Black Kuhli Loaches, Substrate, Live Plants


I just added 4 Black KuhlI Loaches to my 10 gallon tank with the general substrate you would find in an aquarium. The loaches cannot burrow into this and I was wondering what substrate would be best to add to my tank. I have black in the aquarium now and I would really like to keep it that way I also have live plants. I’m not sure if I should keep half the substrate I have and switch out the rest of what I should do. I don't know how I would go about changing it out either since it is an established tank.

I was told by an experienced aquarium owner and tropical fish store owner that sand would tear up my filter, there is a finer substrate that I could switch to but he did not sell it, and to just switch all the gravel out at once but I would like to get other feedback.

Thank you all in advance for you help.


Welcome to FishLore!
kuhlis love sand but they won't necessarily burrow in it. Mine stick their heads down in the sand and sift it through their gills to get food out of the sand.
I have had sand in tanks for many years and have had no problems with my filters. They will be fine with the substrate you have as long as it's not sharp. My concern is having so many fish in a 10 gallon tank. The kuhlis will want to swim all over the tank and the RTS isn't going to like it.


Yep, RTS are very territorial when it comes to surface area of the bottom of the tank. I'd suggest you rehome the RTS.

My kuhlI loaches never burrow unless they're scared (or is Seachem Flourite too rough to burrow in?). They spend most of their time either hiding in this plastic cave, or hanging on the strands of anacharis like Christmas tinsel.


I think that a 10 gallon is too small for kuhlis, too. They're often sedentary, but when they decide they want to be active, they are really active. My kuhlis dance from one side to the other of a 4ft tank in about two seconds, and then back again in the same amount of time. If they are lacking in space, they might decide to try to find more water by escaping. Kuhlis are known escape artists.

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