Animal Stories - Kuhli Loach

Animal-World Information about: Kuhli Loach

The wiggly little Kuhli Loach keeps quite busy snacking on foods left uneaten by the other fish!
Latest Animal Stories
Connor - 2014-10-16
I have two community tanks and I have 4 kuhli loaches, two in one and two in the other. And in my main tank they come out all of the time but in my littler tank I hardly ever see them. They are gorgeous fish to keep and also they like to come out at night. These are lovely fish to have so I recommend you get these. If you know why my other khuli loaches don't come out please let me know?

Joan - 2010-12-14

I love your site and has many different species!

I had two Pangio Kuhil loach's that were doing fabulous, I bought another two yesterday and now three are swimming like they have something after them, they swim quickly up and down the tank, the fourth just lies around.

Mine don't seem to be nocturnal as they are swimming all day.

What I am wondering now is are they upset that two more were added or perhaps trying to harm each other, including the one that lies around?

The other two never did this, as said, the three are swimming up and down really fast and they do this until they tire.

I read up on something about catfish and that they get confused but didn't understand it all.....I don't know if my two catfish are called catfish, mine are bottom feeders and maybe an inch long max.

Any help would be appreciated, they were added to the tank just yesterday, if they were just getting to know each other or were out of sorts and confused, this should have topped.

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  • huss - 2011-04-22
    The 2 fish you saw swimming up and down the tank might have a been a act of mating. Expect to find babies loaches soon!
  • Jean - 2011-11-09
    I've seen behavior like this called a "rain dance". I'm sure it's attributed their mating being brought on by rainfall like other fish in their native region if this is correct then a waterfall style filter may be simulating rainfall and bring on this behavior. I have had kuhlis for a few months now and I recently added 4 more bringing a total of 9. They are active all day long and exhibit his behavior as well as far as I can tell it's harmless. They won't breed until they reach sexual maturity which can take as long as 2 years but usually is around 18 months. In large numbers they like to lay around each other in the open all day and often play with each other. Don't worry if your kuhlis are acting like everyone else's their behavior has a lot of contributing factors including other fish in the tank, cover and filtration. The more hiding places you give them the more time they will spend out as they feel safer. There isn't a lot of comprehensive info about their behavior and breeding info is scarce. They have some very odd behaviors often being called foolie loaches because they like to stress out their owners by playing dead. Don't be surprised to find them hanging off plants they love to climb. For now I'm trying to document their behaviors and figure out causes. Most people will try and compare their behavior with other fish species but this can't really be done. Fish behavior is diverse for every type. Don't let people scare you by telling you they are under oxygenated I have two air stones running a lot of oxygen and mine still "rain dance". Best I can say is try to figure out what your tank conditions would be replicating in their natural environment and you might be able to figure out their seasonal behavior patterns. I'm rambling a bit. Hope I helped.
  • Soyer Pan - 2014-06-03
    Despite good water parameters, triple zeros on the cycling ( 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate) in my planted sand ten gal with just six pepper cories, my two new black kuhli loaches kept doing the circles too and got me worried. I knew they school like cories, but more research shows I should get more. Thinking of buying three more. Thanks for sharing. Do you still have yours and how are they doing?
Amy Carson - 2013-04-13
I have an albino kuhli loach who likes to float at the top of the tank or just lay draped in the plants. Twice I have mistaken him for dead, but he eats and looks healthy otherwise. Is this common behavior?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-04-13
    I am not sure it if is common behavior, but if he is acting normal otherwise I wouldn't worry about it too much. Maybe someone else on here has had a similar experience?
  • Jacob Hertl - 2014-02-17
    This is normal I'd say there is not sufficient places for the loaches to hide. If it is alone and there's not enough cover it will act sick or dead as a way to lower attention.
Shez - 2008-11-26
In my 28 liter or 7 gallon tank I have 5 of these eel like fish. One of them is really long and quite fat. I think she is full of eggs. They are great fish to keep because they are really strange and easy to feed. They will except pretty much any fish food that sink to the bottom including old or moldy left overs. They are very hardy because the can live in the dirtiest tanks. A clean tank wouldn't be as good as an old one because there is not much rotting fish food. They should be housed with at least 3 or 4 of the same species because they like company. If you have at least four they will be more active than just having one. Mine live with a male veil tail betta splenden, a small angelfish, a large black skirt tetra, 2 cory cats (small albino and large bronze) and 3 mollies (golden male sailfin, black molly male and a female dalmatian shes pregnant).

The Fish Guy - 2008-12-17
These snake like fish make a pretty good clean up crew. I have 5 of these little snake like fish and they eat most of my tanks left overs. The corries help as well. These fast little critters make an excellent addition to a non aggressive topical tank. I've had no trouble with them except I don't know what little mischief they get up to. I'm not even sure if they are all alive. I have 2 big ones who are always out and about. If you do find an interest in these fish and you want to buy, make sure they are in a small shoal of 4 or more. If you have 2 or 3 you wont see them often. If you only have one, don't expect to see him often. When they are visible they usually travel in 2's or 3's.

Ria - 2011-05-24
After cleaning the gravel in my tank my kuhli loach started going crazy swimming really fast all around the tank for hours. Then after a few days we hadn't seen him and just thought maybe he was hiding out somewhere. A week later I noticed my puppy playing with something on ground, and there it was my poor kuhli loach all dry and shrivelled up! I searched on google and found this has happened to others so keep a lid on your tank if you have these loaches.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-25
    I am sorry. Just not fair. I came home from work and my dog ( a doberman) was sitting at the top of the stairs and she had all this fur in her mouth. I was ready to maim and she just opened her mouth and let out my little kitten. My kitten was perfectly fine and I guess the dobie just decided to give her a ride. Unfortunately, your guy needed water.
  • Bree Andy - 2012-05-27
    Sorry for your loss. Loaches are very sensitive to water chemistry changes; perhaps yours was trying to get away from something irritating? They hate salt.
tappy - 2011-12-09
I have 55acrylic ten year established aquarium. Recently and old plecostamus die, his tankmates, 3 kuhlis for about 2 years. temp alway 69-72. had ten years, in family 7 years or so. I re- established aquarium, first water change, filter change, with 3 more kuhlies. Several plants, aquatic wood, ph 7.0 all else normal. The three new loaches 10days now, fine eating, even 2 Chinese algae eaters two. All getting along. Past few days, the two or three at times swimming on end on aquarium in circles, fast, through planets, only taking little breathers. Yesterday found baby loach who had been under large hiding rock, showed himself, sulfide. other 3 all under there for a long time, I had believed the worst, they came out as well swimming round baby occasionally, then all go back to hiding. The new ones, are swimming during daytime, I am worried they are not acclimating. One looks plump, otherwise all healthy looking, algae eaters good too, and baby o.k. any advice for my dilemma and really long explanation of situation. My humble thanks. Never had loaches until couple years ago, they never did anything like this. Aquariust from Vacaville, Ca.

Kelly Crandall - 2011-09-19
Almost exactly a year ago my friend sold me her tank with a kuhli loach in it. I brought it home and set it up near a window, and added a few guppies to the tank just to keep it interesting. The tank was affected by the cold window in the winter so I bought a heater. Well the guppies all died in time, and I didn't see the loach for weeks.

I kept the filter going and kept throwing food in the tank, but after not seeing the loach for at least a month, even when digging around the gravel and taking all the decor out, I figured he'd died. So I eventually turned off the filter and heater and of course quit throwing food in the tank. I didn't disassemble the tank because it was in an out of the way spot and it was a big job, so I always figured I'd do when I got around to it and when I figured out where to store the empty tank.

In the meantime, a snail in the tank got bigger, so I figured I'd keep the tank up and just let the snail live in it, just for fun.

Anyway. It's been at least eight months since I last saw the loach alive, and probably six months since I've put food in the tank. Well, today I went in that room and was sitting by the piano, when all of a sudden I saw the loach swimming around!!

Now I don't know what to do. Do I start feeding him again, and put the filter back on? Or do I just leave him be? He's obviously in an environment that's sustaining him?

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  • Kelly Crandall - 2011-09-20
    attached where?
Pat - 2011-05-05
Make sure you put something heavy on the lid. Mine jumped out and died.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-06
    That is not good. Wouldn't have thought of it, thank you.
ray taylot - 2010-12-03
I understand that the clown loach will help keep down a snail population, will the kuhli loach also eat small snails?

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  • peter - 2011-01-21
    No, mouth isn't built for it. I had an infestation of snails of all types, esp the livebearing one. I purchased an awesome yoyo loach. 2 weeks later, not one single snail left. Still see empty snail shells tho!
  • Jared - 2011-04-20
    I had 7 kuhlis and 6 guppies with some small snails because I'd heard they liked to eat them as well.
    From my experience they will not eat enough snails to keep the population at bay as the snails tend to breed faster than guppies hah! But unless guppies like snails then Yes the kuhlis will eat some of them. I had a few shells in that tank from the baby snails.