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Kuhli Loach

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The Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii/semicincta), also known as the Coolie Loach, is a long time favourite for the community and planted aquarium. This peaceful fish is very distinctive for its eel-like body, which is a brown to burgundy colour covered with bright orange stripes. Native to Malaysia (and possibly other nearby areas), the Kuhli Loach has become less available in recent years. The possible reason for this is that many importers of this fish have not understood or provided proper care, thus making healthy specimens scarce. The Kuhli Loach is a relatively demanding fish, provided that a few specific needs are met. This fish is generally native to rivers and streams of low water flow. The pH of these waterways can be excessively acidic due to a great deal of dead leaves and other decaying plant matter. While the Kuhli Loach can acclimate to neutral or slightly alkaline water over time, it should at first be kept in acidic water under that is less than 7.0 pH. This shy fish can be sensitive during shipping and when initially introduced to a new tank. It must be provided with a great deal of cover and refuge in order to feel secure. It also must be kept in groups of at least 6 or more. As with most fish, it also requires a clean, well-maintained aquarium. The Kuhli Loach is typically an unfussy eater that will accept most sinking foods, but it should also be offered live or frozen foods of appropriate size. It will maintain its best health and coloration with a varied diet of high-quality meaty foods. 


What We Like About This Fish:

  • Resembles a tiny eel in appearance and motio
  • Highly unique freshwater specimen
  • Safe with plants
  • Completely peaceful


  • Temperature:  70° - 79° F (21° - 26° C)

  • pH:  5.5 - 7.0
  • KH:  2 - 10 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  20 gallons



  • Diet:  Scavenger/Micro predator.  Prefers sinking pellets, but will also accept most flake foods and algae wafers, and should also be provided with live/frozen foods such as freeze-dried daphnia, bloodworms, tubifex, etc.

  • Social behaviour:  Peaceful. Must be kept in groups of 6 or more.

  • Origin:  Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Java, Borneo, Sumatra

  • Average adult size:  3 - 4 inches (7.6 to 10 cm)

    Kuhli Loach



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