Kuhli Loach – Care, Feeding, Tank Mates & Details!

Kuhli Loach is an amazing and unusual fish from the loach family, which attracts aquarists with its special and incomparable beauty.  These loaches are also known as Pangio Kuhli, Leopard Loach, Coolie Loach, etc. The species was first described in 1846 by Valencia.

Quick Stats

Scientific Name: Pangio kuhli, Acanthophthalmus kuhlii
Common Name: Kuhli loach, coolie loach
Tank size: 10 gallons (50L) and more
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivorous, bottom feeder
Temperature: 75 – 86 °F (24 – 30 °C)
pH: 5.5-6.5
Care Level: Intermediate
Color Form: Yellow and brown bands
Lifespan: 10 years
Size: 4 inches
Family: Cobitidae
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater

Kuhli Loach Habitat and Appearance

The area of finding ​​Kuhli Loach is large; it is distributed throughout the whole of Southeast Asia. The fish lives at the bottom of lakes and rivers with a slow flow.

Mostly All The Kuhli Loaches Appearance is like:

  • The body is long, serpentine, laterally compressed, and small fins.
  • A smallmouth is located in the lower part of the head, 8 thick antennae around which serves as the organ of touch.
  • Near the eyes, there is a small fork-shaped spike.
  • The skin is covered with small scales, so tightly fitting that the skin seems smooth. From 5 to 20 wide transverse stripes are located on a light background.
  • Loaches live in nature for up to 10 years, on the other hand, the Kuhli Loaches live for only 5-6 years.
  • The maximum size of a Kuhli Loach is up to 13 cm.
  • A female can be easily distinguished from a male – during the mating season, her abdomen is rounded off, through which caviar can be seen. The male is up to 10 cm tall, his fins are thicker and more powerful, the female is larger, she grows up to 12 cm.

Due to the bright, memorable color, it is impossible to mix up Kuhli Loaches with other types of loaches.

Aquarium Conditions

Caring for Kuhli Loaches is not difficult, the fish is quite hard and good to go itself. The owner needs to consider that they, like catfish, lead a near-bottom lifestyle. For Kuhli Loach to live comfortably, their conditions of aquariums should be as natural as possible:

  • For a Kuhli Loach of Size: 5-7 cm, the recommended aquarium volume is 100 liters or more.
  • The optimal soil is coarse sand or small pebbles. Gravel is strongly discouraged; Loaches can be injured and die.
  • Decor: The internal space of the aquarium and fill it with decorative grottoes, driftwood, plants, leaving enough space for the normal life of the fish.
  • Aeration and filtration: The filter is selected with a sampling hole, always covered with a mesh so that the fish is not pulled inward. It is better to use a special bottom filter or an internal aqua filter.
  • The lighting is dim, diffused, as close as possible to the natural conditions of the fish.

Kuhli Loach prefers to live in water with the following parameters:

  • temperature conditions from 22 to 28 degrees above zero;
  • pH 5-5.7;
  • rigidity from 5 to 9.

If acanthus often began to rise to the surface of the water, then there is a problem in the aquarium. Urgently need to siphon the soil and do not forget to replace the water.

Feeding Kuhli Loaches

The kuhli loaches are also known as aquarium orderlies, Most of the time they feed on the remains of the food of other fishes from the bottom left by the fishes.

But this does not mean that they do not need to be fed. Any food that they can capture is suitable for the loaches. With pleasure, they eat tubifex, bloodworms, and dry food.

It is also recommended to give special tablets for bottom fish. Loaches prefer eating in the evening so try to feed them in the evening.

Disease and Treatment

Most often, Kuhli Loaches are obese, rarely they have the following diseases:

  • Ichthyophthyrosis is an infectious disease. Small white tubercles appear on the body of the fish. If the fish can be saved in time to start treatment, otherwise a fatal outcome is inevitable. The pet is treated with malachite green, adding a solution to the water, until the tubercles disappear completely.
    The temperature of the water during treatment is raised by 1-2 degrees. After a week, ½ of the water is changed.
  • Amoebiasis is the causative agent of parasitic amoeba. Sick fish begin to breathe faster. During treatment, the pet is placed in a bath with tinidazole and kept there for no more than 4 hours. In parallel, the aquarium is disinfected with a formalin solution (3%).

Kuhli Loach Tank Mates

Kuhli Loaches are peaceful fish that pose no threat to other aquarium inhabitants. Tank Mates with large aggressive predators or territorial fish is not recommended.

Kuhli Loaches have good compatibility with fish that live in the upper or middle layers of the water. These can be gourami fish, zebrafish, tetrasguppiesswordtail, Apistogramma, Tiger Barbs.

Complete incompatibility with catfish, cichlids, mollies, angelfish, yellow lab cichlid, clownfish.

Pangio prefers surface vegetation such as tiger lilies that obscure the expanse of water, as well as Javanese moss or bushes of Thai fern.

Behavior Features

Kuhli Loaches have their interesting behavior. They have intestinal respiration. If the fish rises sharply to the surface, then do not worry, it just takes air into the intestines and the oxygen can enter the body of fish and through the skin.

Breeding Kuhli Loach

Breeding kuhli loach is a complex process, this requires not only theoretical knowledge but also extensive experience:

  1. Manufacturers select up to 5 sexually mature individuals, from the age of 1 year.
  2. The spawning area should be at least 1 square. meter. Water should be slightly acidic, temperature + 26-28 degrees. A separate mesh is placed at the bottom.
  3. To provoke spawning, Kuhli is given a hormonal injection of chorionic gonadotropin. To do this, they are transplanted into a three-liter jar, a little novocaine is dripped. After a while, the kuhli will freeze and the drug is administered to them.
  4. After the injection, the fish are transplanted into spawning. In a few hours, courtship games will begin. The existing pairs intertwine with each other and rise to the top of the aquarium, where the female will begin to spawn eggs, which will fall to the bottom, under the net, thanks to her parents will not be able to get to it and eat it.
  5. The spawning process can be repeated several times. For one spawning, the female lays up to 700 eggs.
  6. After 24 hours, small tails appear in the eggs, and after 4 days, the finally formed larvae begin to actively eat live dust. An aquarium with fry should be protected from bright light.
  7. After two weeks, fry begins to appear in the fry, and after a month they are transferred to live food.

If you decide and settle a small flock of loaches in a home aquarium, they definitely will not be bored with them.

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