Max Size: 11cm

Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli Loaches are a peaceful fish and relatively hardy, and can adapt to a variety of water parameters, and prefer to be kept in schools of 3 or more.

Because of its beauty and its tank cleaning abilities, they have become quite popular in the aquarium hobby.

The kuhli loach is shaped like an eel with slightly narrowed sides, you will see four pairs of barbels around its mouth, and tiny fins.

The dorsal fin starts behind the centre of the body, and the anal fin behind this.

Their eyes are covered with clear skin, and the body has ten to fifteen dark brown, almost black upright bars, and the space between them is a salmon pink to yellow with a light underside.

Even though this species is small in size, they are more suited to experienced aquarists because they are susceptible to diseases, they have a head with no scales, and they are sensitive to medications.

Tank Mates for the Kuhli Loach

2 ideal tank mate ideas for the Kuhli Loach include:

Cardinal Tetra(Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Glowlight Danio(Celestichthys choprae)
Quick Facts
Scientific NamePangio kuhlii
Other NamesCoolie Loach, Leopard Loach, Cinnamon Loach
OriginsIndonesia, Malaysia
Aquarium LevelBottom
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asTrios
Lifespanup to 10 yea
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.0 - 7.0
GH5 - 15
75 - 85℉
23.9 - 29.4℃

Photos of the Kuhli Loach

Kuhli loach
Kuhli loach
Kuhli loach
Kuhli loach
Kuhli Loach
Kuhli Loach
Kuhli Loach

Natural Habitat

The Kuhli Loaches natural habitat is in the sandy or soft muddy beds of slow-moving, tropical, clear mountain streams and rivers, in Malasia, Indonesia, Sumatra, Java and Borneo in Southeast Asia.

The water is often shaded from direct sunlight from dense vegetation and treetops, quite acidic and has a very low mineral content thanks to organic materials such as decaying plants.

What to feed the Kuhli Loach

Kuhli loaches are scavengers, and they will eat anything that reaches the bottom of the tank. They prefer to feed at night, but you can teach them to feed in the day in the home aquarium.

Despite not being fussy, and eating most things you offer them, they do prefer a meat-based diet, so frozen and live foods such as tubifex, brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworm is the way to go.

To give them a well-balanced diet, you can also feed them vegetables, granules, fish flakes and sinking pellets.

How to sex the Kuhli Loach

It isn't easy to differentiate males from females, and the only noticeable difference is, in the males, the pectoral fins are more abundant and are more paddle-shaped. The females are slightly larger, especially when carrying eggs.

How to breed the Kuhli Loach

Breeding in the home aquarium can be challenging, although there have been some success stories.

The best way to breed this species is to have a separate tank with plenty of hiding spaces, a bunch of Kuhli loaches, dim lighting and steady water quality, as well as feeding them plenty of food to encourage spawning.

Kuhli Loaches will reach sexual maturity around two years old; when spawning is happening, you will notice the male preying upon the female.

Once he has her attention, he will place his head next to hers and holds her with his pectoral fin in a warm embrace.

The pair will then move very quickly around the bottom of the tank and then swim towards the surface where the female will spawn, and her small light green eggs will stick to the plants or fall to the bottom of the tank.

A female can produce hundreds of eggs.

Once spawning has taken place, and the eggs have been laid, you will need to remove the parents, to avoid them consuming the eggs. The eggs will start to hatch about a day later, and small green fry appears, then four days after that, they will become free-swimming.

Other Loaches of interest

Bengal Loach(Botia dario)
Blue Botia(Yasuhikotakia modesta)
Clown Loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
Dwarf Chain Loach(Ambastaia Sidthimunki)
Golden Zebra Loach(Botia Histrionica)
Green Tiger Loach(Syncrossus Hymenophysa)
View all Loaches
Date Added: 25/08/2020 - Updated: 19/01/2022 16:29:24