Kuhli Loach (Pangio Kuhli)
Native Location: Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula
Size: 7 - 10cm (2 - 4 inches)
Diet: Omnivore. Prefers live food. Pellet and flake food.
Breeding: Medium difficulty
Temperature Range: 24 – 30 ℃ (75 – 86 ℉)
Preferred pH Range: 5.5 – 6.5 (will tolerate 7.0 in aquaria)
Aquarium Size: Minimum 76L (20 gallons)
Potential Tankmates: Tetras, Danios and Rasboras
Care Level: Intermediate
Kuhli Loach is a tiny freshwater fish belonging to the loach family (Cobitidae). Their eel-like, yellow-brown colourings are a draw factor for many hobbyists. But do not be fooled! These timid, nocturnal fishes are not the easiest for beginner enthusiasts. They are particular when it comes to meeting their needs, as scaleless fish, prone to diseases.
These scavengers eat anything that makes it to the bottom of your tank. Kuhli loaches are not schooling fish. But will enjoy the comfort of their kind (we encourage you to keep 3 - 6 Kuhli loaches.) And, like other non-aggressive companions that occupy the upper regions of the tanks. Their tank mates will ultimately see them more than you. They are rather shy during the day, but far livelier at night!
They will appreciate the safety, from your aquarium lights, caves and crevices can provide. They prefer a sand substrate and will be happy to burrow themselves into it. Their environment should include plenty of plants. Cryptocoryne and Java ferns are good choices. Also, consider if a spreading peat moss would work as an addition in your tank. Kuhli would love this as it would recreate leaf litters, which they also like to burrow themselves in. These underwater puppies are very small, so you need to be weary of unprotected filter inlets. Kuhli loaches are so small they can swim into them and die.
Males and females look similar when not actively breeding. But males will have more muscular dorsal cross-section and larger pectoral fins. Females become larger during breeding. Before spawning, you can see their ovaries through their skin. It can be a challenge to breed Kuhli loaches, (perhaps due to their shy disposition) but they are communal spawners. The more comfortable they are in your aquarium and kept within a community of their species. The chances of spawning will increase. Laid eggs will become the target of adult fish. Who will likely eat the fry and eggs so it may be best for them not to occupy the same space.