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Re: clowns + plants

On Tue, 30 May 2000, Carmen Robinett wrote:

>Remember, it's all about the clowns!

If it's all about the clowns, then why bother with plants in the first

> Lesson:
> clowns learn their feeding regimen quickly and remeber it well.

At their morning feeding mine stick their snouts out of the water and
click lowdly, calling for their breakfast.  Demanding little buggers.

> Issue 2)  reflection on the plant-clown loach compatibility issue:

I never really noticed mine eating many veggies.  They do seem to resent
any broad-leafed plant and quickly poke holes through the leaves.  Newly
introduced plants are special targets; there appear to be fewer problems
with plants they're already accustomed too.

> When my loaches were smaller, they never had any impact on the
> Hygro.  Perhaps they couldn't inflict enough damage.  But why all of a
> sudden, like in the period of a week, did they get the idea to "eat" the
> stuff?

Sometimes I think they're subject to fads.

> 	As for the pl*co, he sadly passed.  And I began thinking about
> things.  First, I came to the realization that the pl*co had indeed
> starved.

The pleco may not have been much of a vegetarian to start with.

> I've had trouble finding a good sinking pellet,
> so I've settled on Tetra's Colorbits, intended for discus.  Others
> suggestion are welcome!)

I use the Colorbits.  They're fine.  I also tried using the sinking pellet
that Tetra sells.  I halved the pellets before dropping them in.  It took
a while before they recognized the pellets as food and then after that one
of my dear, 12-year old clowns died (after feeding became motionless, then
expired sometime over the next 10 hours without ever moving from the
spot).  I suspect the pellets caused its death, so I can't recommend them.

Also, feed your clowns snails.  A few years ago mine started losing
weight and developed some skin problems.  This went away after I started
dropping ramshorn snails into the tank.  These guys are voracious snail
predators and I concluded that they not only like snails, but over the
long term may actually need them in their diet.

> Issue 4)  what plants are compatible with clowns?

Anubias barteri nana work well.  I also have java fern and three varieties
of crypts in the tank.  They never messed with those but they tore up
H. corymbosa and a dwarf water lilie.  I think they'll tear up most
broad-leaved plants that aren't too tough for them.  Narrow-leaved plants
may be less subject to their wear and tear.

> Issue 5)  recent tetra die-off:

I've never noticed clown loaches to be aggressive to other fish.  I have a
"chinese" algae eater in the tank with them and they will chase the CAE,
but I think that's self-defense.  I have never kept tetras with mine, but
I did keep Rasbora heteromorpha with them that lived to be 5-7 years old
- pretty old for a small fish - so the clowns must have left them pretty

Roger Miller