Clown Loach Eating Other Fish: What to Do Now?

If your clown loach is eating other fish in the aquarium, then what should you do? And do Clown Loaches eat other fish really?

To address the issue of clown loaches eating other fish in your aquarium, it’s essential to understand their eating habits and natural behaviors. Clown loaches are known to be opportunistic feeders and can sometimes display aggressive behavior, especially if they feel threatened or are not getting enough food. 

In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the clown loaches eating other fish and how to stop them.

clown loach eating other fish

Do Clown Loaches Eat Other Fish?

Yes, clown loaches can occasionally eat other fish in the aquarium, but this behavior is not typical for them under normal circumstances.

They are more focused on scavenging for food at the bottom of the tank, searching for small crustaceans, insects, and other invertebrates, which is their primary diet in the wild.

However, there are instances where clown loaches may display aggressive behavior towards smaller tank mates, leading to the consumption of other fish. There are several factors that can contribute to this behavior.

One of the main reasons is a lack of proper nutrition. If clown loaches are not provided with a balanced and varied diet, they may become more opportunistic feeders and turn to smaller fish as a food source during feeding times.

Will Clown Loach Eat Small Fish?

Clown loaches have a tendency to eat small fish, especially if they are hungry or feel threatened.

While they are generally peaceful and sociable, their opportunistic nature can lead them to consume smaller tank mates, particularly during feeding times. If they are not provided with enough food or if their diet lacks variety, they may resort to targeting smaller fish as an alternative food source.

It’s essential to recognize that this behavior is not aggressive in nature; rather, it is driven by their instinct to forage for food opportunistically. However, this can be problematic for fishkeepers who wish to maintain a harmonious community tank with a diverse mix of fish species.

Fishes that Clown Loach Can Eat

Clown loaches, being opportunistic feeders, may eat smaller fish in the aquarium if given the chance. It’s essential to choose compatible tank mates to avoid any issues. 

Here are some fish that can be at risk of being eaten by clown loaches:

  • Neon Tetras: Small and colorful, neon tetras can be tempting targets for clown loaches.
  • Guppies: Guppies are known for their vibrant colors and active behavior, which can attract the attention of clown loaches.
  • Endler’s Livebearers: Similar to guppies, Endler’s Livebearers are small and have striking patterns that might catch the loaches’ interest.
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows: These small, peaceful fish can become prey for clown loaches.
  • Celestial Pearl Danios: Also known as Galaxy Rasboras, these tiny fish are eye-catching and may be at risk.

By carefully selecting compatible tank mates and creating a suitable environment, you can ensure that all the fish in your aquarium can coexist peacefully, allowing you to enjoy a vibrant and harmonious aquatic community.

Why Clown Loaches Eat Other Fish?

Clown loaches have a natural instinct for opportunistic feeding, which can lead them to eat other fish in the aquarium. Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can help fishkeepers take appropriate measures to prevent such incidents.

Reasons Why Clown Loaches Eat Other Fish:

  1. Opportunistic Feeding: In the wild, clown loaches are scavengers and opportunistic feeders. They search for various food sources, including small crustaceans, insects, and other invertebrates. In the confined space of an aquarium, if they are not provided with enough food, they may resort to consuming smaller tank mates as an alternative food source.
  2. Insufficient Diet: If the diet of clown loaches lacks variety and proper nutrition, they may become more prone to eating other fish. Providing them with a well-balanced diet that includes sinking pellets, wafers, and occasional live or frozen foods can help satisfy their nutritional needs and reduce their tendency to prey on other fish.
  3. Stress and Territoriality: Clown loaches can become stressed or territorial in overcrowded or poorly structured aquariums. If they feel threatened or uncomfortable, they might exhibit aggressive behavior towards other fish, including consuming them. Ensuring a spacious and well-structured tank with hiding spots and territories can help reduce stress and minimize territorial disputes.
  4. Shoaling Behavior: Clown loaches are shoaling fish, meaning they prefer to live in groups. When kept in small groups, they might direct their aggression toward other tank mates, especially smaller fish. Maintaining them in larger groups can mitigate this behavior as they will be more focused on their own kind.

The eating behavior of clown loaches is not that much you should be worried about. In the following paragraph, you will discover how to stop them from eating small fish.

How To Stop Clown Loaches Eating Other Fish?

Stopping Clown Loach to eat other fish is not that much hard. You have to maintain some basics to get away from the issue properly. What are they actually?

  • Choose Compatible Tank Mates:

Selecting tank mates that are closer in size to clown loaches can reduce the risk of predation. Opt for larger fish that can hold their own and are less likely to be seen as potential prey.

  • Provide a Balanced Diet:

Ensure that clown loaches are well-fed with a varied and nutritious diet. Offer sinking pellets, wafers, and occasional live or frozen foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp to meet their dietary needs and reduce the urge to target other fish for food.

  • Create Hiding Spots and Cover:

Clown loaches are more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior if they feel stressed or threatened. Provide plenty of hiding places with plants, rocks, and decorations to give smaller fish a refuge and minimize stress-induced aggression.

  • Maintain Proper Tank Structure:

An overcrowded or poorly structured aquarium can lead to territorial disputes among fish. Avoid overstocking and create ample swimming space for each fish to reduce competition and aggression.

  • Keep Them in Groups:

Clown loaches are shoaling fish, and they thrive when kept in groups of three or more individuals. Being in a larger group can keep them focused on their own kind, decreasing the likelihood of them targeting other fish.

By following these steps and providing a suitable environment for your clown loaches and their tank mates, you can promote a peaceful and thriving aquarium community where all the fish can coexist happily.


Addressing the issue of clown loaches eating other fish in the aquarium can sometimes happen. These fascinating and colorful freshwater fish are known for their playful personalities and are generally peaceful by nature, not for eating other fishes.

If you are facing such issues for the first time, go through the guideline I have provided in the article. Hopefully, you can cut off from such eating behavior of Clown Loaches and never will discover again!

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