Coolest Oddball Fish for Beginners

Kuhli loaches will surprise or frighten you because they resemble a squirming mass of snakes lurking in your aquarium. This care guide answers the most common questions about this uncommon fish.

What are Kuhli Loaches?

Kuhli loaches are strong, beginner-friendly fish with eel-like bodies, beady black eyes, and bristly barbels or hairs around the mouth.

Several species are designated as kuhli loaches, the most common being Pangio kuhli, which has alternating pinkish-yellow and dark brown bands. Silver kuhli loaches (Pangio anguillaris) and black kuhli loaches (Pangio oblonga) are two other kinds available in aquariums.

No matter what kind of fish you’re looking for, buying active fish and eating it correctly from the market is critical.


What Size Tank Do Kuhli Loaches Require?

Kuhli loaches have a low bioload, growing only three to four inches long.

As a result, we strongly recommend that you gather a group of at least three to six people for a 20-gallon aquarium (or larger) so that they feel safe enough to come out and explore.

Because of their calm temperament, you can maintain them with other community fish like tetras, rasboras, and betta fish.

This hardy species can withstand various pH and GH levels and loves temperatures ranging from 74 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 27 degrees Celsius). As nocturnal animals, they are timid during the day and prefer to seek shelter, so they provide plenty of hiding spots and aquarium plants in their surroundings.

When searching for food at the bottom of the aquarium, they will also enjoy any smooth substrate that is safe to burrow into.

What Do Kuhli Loaches Eat?

Kuhli loaches make excellent clean-up crew members, removing any crumbs left by other fish, but they must be explicitly fed to avoid becoming hungry.

Repashy gel food, live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, and community pellets are some of their favourite sinking foods. Feeding kuhli loaches at night, when the lights are turned off, will help them grow nice and plump if the other fish in the tank eat all of the food before they do.

Kuhli loaches do not eat algae or aquarium plants; therefore, they are safe to keep in a planted tank. In addition, unlike other loach species, they are not known to consume snails or prawns.

KUHLI LOACH pangio kuhli
KUHLI LOACH pangio kuhli

Do Kuhli Loaches Breed In Aquariums?

Kuhli loaches are infrequently bred in captivity, but if you wish to boost their numbers, feed them heavily and add a thick layer of java moss to provide plenty of hiding places for the fry.

Kuhli Loach Diseases

Kuhli Loaches, like all freshwater fish, are especially vulnerable to diseases including Ich, Dropsy, and bacterial and fungal infections.

To prevent illness transmission, keep a kuhli loach tank clean. Regular water changes and good filtration can also help to keep the aquarium healthy.

Ich is caused by protozoan parasites, which can be treated with medications available at pet stores.


Dropsy, a fatal infection, can also infect kuhli loach. Bloating and discolouration are common symptoms usually caused by poor water quality or an inadequate diet. If you believe your fish has Dropsy, you can treat it with medications.

Bacterial and fungal diseases.

Due to poor water conditions, Kuhli loach can contract bacterial and fungal infections like Finrot and Cottonmouth. These can be treated with numerous over-the-counter medications.

Remove your kuhli loach and any other fish species if sickness is discovered in your fish tank. Removing your kuhli loach and other fish will help to reduce illness transmission between fish.

Bottom line.

These small, eccentric fish are easy to care for, have a distinctive appearance, and can be found at most big pet stores and local fish shops.

They will not be the significant feature of your aquarium, but if you have a good herd, you’ll enjoy finding them slithering among the anubias roots.

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