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Re: Clowns and plants

Gitte was writing about her Clown Loaches and plants. Her thoughts regarding
using sword plants, which are usually strong and robust should work nicely -
Anubias and/or Java Ferns would also be appropriate, especially if they are
allowed some time in another tank to anchor well to a nice piece of
driftwood - just move the wood and attached plant into the tank with the
Clown Loaches. Java Ferns, when attached to a suitable piece of driftwood,
will grow into a monumental forest which offers perfect cover and foil for
loaches. In my experience with Loaches, and I have kept many species over
the years, is that any damage they may cause to plants is purely incidental.
They are generally shy when kept singly (kinda of cruel to keep them that
way) but gregarious and VERY social when kept in number (like 5 or more in
the same tank). They love to chase one another through the underbrush, root
through the gravel in search of tasty morsels, and they seem to play for
endless hours (when kept in quantity). I'd rather put up with the incidental
damage than banish them from my tanks. One tactic which has worked for me is
to place rocks which are too large for the loaches to dislodge around the
base of those plants I don't want disturbed. This can be done permanently or
only temporarily (until the plants have has a chance to set firm root into
the substrate).

I don't think I'd try to maintain a Riccia lawn in a tank containing Clown
Loaches though....

James Purchase