How tall PVC pipe cave for clown Loaches?

Cardeater

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I saw my big alpha Loach scratched herself trying to squeeze into this old decorated cave so I'm taking it out and replacing it with one of those PVC T things.

What diameter would you get? I have one in there but not sure what size it is.

I'd estimate my biggest Loach is 8-10" and has good height as she's 20 years old.

Quick pic I could find. One next to her is probably 4-5" old Loach ive had for a year.

Should I make sure pipe is big enough that 12" hypostomus won't have a possibility of getting stuck?

Thanks for your input

MVIMG_20190110_225159.jpg
 

piranhaman00

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20 years old?! Thats amazing!
 

Cardeater

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20 years old?! Thats amazing!
Thanks. I had three but sadly one jumped out of the tank last July and i didn't notice till it was too late. The remaining male is a lot smaller.

There is a poster here and on several other forums with the name "redshark1" or something similar with 23 or 24 year old (maybe older) clown Loaches. He has five of them i think.
 

Coryloach

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Congrats on your long lived loach! Some achievement I may never live to.

What diameter would you get? I have one in there but not sure what size it is.
In terms of how big of a pvc pipe, see mine below. The bigger, the better, it is a misconception they need tight places. They need dark places with two exits, around which they like hanging around and even sleep around flat side up nearby.

Your old girl is gonna love something of the sort I bet.

 

Cardeater

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I stopped at the store before I saw Cory's reply as I had a water change scheduled for today and wanted to get that cave out.

I hope my Loaches also don't mind a large cave as I ended up with a big one.

I had 4 inch end openings in a "t" with 3" on the front. She fits in there but I wanted bigger. There were no 5" ones at store so I ended up with this 6" diameter pipe. I had to take some rocks out as there was not enough room on the bottom. My slender piece of driftwood finally broke so I removed the broken pieces as well.

I measured the cave I took out. The opening was only 2.5" and she hand to turn diagonal to get in and out. When I was lifting it up I really saw how snug it was getting in there so I'm glad I got rid of the original cave.
 
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Cardeater

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So far she keeps trying to use this cave that the pleco also likes. She used the 4" pipe before so I expect I'll see her in there as well. That's the pipe on the right in the second pic. On the left is the new pipe.

MVIMG_20190509_204815.jpgMVIMG_20190509_204731.jpg

Below is all the stuff I just took out of the tank to put the new pipe in.
MVIMG_20190509_205235.jpg
 

Cardeater

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Congrats on your long lived loach! Some achievement I may never live to.



In terms of how big of a pvc pipe, see mine below. The bigger, the better, it is a misconception they need tight places. They need dark places with two exits, around which they like hanging around and even sleep around flat side up nearby.
This bit about it being dark gave me a good idea. I moved my light over to the left side of the tank. It was closer to the right when I had this cave on the left side that I since flipped over as the pleco and clown Loaches were constantly battling over (not fighting like cichlids but pleco would keep trying to go in and would push the Loaches out.

Now it's darker by the pvc caves so I hope that makes them more appealing to the Loaches.
 
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Coryloach

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Nice!! I am sure she's glad :) Loaches are smart...give her some time to adapt and feel safe going in and being around the new "Home"....it may take weeks...One of mine carried her cave she couldn't fit in anymore for weeks. She kept trying getting in but she could not comfortably fit in...bad fish keeper....Smart fish :)
 
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Coryloach

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not fighting like cichlids but pleco would keep trying to go in and would push the Loaches out.
What type of pleco?

I had my clowns with a common plec. It's a different topic altogether but he was the most gentle, personal giant of a fish I ever had, and I loved, until I accidentally killed him.

But what you're describing above sounds more like a bushy nose/bristle nose or similar. They are feisty.....I've had one of them for years. He is ruling my clowns. They don't touch him...They tried................
 

Cardeater

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What type of pleco?

I had my clowns with a common plec. It's a different topic altogether but he was the most gentle, personal giant of a fish I ever had, and I loved, until I accidentally killed him.

But what you're describing above sounds more like a bushy nose/bristle nose or similar. They are feisty.....I've had one of them for years. He is ruling my clowns. They don't touch him...They tried................
I posted a pic on planet catfish last year and someone identified it as a hypostomus pleco. It makes sense as apparently they used to sell those more in the past whearas now I think they sell Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps or similar as "plecos" at the store.

Of course I didn't know when I bought him that they get huge: like many I bought him as an algae eater. Fortunately he only got to 12" and isn't the 22" kind. I've had him for around as long as the clown Loaches.

When I neglected the tank for years, there wasn't any conflict. They used to share the one log cave as I have pics of Mama Loach half in and the pleco half in and they'd just lay there.

The pleco bothers mama Loach (what I call the big alpha Loach) usually when the light is on and she gets too close or he wants to go in that cave. When the lights are off (lights go on at 330pm so if I look at tank in morning I'll see her out), she usually can swim by the pleco without him bothering her.

He ignores the smaller Loaches for the most part. Sometimes if there's an algae wafer by him, he'll chase the clown Loaches away from him but often he won't bother them at all even with food near him.

Pleco just seems territorial with Mama Loach especially. He won't chase her to the other side of the tank. If she leaves the cave he likes or leaves his area that he's in, he won't chase her any farther.

With the cave I ultimately flipped over (which looks like a boat now and both the pleco and the little clowns can be found laying in it throughout the day) Mama loach used to not want to.move. the pleco would just physically push her with his nose until she was pushed out of the cave.

Ultimately I think a bigger tank will solve this as there will be more space and caves and she'll have room to be active without getting near the pleco at all.

My mother really likes that pleco and named him "A-rod". I think she likes him bc she used to feed him zucchini years ago when I was away at college and when I'd go away on trips (I stopped feeding zucchini bc it makes too much of mess in my opinion). I won't get rid of him bc though he annoys me at times, I have had him a long time.

Edit:
I've seen a smaller clown Loach and panda garra sit on top of the pleco and the pleco just ignore them. I've seen panda garra rasp on a wafer near him and he doesn't react. It definitely seems to be triggered by Mama Loach's size.
 
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