones need to be removed, they are not fertilized and will clog the container.

During the day, hatching occurs and the fry falls to the bottom, where it hides in the dark for up to 4 days. Then the babies begin to swim, it’s time to feed them. The diet includes rotifers, cyclops nauplii in combination with euglena green. The most dangerous time for young animals is the first month. It is important to monitor the state of water and food, at the end of the term the fry grows to 17 mm and takes on the color of the parents.

Diseases And Prevention

The body of the fish is poorly protected and because of this it is susceptible to infections and parasites. If the disease is not detected immediately, it cannot be treated in the later stages. The medications prescribed in such cases for other species are not suitable, they are toxic to the fish.

A white rash on the body is a symptom of the parasitic disease of ichthyophthyriosis. Cause of infection: dirty feed, molluscs entering the reservoir from natural reservoirs. In the early stages, it is treatable, but it is better to immediately consult a specialist, since not all drugs are suitable for Botia.

Poisoning by water with the wrong chemical composition is not uncommon. Chlorine and ammonia are often present in tap water:

  • When intoxication with chlorine, the fish loses its brightness, mucus appears on the gills, the pet makes attempts to leave the reservoir. In this case, Macracanthus is urgently transplanted into fresh liquid, maximum aeration is turned on.
  • Ammonia poisoning occurs when a contaminated reservoir is present. The flock rises to the surface, gasping for air from the surface. The transplant is contraindicated, include additional biofilters, enhance aeration.
  • Oxygen deficiency can lead to the death of a pet. Occurs when there is a prolonged shortage of air in an overpopulated tank with a small amount of algae.

If skin is harmed, ulcers may appear. The disease is not contagious, but excruciating to the pet. The wounds are open and inflamed, antibiotics are used for treatment as prescribed by the ichthyologist. Botsia is being quarantined so that the neighbors do not bother her.

Interesting Facts Of Botia Clown

Unusual pets differ not only in size, color and difficult reproduction, but also in other features:

  • Clicking, which the fish makes, frightens not only small neighbors in the aquarium, but also people unfamiliar with such abilities of the pet.
  • Sometimes the fish shocks the breeder, falling asleep on its side or getting stuck in a gap, from the side it seems that the individual has died.
  • The Clown’s abdomen has suction cups that allow it to attach to driftwood and rocks.

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