Monster Clown Loach: Full Care Guide

Posted by Miles Harrison on 09/01/2022

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Ill-advised aquarists may think that the Clown Loach is similar in size to many of the different types of popular dwarf loaches in the aquarium hobby. Clown Loaches that are purchased and are 1-2" in size can grow into a loach that stretches 12" in length, earning the 'Monster' designation. Seeing one of these large Clown Loaches in person is truly a sight to see! In this post, we'll discuss their care requirements, diet, and even breeding!

Image of a Monster Clown Loach
Clown Loaches can reach up to 16 inches

What is a Monster Clown Loach?

A Monster Clown Loach is a Clown Loach that exceeds 12" in length. These fish are also referred to as tiger botia, or scientifically as Chromobotia macracanthus. This fish is native to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and is a popular fish for freshwater aquariums.

How big do Monster Clown Loaches get?

Clown Loaches that are considered “Monster” span from 12-16" in length. Only Clown Loaches that live in the wild have been known to reach 16". In captivity, it is more common to see a Monster Clown Loach of around 12".

Care Requirements

Monster Clown Loaches share the same care requirements as any other sized Clown Loach. These are active fish, and will school when kept in large groups. In the wild, these fish live in clear streams throughout the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. In an aquarium, you’ll want to re-create these conditions. You’ll want to provide an aquarium of at least 120 gallons, temperatures between 75°-85° and a pH level between 6-7.5. These fish prefer soft water, but can adapt to hard water conditions. The aquarium should be fully cycled, and Ammonia and Nitrite levels should be 0.

What do Monster Clown Loaches eat?

As bottom-dwellers, these fish will eat sinking shrimp pellets and algae wafers. They will also consume leftover fish food, as well as frozen foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp.

How often should I feed a Clown Loach?

Monster Clown Loaches should be fed at least once a day, but will appreciate twice-a-day feedings. As a bottom-dweller, you’ll want to make sure they have access to food along the substrate.


Monster Clown Loaches are a peaceful species, and an increase in size does not correlate to an increase in aggression. These fish will do great with many other peaceful aquarium species.

Clown Loach Breeding

Clown Loaches rarely breed in captivity, but it is possible to breed this species. If you’re fortunate enough to have a breeding pair, and can provide pristine water and live food such as baby brine shrimp for the fry, you have a small chance of successfully breeding this species. Raising the fry successfully is a challenging, yet rewarding endeavor.

How long till they can breed?

As a long-living fish, the Clown Loach isn’t considered to be sexually mature until they are at least 10 years of age. However, this is just an estimate, as this age varies depending on the provided water conditions.

Image of a Monster Clown Loach
Clown Loaches can live for up to 30 years
Image by Reptilarium

Are Monster Clown Loaches hard to care for?

Monster Clown Loaches are easy to care for, and share the same requirements as all other clown loaches. As long as aquarium water parameters remain stable, and an appropriate sized aquarium is provided, you will have success with this species.

How long do they live?

Monster Clown Loaches live very long lives, and have been known to live over 30 years in the wild. In captivity, these fish tend to average about 10 years.

Where can I buy a Monster Clown Loach?

When aquarists think of Clown Loaches, they often think of the small clown loaches seen at local fish stores. But these