Kuhli Loach

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Species group:

Other common names: Prickly Eye loach; Coolie Loach; Slimy Loach;

Scientific name: Pangio kuhlii

The basics:
The Kuhli Loach is a nocturnal, eel-like fish which is native to slow moving rivers in Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. Kuhli Loaches are popular aquarium additions, and do best in groups of 4 or more, and in a tank which provides a lot of rocks and wood which provide hiding spaces. Kuhli Loaches are nocturnal bottom dwellers. They tend to burrow under fine sand and will stay there until their nighttime feeding. As bottom feeders, they use their barbels to sift through the substrate for food.

The Kuhli Loach (sometimes spelled "Coolie"), is sometimes called “Prickly Eye” because of the presence of eye spines that can be erected for defense. The body is slightly laterally compressed, eel- or worm-shaped, with very small dorsal fins that start past the middle part of the body, and equally small anal fins that start farther back. The distinguishing markings on the body of the Kuhli Loach are dark brown to black vertical bars divided by pinkish yellowish stripes. Like other loaches, the Kuhli has very tiny almost invisible scales. The mouth is down-turned and surrounded by four sets of barbels. Varieties include albino (with pink instead of black bars) and black (almost all black).

3-4 inches

They are a peaceful, bottom-feeding fish which do well in a non-aggressive community tank. They are hardy, peaceful, and get along well with other peaceful fish. They are more active when kept in numbers of three or more.

Kuhli Loaches prefer a well-planted tank with a fine substrate to burrow into. They thrive in soft water that is slightly acidic. The tank must be well established.

75.00-85.00 °F


100.000-150.000 mg/L


cleaning, funny jovial creature, scavenging, social fish, entertaining, GREAT Loach


bacteria, timid nocturnal creature, infections, sharp substrate, Secretive


characteristic loach antics, truly social fish, charming little guys, rounded gravel

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