Kuhli Loach With Other Fish

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HI Fish Lore! This is my first post ever on an aquarium forum so I hope you welcome me with open arms. Anyways, I recently bought a 20 gallon long tank with a Marineland filter for 20-30 gallons. I am thinking of putting quite a few pounds of lava rock along with various types of plants. The fish I'm planning on keeping include one male betta (he's pretty chill with others), around 20 ghost shrimp, 3 otos, and of course the KuhlI Loach. Based on these other fishes, how many should I get? The filter, by the way, is strong enough to have the tank cycled 7 times per hour. Would adding KuhlI be overstocking? Thanks guys!
 

Fishywife

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Welcome to fishlore!

Aqadvisor should help with stocking
issues and kuhlI should be in a shoal of 5 or more, they are strange little fish! Mine go nuts when the barometric pressure changes and on water change day too!

Edit: you may want to ensure your tank is cycled before you add fish, then add very slowly.
 
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Fishywife said:
Welcome to fishlore!

Aqadvisor should help with stocking
issues and kuhlI should be in a shoal of 5 or more, they are strange little fish! Mine go nuts when the barometric pressure changes and on water change day too!

Edit: you may want to ensure your tank is cycled before you add fish, then add very slowly.
Thank you! I didn't know Aqadvisor was a thing. I know to cycle the tank first and I appreciate your reply.
 

Jenoli42

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what substrate were you planning? because kuhli's have no scales, they need either fine sand or smooth small gravel. lava rock may tear up their skin... but if the substrate is ok, they'll avoid the rock.
 
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Jenoli42 said:
what substrate were you planning? because kuhli's have no scales, they need either fine sand or smooth small gravel. lava rock may tear up their skin... but if the substrate is ok, they'll avoid the rock.
I was planning to use Carib Sea Eco Complete. I actually didn't think about the rock tearing up their skin! That's too bad, I was excited to see them in the crevices of the rocks but I guess the shrimp will enjoy it. If the Carib Sea is too big, what else would you recommend for plants?
 

TexasDomer

Member
I would go with sand over Ecocomplete - Ecocomplete is expensive and still needs fertilizers, like sand, so you may as well go with the cheaper option (50 lb bag of sand for $8-$12 from Tractor Supply or a pool store) and use root tabs. The kuhlis will appreciate the sand too, and you can grow many plants in sand very easily.

Otos need cooler temps than the betta, so I'd leave them out.

You could do 8-12 kuhlis though?
 
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TexasDomer said:
I would go with sand over Ecocomplete - Ecocomplete is expensive and still needs fertilizers, like sand, so you may as well go with the cheaper option (50 lb bag of sand for $8-$12 from Tractor Supply or a pool store) and use root tabs. The kuhlis will appreciate the sand too, and you can grow many plants in sand very easily.

Otos need cooler temps than the betta, so I'd leave them out.

You could do 8-12 kuhlis though?
Shoot, I didn't even notice that the betta and KuhlI needed different temperatures. I must've read everything but that. Sadly, I've owned my betta for a while now and I'm not planning on having two tanks at the moment. It looks like I will have to scrap the KuhlI Loach idea then. I really appreciate all of the help though! I will definitely consider using sand instead. Since the betta is pretty old now (at least 2 years), once he dies I can buy the Kuhli. Again, thank you very much.
 

TexasDomer

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Kuhlis and betta are temperature compatible, otos and bettas are not.

2 years isn't old for a betta at all - they can live to be almost a decade.
 

Jenoli42

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eraser.jpg said:
Shoot, I didn't even notice that the betta and KuhlI needed different temperatures. I must've read everything but that. Sadly, I've owned my betta for a while now and I'm not planning on having two tanks at the moment. It looks like I will have to scrap the KuhlI Loach idea then. I really appreciate all of the help though! I will definitely consider using sand instead. Since the betta is pretty old now (at least 2 years), once he dies I can buy the Kuhli. Again, thank you very much.
If you go with sand, then I agree with TexasDomer - you can have kuhlI loaches and your betta. not otos because of temp. but you should get a small school of kuhli's so they feel comfy and are more active. the more the better but they stay small so i'd say get 8-12 like has been suggested

ours go all over the tank. they like plastic fishsafe plants that create ladders and they wriggle their way up. they go between places and decorations that i'm sure will hurt them only it doesn't. so if you have other decorations besides the rock and you have sand, you should be ok
 
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TexasDomer said:
Kuhlis and betta are temperature compatible, otos and bettas are not.

2 years isn't old for a betta at all - they can live to be almost a decade.
Woops my bad, apparently I can't read lol. Can bettas really live for up to a decade? A quick google search shows me 3-5 years. Maybe the information is wrong though
 

TexasDomer

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A lot of times bettas are kept improperly (too small of a tank, not enough water changes, improper temps, poor diet, lack of water changes, stress from tankmates, etc.), which can shorten their lifespans. There have been cases of bettas living 7-8+ years, so it can be done.
 
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Jenoli42 said:
If you go with sand, then I agree with TexasDomer - you can have kuhlI loaches and your betta. not otos because of temp. but you should get a small school of kuhli's so they feel comfy and are more active. the more the better but they stay small so i'd say get 8-12 like has been suggested

ours go all over the tank. they like plastic fishsafe plants that create ladders and they wriggle their way up. they go between places and decorations that i'm sure will hurt them only it doesn't. so if you have other decorations besides the rock and you have sand, you should be ok
My bad, I didn't mean to say KulhI Loaches. I think I'll do fine without the Oto . So 10 Kulhis are alright with all of my other fish (minus the Oto) ? And sand with root tabs would be fine? Never had to use root tabs before so I'll have to look into that. Would root tabs be necessary if I used Seachem's Flourish and Excel? Thank you!
 

CraniumRex

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Speaking of wriggling - I have 12 kuhlis in my 55 - just mind that they can squeeze into unheard of places. I keep a sponge prefilter over my intakes for that very reason.

I started with 6 then added 6 more and gosh I see them all the time, especially as Fishywife says when the barometric pressure drops they zoom everywhere. Nice soft sand is preferred and I did start with lace rock but switched to river stone and they were much much happier with the smoother stones. They are truly comical and one of my very favourite fish.
 

TexasDomer

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What other fish? I thought it'd be just the kuhlis, betta, and ghost shrimp?

Yep, sand with root tabs below the root feeders is good. Necessary for root feeding plants, even if you use Flourish. I wouldn't bother with Excel - it's a good algaecide for spot treatment when you have BBA, but it doesn't help much with plant growth.
 

Jenoli42

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CraniumRex said:
Speaking of wriggling - I have 12 kuhlis in my 55 - just mind that they can squeeze into unheard of places. I keep a sponge prefilter over my intakes for that very reason.

I started with 6 then added 6 more and gosh I see them all the time, especially as Fishywife says when the barometric pressure drops they zoom everywhere. Nice soft sand is preferred and I did start with lace rock but switched to river stone and they were much much happier with the smoother stones. They are truly comical and one of my very favourite fish.
OMG I had totally forgotten about that... no wonder they were insane yesterday mid-morning when the storm came through! we had just been talking about them normally hiding during the day or when the lights were on when all of a sudden it was a pile up of all 11 doing the happy insane zoom dance for a few hours! they really are wonderful fish.
 
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TexasDomer said:
What other fish? I thought it'd be just the kuhlis, betta, and ghost shrimp?

Yep, sand with root tabs below the root feeders is good. Necessary for root feeding plants, even if you use Flourish. I wouldn't bother with Excel - it's a good algaecide for spot treatment when you have BBA, but it doesn't help much with plant growth.
By other fish I meant the betta and ghost shrimp. Thank you for the information! I will def. buy root tabs.

Just an FYI, I was thinking of piling the lava rocks similarly like how a lot of people do with live rock in a salt water aquarium; making caves and caverns throughout. This will take a considerable amount of room in my tank but my tank will also have a lot of different plants. Will the plants and sand suffice for the Kuhlis since they dislike the rocks? Will it provide enough hiding spots? Thanks everyone so far for the replies
 

TexasDomer

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I use DIY root tabs, Osmocote Plus in gel caps. You can buy them premade on Ebay or make your own. I like them because they are cheaper than aquarium-labeled root tabs, and they have both macros and micros (some aquarium root tabs lack macros).

Should be fine for hiding spots. Make sure they're not scratching themselves on the rocks, and make sure the rocks are stable so they won't fall on the kuhlis.
 

Jenoli42

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TexasDomer said:
I use DIY root tabs, Osmocote Plus in gel caps. You can buy them premade on Ebay or make your own. I like them because they are cheaper than aquarium-labeled root tabs, and they have both macros and micros (some aquarium root tabs lack macros).

Should be fine for hiding spots. Make sure they're not scratching themselves on the rocks, and make sure the rocks are stable so they won't fall on the kuhlis.
we did the same kind of set up with fake coral (fishsafe resin molds) and we used fishsafe reefglue and epoxy. the epoxy is best if you use it on the rocks before the tank is full of water and let it dry overnight before filling. it's fish safe, but can leach talc and if you use way too much, it has caused a very tiny amount of fish deaths because people use like 7 times the amount they're meant to and over work the epoxy. anyway, those are two products we used to create the same effect and make sure the rocks wouldn't fall on the fish
 

TexasDomer

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Superglue (plain cyanoacrylate) and silicone (without additives like being mold resistant) are cheap options that also work You don't have to worry about using too much, either.
 
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Jenoli42 said:
we did the same kind of set up with fake coral (fishsafe resin molds) and we used fishsafe reefglue and epoxy. the epoxy is best if you use it on the rocks before the tank is full of water and let it dry overnight before filling. it's fish safe, but can leach talc and if you use way too much, it has caused a very tiny amount of fish deaths because people use like 7 times the amount they're meant to and over work the epoxy. anyway, those are two products we used to create the same effect and make sure the rocks wouldn't fall on the fish
Do you think the fishasfe reefglue is sufficient enough to keep the rocks up without the epoxy? A little nervous to use the epoxy.

TexasDomer said:
Superglue (plain cyanoacrylate) and silicone (without additives like being mold resistant) are cheap options that also work You don't have to worry about using too much, either.
I've heard people say that during every weekly clean, you should take the rocks apart to clean under it because fish waste can build up there. How would I be able to do that if the rocks were glued to each other and is taking the rocks apart even necessary?
 

Jenoli42

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eraser.jpg said:
Do you think the fishasfe reefglue is sufficient enough to keep the rocks up without the epoxy? A little nervous to use the epoxy.
depends how big the rocks are, mate. we used big ones (see my profile pic) in our 72g bowfront. so there was no way the glue worked on it's own.

it's actually not scary if you do it well. you can have water in the tank and "build" your insert outside the tank and let it dry. but you need a "floor plan" so you can look down and make sure it fits before it's permanent! and watch out for that bar in the middle that keeps your tank structurally sound...

anyway, my experience is you need both if the rocks are anything but small and especially if they are odd "natural" looking shapes.

what we did was:

1. decide what piece was going where.
2. heat up the epoxy in a bowl we ruined for like 15 seconds
3. "kneed" the epoxy for 5 full minutes
4. put glue on the rock at the bottom and the rock we were placing onto it
5. put the epoxy in thin sheet (I liked making it into little worms) on one rock
6. put glue on the epoxy
7. hold for 1 minute

you can only really work with each batch for 10 minutes. your hands turn colour, but it comes off with soap and water (don't get soap near the fish!)

i'll find the link to our build thread in case you want to see more detail... please stand by
 

TexasDomer

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You can use a gravel siphon to siphon waste around the rocks. No need to move them!
 
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