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The clown loach, Chromobotia macracanthus, is a tropical freshwater fish belonging to the Cobitidae (loach) family. There has been active taxonomic reorganization of this group; in a 2004 revision it was placed as the sole member of the Chromobotia genus. Before this it was named Botia macracanthus and its original name (until 1989) was Cobitis macracanthus. The clown loach originates in clear inland waters and flood plains on the Maylay peninsula of Indonesia and on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It is an omnivorous bottom feeder, eating small invertebrates and some plant matter. Brightly colored and patterned and showing interesting behaviors, clown loaches are active during the day and as benign and gregarious fish, so are popular worldwide in the freshwater aquarium trade. They are usually sold in juvenile stage of 4-5cm, however clown loaches grow to a typical size of 18-26cm, can live 10-20 years, and do best when in a group of at least five others, so these fish require a lot of space in well-kept aquaria.

(Thoene 2007; Wikipedia 2012)

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