What do kuhli loaches eat?

What do kuhli loaches eat?

Kuhli loaches are omnivores. In nature, they feed on small worms, insects, and larvae that occur in the soil. Loaches do not despise carrion and dead parts of living plants. So there will be no difficulty in feeding the fish in the aquarium. Kuhli loaches eat live mosquito larvae or tubifex or bloodworms, invertebrates are not even saved by the ability to dig themselves into the ground: fish will literally get them off the ground. Feeding live food, however, is associated with a number of serious dangers – you can easily bring an infection or parasite into the aquarium. Many aquarists feed kuhli loaches with frozen food, which is much safer than live food, but such feeding is not balanced. In fact, fish get nothing but a large amount of protein.

High-quality dry food, unlike the previous two, has a number of advantages: they are completely safe, balanced, convenient to use, and store. Kuhli loaches will eat any dry food, regardless of its shape, without any questions. Kuhli loaches will eat the slowly sinking Tetra Min flakes and the sinking Tetra Diskus pellets. The latter gives the fish additional brightness through natural color enhancers. If loaches live in a common aquarium, it is necessary to ensure that the food is not completely eaten by neighbors.

The most convenient form of food for kuhli loach is sinking tablets, for example, Tetra Wafer Mix. They quickly sink to the ground and are available for eating for a long time. It is recommended to feed the weeds at night after turning off the light. And at this time they show the maximum activity.

The diet of these fish should consist of 20% plant food so that you can additionally feed them with food with a high content of spirulina. You can use TetraPro algae crisps or Tetra Pleco spirulina wafer tablets.

Kuhli loaches-excellent aquarium visitors: they collect the food waste from below and do not let it decompose. They will also not leave the dead parts of the living plants without attention. Sometimes kuhli loaches can eat small snails.

So it is not a difficult task to provide loach with a full-fledged diet in the aquarium. It is enough to feed the fish once a day, in the evening. It is not necessary to avoid overfeeding, as fish are obese. For the same reason, it will be useful to arrange fish one day of discharge per week.

Kuhli Loach Care Guide - Aquarium Co-Op


The historical homeland of kuhli loaches is Southeast Asia: they are widespread on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Java. They live in the waters of Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. Some species are found in India.

Kuhli loaches do not like strong currents, so they prefer slow-flowing rivers and streams with a muddy bottom, dotted with a thick layer of fallen leaves.

The types of kuhli loach

The genus Pangio is the most specific in the Loach family. A variety of species has not yet been fully described by scientists. New types are regularly discovered. In the aquarium, two species of kuhli loaches are most often found: Kuhl and Myers.

Pangio kuhlii

It lives in the waters of Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. The body is yellow-orange, black-brown stripes cover it only near the head and then do not reach the lower part. Often there is a bifurcation of the ligaments in the middle of the body. It is better to keep herds of 3 individuals with which you can fully reveal the characteristics of behavior. Fish like to hunt, relax on the leaves of plants. If the content is needed to carefully monitor the water parameters.

Pangio myersi

Its natural habitat includes slow-flowing rivers in Thailand. The size in the aquarium is up to 9 cm. The body is reddish-yellow, the number of stripes reaches 10-14 pieces. Unlike Kuhli loach, the stripes are regular, black, and completely encircle the body. Twilight fish does not like bright light. Most of the time he hides in shelters.

Care and maintenance

Kuhli loaches are very mobile fish, so it is best to keep them in spacious Aquariums of 50 liters. You need a cover or cover glass as the fish may accidentally jump. As a soil, you can use sand, because kuhli loach likes to dig into it and look for food to eat. During the day, fish prefers to hide in shelters, so it is desirable to place hooks, grottos, and rhizomes in the aquarium. It is very important to provide clean water and stable environmental parameters for which it is important to organize effective filtration and ventilation. The current should not be strong. Since loaches are twilight fish, bright lighting will be inappropriate, they will feel more comfortable under diffuse, subdued light. Once a week it is necessary to replace the water (25-30% of the aquarium volume), carefully monitoring that the fish are not accidentally sucked in by the water flow when cleaning the soil.

Optimum water values for the contents: T = 24-28°C, pH = 6.0-7.5, GH = 5-10.

The aquarium can be planted undemanding to cover plants: Waterweeds, Ceratophyllum, Vallisneria. On the surface of the aquarium, you should place pistia or riccia-you will shade it from bright light.


Acanthophthalmus-very peaceful fish and get along well with most quiet species in the general aquarium. Great neighbors are – tetras, Danio, Seluang fish, guppies, neon, angelfish, Cory catfish. There are no conflicts with their relatives, they live well in groups. Kuhli loach can be safely planted in an aquarium with shrimp, these fish will not harm crustaceans.

But there are also a number of fish with which cohabitation is not recommended. Above all, it is a large cichlid (Aequidens, Oscar fish, Firemouth cichlid) – these clever predators will probably try to eat lively “worms”. Goldfish, are fans of digging on the ground and can devour a kuhli loach in the process. Territorial bottom fish (like Labeo) also can also harm loaches.

Kuhli loach feeding frenzy

Kuhli loach

The fish lives in the waters of the Islands of Java and Sumatra.

The length of its elongated snake-like body reaches 15 cm, the color is light yellow and 15-19 dark brown transverse stripes run along the body. The mouth of these fish is lower, adapted to the lower type of feeding.

The fish is quiet, demersal fish. It is mainly active at night, during the day it hides in a secret place, and sometimes it is buried in the ground, so it is necessary to use sand as soil.

Omnivorous. Kuhli loaches eat especially sludge worm, can be found in the ground. Winds breathe through the intestines and skin. Like all fish, they react to changes in air pressure and are very restless before the rain.

Easily jumps out of the aquarium, so it should be with a lid. The aquarium should be long. Water temperature: 22-28 ° C water parameters-pH 6.0-7.5, and soft and medium hardness.


In a sterile aquarium with a capacity of 50 liters, water with a hardness of 6.5-6.8°, PH equal to 5-6. The water temperature is 27-28°C. small-leaved plants such as Cabomba, Limnophila, Riccia are planted in the spawning area and filters must be installed.

Long-term observations showed that in some cases spawning occurred the next morning after a few kuhli loach producers had landed in the spawning area, in others it was delayed by up to 10 days. Sometimes it was not possible to achieve spawning from seemingly full-fledged producers. It was possible to explain the fact of spawning, only the strong weight loss of the female abdomen because the caviar disappeared without a trace.
Food for adult fish in the spawning area should only be if spawning has been delayed for more than three days.

For the stable production of offspring, many fishkeepers use the method of hormonal stimulation of spawning with the gonadotropic drug choriogonin. Each female needs 90-120 ME of the drug dissolved in 0.5 ml of methanol. Pre-sterilized (cooked for one hour) syringes with a volume of 1 cube and sharp needles for single injections are used for injection.

The fish is caught and placed in a flannel flap and holds head and tail carefully. The drug is slowly injected intramuscularly into the middle of the back. After injection, the fish is allowed to spawn.

Spawning usually occurs the day after injection in the morning. Caviar (small, light green) of fish is swept at the surface of the water and then gradually sinks to the bottom. If the caviar is not collected, the “parents” will eat it. Therefore, fish should be deposited immediately after spawning and carefully decant the remaining eggs of the female.

The eggs are laid in an incubator. Trypaflavin solution is used to decontaminate the water in the incubator. Tripaflavin is added until the color of the water is so intense that the caviar in it becomes barely distinguishable. After one day the larvae have hatched. After another four days, the fry begins to swim, and at this time they must receive sterile food from rotifers, infusoria. On the second day of feeding, the roasts are transferred to “living dust”, a week later Artemia is added to your diet. Fry, like adult fish, behave peacefully with an abundance of food so that they can not sit.

Aquarium for kuhli loach

This species aquarium won’t take up much space in the house, would have a volume of 40-50 liters.

Population – Twilight active fish kuhli loach. These fish like to dig into the ground, so it should be loose, soft, sandy, with the addition of cooked peat crumbs. Since most of the time fish spend in shelters, it is necessary to put hooks on the bottom of the reservoir, make mazes, and plant plants with relatively strong roots. Grow well in these aquariums Cryptocoryne.

Water for the aquarium should have a hardness of 5-6°, pH = 6.5, its temperature is 22-25°C. Fish like old water. The lighting is diffuse, overhead. The content of this type of fish is not difficult.