The Classic Case of the Elusive Clown Loaches!

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I have been playing the busy aquarium enthusiast for a while now, having set up a mighty big tank in my living room that holds around a hundred gallons of water and some delightful fishes. Having taken an immense liking to the African cichlids, I have also been doing some research on some compatible tank mates for the colorful, and yet notoriously aggressive fishes. Which was why, I wasn’t so sure if I should buy a pair of adorable clown loaches that I came across at the pet shop a few weeks back. I was also quite wary of their smaller size, and wasn’t sure if they would hold their own among the bigger, and much swifter cichlids.

A couple of hours later, I cautiously let them off in the tank and watched them swim right to the bottom, and squiggle right under the drift wood strategically placed at the center. These black and orange striped creatures are bottom dwellers, and were seen sniffing around at the gravel for a while, assuring themselves every now and then that the proximity to the drift wood was religiously maintained.

The next day, much to my dismay, I found that both the loaches had gone missing, and soon set myself to moving the wood and the rocks around a bit to see if they were hiding somewhere underneath. After an hour of close examination, when my frantic search yielded no results, I left it at that, and suspiciously eyed my Venus cichlid whose belly seemed a bit more bloated than usual.

Later that night, while Googling for loaches, I came across several instances where people reported their loaches having gone missing for days, and at times even weeks. They were also reported to have mysteriously emerged a few days later in most cases. My hopes having perked up, I kept scrutinizing the tank for a couple of days more, when on the third day, I saw one of them prancing gayly across the gravel, with the second one soon following suit. I could only mumble an apology as the Venus swam swiftly by, casting a contemptuous eye in my direction.

Ever since, they have disappeared for a few days only to reappear sooner or later, and I am yet to find where it is that they so conveniently manage to spend their time in hiding. These lovely fishes pretty much keep to their own, and are heedless of even the meanie Oscars passing by.  Nor are they too keen on being photographed.