Can Clown Loaches Live with Discus?

Yes, Clown Loaches and Discus can live together in the same aquarium, as long as certain conditions are met properly.

When it comes to creating a friendly community tank, combining Clown Loaches and Discus can be a delightful choice. Both species have their unique characteristics and care requirements, but with proper consideration, they can live together peacefully.

However, there are a few essential factors to consider to ensure the happy living for both species in the same environment.


Reasons to Keep Clown Loach with Discus?

Keeping Clown Loaches with Discus in the same aquarium can be a rewarding experience, combining the playful nature of Clown Loaches with the graceful elegance of Discus.

While careful consideration is necessary to meet the specific needs of both species. Still, there are several compelling reasons why these fish can thrive together.

  1. Complementary Tank Behavior: Clown Loaches and Discus have contrasting yet complementary behaviors in the aquarium. Clown Loaches are known for their playful and active nature, often darting around the tank and exploring every nook and cranny. On the other hand, Discus are more serene and tend to glide gracefully through the water. This stark difference in behavior creates an intriguing dynamic and adds visual interest to the tank.
  1. Natural Environment Simulation: Clown Loaches and Discus originate from similar environments in the wild, particularly the rivers and streams of Southeast Asia. By housing them together, you can replicate their natural habitat to a certain extent. The presence of Clown Loaches mimics the presence of bottom-dwelling fish in the wild, which can have a soothing effect on Discus and make them feel more at home.
  1. Algae Control: Clown Loaches are renowned for their appetite for algae. They eagerly consume various types of algae, including green spot algae and brown algae, which can sometimes become problematic in aquariums. Having Clown Loaches in the same tank as Discus can help to keep algae growth under control, ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for both species.
  1. Increased Activity and Interest: Mixing Clown Loaches with Discus adds a dynamic element to the aquarium, making it more visually appealing and captivating to observe. The Clown Loaches’ playful antics and energetic nature can encourage Discus to become more active. This can provide entertainment for fishkeepers and create a visually stunning photos & video captures.
  1. Species Compatibility: While it’s essential to consider the specific needs and temperaments of individual fish, Clown Loaches and Discus generally exhibit good compatibility when kept together. Both species are relatively peaceful and non-aggressive, reducing the likelihood of territorial disputes or fin-nipping. However, it’s crucial to provide ample space, hiding spots, and appropriate tank conditions to minimize stress and promote harmonious coexistence.
  1. Social Interaction: Clown Loaches are highly social fish and prefer to live in groups. By introducing them to a tank with Discus, you create an opportunity for social interaction and companionship. Clown Loaches will engage in playful behavior with each other and may even form a hierarchy within their group. This adds a lively and dynamic element to the tank, enhancing the overall ambiance and visual appeal.
  1. Disease Detection and Prevention: Clown Loaches are known to be sensitive to water quality and can be an early indicator of potential issues in the tank. Their behavior changes or physical symptoms can alert you to problems such as poor water conditions, high ammonia levels, or the presence of diseases. By keeping Clown Loaches alongside Discus, you can benefit from their sensitivity and take prompt action to maintain a healthy environment for all the fish.
  1. Educational and Aesthetic Value: Mixing Clown Loaches with Discus offers an opportunity for fish enthusiasts to observe and learn about two unique species in one tank. The contrasting appearances and behaviors of Clown Loaches and Discus create a visually captivating display, which can serve as a source of inspiration and enjoyment. Additionally, witnessing the natural interactions between these fish can deepen your understanding of their natural habitats and behaviors.

Remember, successful cohabitation of Clown Loaches and Discus requires careful attention to water parameters, tank size, and appropriate tank mates. Shortly I will discuss all of them one by one.

Clown Loach and Discus: Tank Size & Quantity Calculation

When planning to keep Clown Loaches and Discus together, it is essential to consider the appropriate tank size and the suitable quantity of fish to ensure their well-being and comfort.

The following table provides a guideline for tank size and fish quantity based on the adult size of each species:

Fish SpeciesAdult SizeRecommended Tank SizeRecommended Quantity
Clown Loach12 inches75 gallons3-4 individuals
Discus8-10 inches55 gallons4-6 individuals

Tank Size Calculation:

To accommodate both Clown Loaches and Discus, it is recommended to have a minimum tank size of 75 gallons. This ensures sufficient swimming space and territory for the active Clown Loaches while providing ample room for the graceful movements of Discus.

Note: Larger tank size is always beneficial, as it helps maintain water quality and reduces the chances of territorial disputes.

Fish Quantity Calculation:

Considering the adult size and social nature of Clown Loaches, it is recommended to keep them in a group of 3-4 individuals. This allows them to establish a hierarchy and engage in their natural social behaviors.

In terms of Discus, it is advised to keep a group of 4-6 individuals to minimize stress and aggression within the species.

By following these recommendations for tank size and fish quantity, you can create a suitable environment for both Clown Loaches and Discus, allowing them to thrive and display their natural behaviors.

What Temperature Do Clown Loaches and Discus Need?

Clown Loaches and Discus have different temperature preferences due to their natural habitats. The recommended temperature range for each species is as follows:

Clown Loaches:

Clown Loaches prefer slightly cooler water compared to Discus. The ideal temperature range for Clown Loaches is between 75-82°F (24-28°C). Keeping the water temperature within this range provides a comfortable environment for Clown Loaches, allowing them to thrive and exhibit their active and playful behavior.


Discus thrive in warmer water conditions due to their origin in the Amazon River basin. The ideal temperature range for Discus is slightly higher, typically between 82-86°F (28-30°C). Maintaining a stable temperature within this range is crucial for the health of Discus. As it mimics their natural habitat and supports their metabolic processes.

Temperature When Keeping Discus with Clown Loach

When keeping Clown Loaches and Discus together in the same aquarium, it’s recommended to find a middle ground within the temperature ranges suitable for both species. A temperature range of around 82°F (28°C) often works well as it provides a comfortable compromise for both Clown Loaches and Discus.

However, it’s crucial to carefully observe the behavior in terms of temperature to keep them healthier in the long run.

Perfect pH Level for Clown Loach with Discus

Determining the ideal pH level when keeping Clown Loaches and Discus together requires considering the natural preferences of each species.

Here’s a table outlining the recommended pH levels for these fish:

Fish SpeciesRecommended pH Range
Clown Loach6.5-7.5

Table Explanation:

Maintaining suitable pH levels is crucial for the overall health and well-being of both Clown Loaches and Discus. Although they have slightly different pH preferences, it’s possible to find a range that can accommodate both species.

For Clown Loaches, a pH range of 6.5-7.5 is recommended. This range provides a slightly acidic to neutral environment, which closely resembles their natural habitats.

Discus, on the other hand, favor water that is a little more acidic. The pH range that is ideal for Discus and enables them to develop properly is 6.0-7.0. Maintaining stable pH levels within this range helps support their overall health and vitality.

To create an environment that accommodates both Clown Loaches and Discus, it’s often recommended to aim for a pH level of around 6.5-7.0. This range provides a reasonable compromise and allows both species to thrive. Regular monitoring of pH levels, along with proper water maintenance and testing, will help ensure a stable and suitable pH environment for both Clown Loaches and Discus.

Can Clown Loach and Discus Eat the Same Food?

While Clown Loaches and Discus have different dietary preferences, there is some overlap in the types of food they can consume. It’s important to provide a healthy diet that meets the nutritional needs.

Here are some common food options that can be suitable for both Clown Loaches and Discus:

High-Quality Pellets: Both Clown Loaches and Discus can be fed high-quality pellet foods specifically formulated for their respective species. Look for pellets that are nutritionally balanced, easily digestible, and contain essential nutrients.

Frozen or Live Foods: Both Clown Loaches and Discus enjoy live or frozen foods, such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia, and tubifex worms. These foods provide essential proteins and help mimic their natural diet.

Vegetable Matter: Clown Loaches are omnivorous and will consume some vegetable matter. You can offer blanched or boiled vegetables like zucchini, spinach, and peas. Discus may not be as interested in vegetable matter, but some individuals may nibble on it occasionally.

Flake Foods: While not their primary diet, both Clown Loaches and Discus can consume high-quality flake foods. Look for flakes that are specifically formulated for tropical fish and provide a balanced nutritional profile.

Supplementary Foods: To enhance their diet and provide additional nutrients, you can occasionally offer supplementary foods like freeze-dried or freeze-dried foods. These can include items like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

Discus may require a higher protein content in their diet, while Clown Loaches benefit from a more varied and omnivorous diet. Feeding frequency and portion sizes should also be adjusted to avoid overfeeding and maintain good water quality.

Things to Maintain While Keeping Clown Loach with Discus

When keeping Clown Loaches and Discus together in the same aquarium, there are several important considerations and actions that must be followed.

Here are the key points to keep in mind:

Tank Size and Setup:

  • Provide a spacious tank with a minimum size of 75 gallons to accommodate the active nature of Clown Loaches and the swimming needs of Discus.
  • Create enough hiding spots and caves using driftwood, rocks, or PVC pipes to provide territories and security for both species.
  • Include live plants to enhance the aesthetics and provide additional hiding places for the fish.

Water Parameters:

  • Maintain appropriate water parameters for both Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Aim for a pH range of 6.0-7.5, which suits both species. Regularly test and monitor the pH level to ensure stability.
  • Keep the water temperature between 75-86°F (24-30°C) to accommodate both Clown Loaches and Discus. Use a reliable heater to maintain a consistent temperature.

Diet and Feeding:

  • Provide a varied diet that meets the nutritional needs of both Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Feed high-quality pellets formulated specifically for each species. Look for options that provide balanced nutrition and support optimal growth.
  • Offer live or frozen foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia to provide essential proteins and mimic their natural diet.
  • Occasionally offer blanched vegetables like zucchini and peas for Clown Loaches, and observe if Discus shows any interest in vegetable matter.

Tank Mates:

  • Choose compatible tank mates that share similar water parameters and temperament with Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Avoid aggressive or nippy fish species that can stress or harass the Clown Loaches or Discus.
  • Research and select peaceful tank mates such as tetras, rasboras, or peaceful bottom-dwelling species that can coexist harmoniously.

Observation and Monitoring:

  • Regularly observe the behavior, appetite, and overall health of both Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Try to find any signs of stress, aggression, or health issues such as loss of appetite, abnormal swimming behavior, or physical abnormalities.
  • Take immediate action if any issues are detected, such as adjusting water parameters, addressing water quality concerns, or seeking veterinary assistance if necessary.

Regular Maintenance:

  • Perform regular water changes to maintain optimal water quality and remove accumulated waste.
  • Clean the tank and filter regularly to prevent the buildup of debris and maintain a healthy environment.
  • Test water parameters periodically, including pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels, to ensure they remain within acceptable ranges for both species.

By following these guidelines and considering you can have better compatibility with Clown Loaches and Discus. All of those surely gonna create a harmonious and thriving environment for both species.

Things to Avoid While Keeping Clown Loach and Discus Together

To ensure the successful cohabitation of Clown Loaches and Discus in the same aquarium, there are certain things to avoid. Here are the key points to consider:

Aggressive Tankmates:

  • Avoid keeping aggressive or nippy fish species with Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Aggressive tank mates can cause stress, harass, or even harm the more peaceful Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Research and choose compatible tank mates that share similar temperament and water parameter requirements.


  • Avoid overcrowding the tank, as it can lead to increased aggression and stress among the fish.
  • Provide ample swimming space and territories by selecting an adequately sized tank and limiting the number of fish.
  • Follow recommended stocking guidelines to ensure the well-being of both Clown Loaches and Discus.

Poor Water Quality:

  • Avoid neglecting water quality maintenance, as poor water conditions can lead to stress and health problems.
  • Regularly monitor water parameters such as pH, temperature, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels.
  • Perform regular water changes and ensure efficient filtration to maintain optimal water quality.

Drastic Changes in Water Parameters:

  • Avoid sudden and significant changes in water parameters, such as pH, temperature, or hardness.
  • Rapid fluctuations can cause stress and compromise the health of both Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • When necessary to adjust water parameters, do so gradually over a period of time to minimize stress.

Inadequate Hiding Places:

  • Avoid insufficient hiding spots and territories for the fish.
  • Provide suitable caves, driftwood, rocks, and plants to create hiding places and territories.
  • Hiding spots help reduce stress and provide a sense of security for both Clown Loaches and Discus.

Improper Feeding:

  • Avoid feeding an unbalanced or inappropriate diet.
  • Provide a varied and nutritious diet that meets the specific nutritional needs of both Clown Loaches and Discus.
  • Avoid overfeeding, as excess food can lead to poor water quality and health issues.

Disease and Quarantine:

  • Avoid introducing new fish into the tank without proper quarantine procedures.
  • Quarantine new fish to minimize the risk of introducing diseases or parasites to the existing tank inhabitants.
  • Monitor the health of all fish regularly and take immediate action if any signs of illness are observed.

By being mindful of these points and taking appropriate measures, you can create a peaceful environment for both Clown Loaches and Discus. Paying attention to tank mates, water quality, feeding, and disease prevention will play a key role here.

Will Clown Loach & Discuss Kill Each Other?

Clown Loaches and Discus are generally peaceful fish, and it is unlikely for them to intentionally harm or kill each other.

However, under certain circumstances, aggression or conflict can arise between these two species. Factors such as territory disputes, differences in size or maturity, inadequate tank size, overcrowding, and the presence of aggressive tank mates can contribute to aggressive behavior.

It is always recommended to observe the fish closely and take necessary action if signs of aggression or stress are observed, such as providing additional hiding spots or separating individuals if needed.

Clown Loach vs Discus: Who Is More Aggressive?

When comparing aggression levels between Clown Loaches and Discus, it is important to understand that both species are generally peaceful and not inherently aggressive.

In general, Clown Loaches tend to be more active and playful, displaying occasional territorial behavior as they establish their own space within the tank. They may show assertiveness towards smaller or weaker tank mates. 

On the other hand, Discus are known for their calm and gentle temperament, preferring a peaceful environment. They are less likely to display aggression, except during breeding or spawning periods when they may become more territorial and protective of their nesting sites.

It is crucial to create a suitable environment with ample hiding spots, territories, and compatible tank mates for both species to minimize any potential aggression.

FAQs & Answers

Can I Keep Clown Loach with Discus?

Yes, you can keep Clown Loaches with Discus in the same aquarium. Both species’ behavior, food habits, technical needs, and others are almost 90% similar.

Are Clown Loaches Compatible with Discus?

Yes, Clown Loaches are generally compatible with Discus.

Can I Have Clown Loach in a Discus Tank?

Yes, you can have Clown Loaches in a Discus tank. As they are highly suitable to share the same tank as perfect tank mates.

Can I Add Freshwater Clown Loach Into My Discus Tank?

Yes, you can add freshwater Clown Loach into your Discus tank. They will keep their friendship without hurting themselves.

Can Male Clown Loaches Live With Female Discus?

Yes, male Clown Loaches can generally live with female Discus in the same aquarium.

Can Female Clown Loaches Live With Male Discus?

Yes, female Clown Loaches can live with male Discus in the same aquarium.


After thoroughly discussing the topic of whether Clown Loaches can live with Discus, it is evident that these two species can indeed coexist in the same aquarium.

By following the guidelines and recommendations discussed throughout this article, such as providing a spacious tank, maintaining suitable water parameters, selecting compatible tank mates, and closely monitoring their behavior, aquarists can successfully keep Clown Loaches and Discus in the same tank.

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