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Let’s have a look at kuhli loach care guide and characteristic

kuhli loach care guide

Is Kuhli Loach suitable for you? Lets we share to you regarding kuhli loach care guide

Kuhli Loach Profile

Scientific name Pangio kuhli
Class Actinopterygii
Size 7 – 10 cm
Life expectancy 10 – 14 years
Temperament Peaceful and gentle
Water Parameters 22-30 degrees Celsius
pH 5.5 to 6.5
Maximum hardness 5.0 dGH
Origin Southeast Asia, Malay Peninsula
maintenance level Intermediate

Seeing its shape, maybe you think this is an eel or even a snake.

Make no mistake, the Kuhli Loach is a fish that does look like an eel. That’s why the Kuhli Loach is included in one type of freshwater ornamental fish and is often kept in an aquarium or aquascape.

Kuhli belongs to the loach family and originates from Indonesia (Kalimantan) and is found in Malaysia and Thailand. This type of fish was classified in 1846 and is an ancient species.

But nowadays Kuhli’s fate is getting better, because of their unique shape and attractive appearance, they are one of the favorite ornamental fish to be kept in aquariums or aquascapes.

Characteristic features

kuhli loach care guide
kuhli loach care guide

The Kuhli Loach’s body is shaped like an eel, has black-speckled eyes covered with thin transparent skin, and has hairy spines or whiskers around its mouth.

If you look closely, under the eyes there are a pair of sharp thorns that will appear when they are feeling threatened.

Its body is slender and has a band pattern of pink-yellow and dark brown (Pangio kuhlii). Pangio kuhlii may be said to be similar in pattern and color to a tiger.

There are also other variations of kuhli, namely black (Pangio oblonga) and silver (Pangio anguillaris) but are less popular and rarely found.

Behavior & Temperament

The Kuhli Loach is a very shy fish. They like to be at the bottom of the water and hide more during the day. This fish appears when it is dark to find food.

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If you keep him in an aquarium with lots of hardscape or other media that has gaps to hide, that’s where Kuhli will often hide.

One way to get him out of hiding is to give him food.

Whereas in its natural habitat, the Kuhli Loach likes to spend their time digging in the riverbed and filtering food to eat.

The Kuhli loach does well with other peaceful, socially ornamental fish. They can be “officers” who clean up leftovers scattered on the bottom of the substrate.

In general, the Kuhli loach is a fish with a peaceful and gentle temperament. As long as nothing disturbs it, this fish can live quietly for a long time.

How to Care for Kuhli Loaches


kuhli loach care guide habitat
kuhli loach care guide habitat

Creating an ideal habitat for the Kuhli Loach can be said to be not difficult.

With their shy nature, a tank or aquarium with adequate hardscape or plants for them to hide is something that must be provided.

In their natural habitat, these fish live in a shallow water filled with plants and lots of peat moss.

Rocks, driftwood, artificial caves, and assemblages of living plants such as Java Fern and other live plants will help the Kuhli Loach’s quality of life.

If kept in an open place and with lots of light, these fish will tend to be stressed.

In some cases, if Kuhli feels the habitat is not suitable for him, this fish may jump out of the tank. So it is highly recommended to have enough rocks, wood, and plants.

For the substrate, you can use dark media such as Malang sand or moza sand. Another highly recommended sand is natural sand (some people call it tia sand).

Avoid using rocks or gravel on the substrate because Kuhli really like to dig.

Also, avoid keeping Kuhli in aquascapes that use soil (planting medium) and basic fertilizers. Of course, you don’t want these fish to dig and mess up your aquascape substrate right?

If you are using an internal filter or a suspended filter, make sure the suction pipe has a secure cap. There have been many cases where Kuhli loaches have been sucked into or stuck in the filter.

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Water Parameters

In nature, the Kuhli loach lives in tropical waters with slow currents. So water temperature between 22 to 30-degree celsius is ideal for Kuhli.

Another ideal parameter is a pH balance between 5.5 and 6.5 and a hardness level of no more than 5.0 dGH.

How to measure water parameters? You can use a special tool called a TDS meter.

However, if you have difficulty determining these parameters, it is not mandatory. The important thing is to provide adequate habitat as previously mentioned.

Kuhli Loach food

As an omnivorous species, feeding the Kuhli Loach is not difficult. Whatever fish food they like as long as it can sink and is at the bottom.

They cannot and do not want to reach the food floating on the surface. This is an important thing to know.

Foods such as sinking pellets, blood worms, water fleas, brine shrimp, and tubifex worms are all good choices for feeding the Kuhli Loach.

There is no need to feed these fish too often. You can give 1-2 meals a day every morning and at night before you sleep.

Tank Mates

The Kuhli Loach is a peaceful, calm, and social fish but is not a fish that lives in schools with its own species.

So it doesn’t matter even if you only keep 1 Kuhli combined with other ornamental fish that both have social and peaceful traits.

Fish suitable for Kuhli Loach tank mates:

  • Cardinals and Neon Tetras
  • All types of Rasbora fish
  • Zebra Danio
  • Corydoras
  • Cherry Barb
  • Red Cherry Shrimp (other ornamental shrimp are safe too)
  • Molly
  • guppies
  • Platy.

While the fish to be avoided are:

  • All types of Cichlids
  • Tiger Barb / Sumatra
  • Oscars
  • Arowana
  • Another large predatory fish.

Kuhli Loach For Sale

The price of Kuhli Loach fish ranges from $2.99 to  $ 13.79. Prices vary widely depending on age, size, quality, and region.


  • The Kuhli Loach is a bottom scavenger and will eat any food that sinks
  • Peaceful and social fish
  • Requires a tank setup with adequate hardscape and substrate to improve its quality of life
  • Suitable coexistence with small fish that are peaceful and social
  • Avoid combining Kuhli Loach with predatory fish
  • Kuhli loach fish is relatively suitable for beginners.
Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooru Ariyoushi

Nooruariyoushi has been a fish hobbyist for 20 years and is now a blog writer sharing information about fish and how to care for them.


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