Black Kuhli Loach
The Fish Room TFR

Black Kuhli Loach

Free Gift
Regular price $11.99


Black Kuhli Loach

Pangio javanicus


Native Location: Java, Indonesia, Sumatra, Borneo

Climate: Tropical

Size: 8cm

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore 

Breeding: unknown

Temperature Range: 21-26℃ (70-79℉)

Preferred pH Range: 3.5 - 7.0

Minimum Aquarium Size: 60cm x 30cm minimum for group of 6-8 fish

Potential Tankmates: Rasboras, dwarf cichlids, peaceful tetras, 

Care Level: Easy


The Black Kuhli Loach is probably one of the more common species of loaches in the hobby. Often referred to as the Java loach or chocolate kuhli loach due to its appearance and obviously native origins. Just like its cousins, the Black Kuhli Loach is a peaceful fish and is not known to show any signs of aggression towards other fish at all. Although, they do have a soft spot for fish eggs so they don’t make the best choice as tankmates for any breeding pairs.

In their natural habitat, they can be found in very slow-moving and shallow waters, referred to as ancient peat swamps. Such habitats are very shaded and the water itself is a dark brown, tea-like colour due to the many leaves and sunken pieces of wood releasing tannic acid.

Creating the ideal environment in the home aquarium is not challenging. Although, if you get it right, you may not see much of them. A soft sandy substrate is required to allow their natural feeding behaviour of sifting through the sand. It is not uncommon for the black kuhli loach to completely bury themselves in the substrate too which is why a soft sandy base is essential. Covering the base of the aquarium with Indian Almond Leaves and other botanicals will not only provide the naturally brown water, but they also become colonised by microorganisms which is a natural source of food. Aquatic plants such as Cryptocoryne species are the ideal choice along with bogwood. Arranging the decor in a way that provides ample hiding places will help build confidence in your loaches and in turn, mean you see more of them.

Their diet in the wild consists of microorganisms and tiny crustaceans found in the substrate as they sift through continuously. To feed your Black Kuhli Loaches in the home aquarium, a high protein dry pellet food would be acceptable. Live foods such as daphnia and brine shrimp on occasion will be readily taken.


The Black Kuhli Loach is a non-aggressive species and can be kept alongside most fish from similar conditions as long as they are also peaceful. We advise adding a group of 6-8 fish. When kept in numbers, Kuhli loaches will often pile up together and “sleep” only becoming active when it's time to feed.

All our fish are quarantined on arrival for two weeks. During this time, we treat for any health issues that may occur during transport and ensure each fish is eating well and looking healthy.  All fish are treated with Flubendazole before finally going on sale.

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