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The Clown's Hiding Place

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I had just recently bought two Clown Loaches and four Convict Cichlids. Unfortunately the large Convict male and both of the Clowns managed to get the stress related white-spot illness. I scooped them out from my 250 litre aquarium and placed them in my small 40 litre aquarium for treatment. In this aquarium there is a small root in which to hide under, along with a small pump/filter constantly running for water filtration (without the filter as I was treating the fish). One late night I came home and could only see one of the Clowns. I looked closer and noticed that both had cuddled up along the filter, but the filter had fallen off the glass, and was lying horizontally. I turned of the power switch. The power cable comes from the back of the filter, and next to it there is a tiny hole. You guess right, one of the Clowns decided to head for that hole (which was much smaller than him), but the little bugger managed to squeeze halfway in. Quite distressed, I tried to pull its tail carefully to get it out of the filter. Amazingly, it managed to wriggle itself all the way in - and whoops, I could no longer see the clown. There was no way I could pick the filter apart, after all the hole was just for the powercable to connect to the rest of the filter. What next, I thought? I figured the fish would be dead by then, because it was quite weak from the illness after all. The trick, my fellow friends, is a Q-tip! I got one from the bathroom, poking carefully in the tiny hole and managed to get a small part of its tail out. Showing no mercy I pulled rather hard this time, and after a couple of minutes of pulling I had a wriggling Clown in my hand. The story has a happy ending - the Clown recovered from the illness, only with one sign of the event, its head is almost black. I don't know if it has brain damage, but it is the only one who dares to enter the territory of my Convict Cichlids, otherwise it is just fine. After this incident I find the name "Clown Loach" very appropriate. They bring the circus right in your living room!

Contributed by Harald Venes

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L