Kuhlis and plants?

Discussion in 'Kuhli Loach' started by 18cineole, Jun 21, 2016.

  1. 18cineoleNew MemberMember

    Hey all,
    I'm planning a 20-gal, kuhli-centric tank and I'm deciding about plants.

    I was wondering if kuhlis are a problem for any plants due to burrowing among the roots? On the other hand, do kuhlis especially appreciate live plants or would they not care?

  2. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    Hi there!

    My Kuhlis love to root around and will occasionally disturb my smaller Staurogyne Repens but if they do, I just replant them. If you are trying to carpet the substrate, their burrowing and sifting may cause problems with getting the plants to root properly. I have live plants in my kuhli tank but I'm sure high quality artificial plants won't be an issue. Just make sure there are no sharp edges that they can catch themselves on, as they will definitely make use of any plants you decide to use. Mine are usually draped all over the Java Ferns and Crypts.

    Edit: Make sure to provide plenty of shaded areas and hiding areas. They will get over their initial shyness much quicker when they know they have lots of places to hide if need be.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2016
  3. tyguy7760

    tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Agreed with Lchi87

    My kuhli's do disturb my anacharis as they are just stuck into the sand. But not too bad. However, my crypts and microswords have large enough root systems that the kuhli's don't bother them. THey love plants. If you do decide on fake plants though like lchi said, make sure they are soft.
  4. OP

    18cineoleNew MemberMember

    Thanks, tyguy and Lchi! That gives me some good plant species to research, and a sense of how the kuhlis will use them.

    I'm going to start cycling soon. Is it better if I cycle with the plants in, to get everything really stable before Kuhlis Day?
  5. Lchi87

    Lchi87ModeratorModerator Member

    You need a source of ammonia to cycle so I would use pure ammonia for a fishless cycle or some fish food in a media bag. Kuhlis need an established tank so I would triple check to make sure you're cycled before adding them for sure. If you search on this forum, you'll find lots of helpful information on cycling.

    I did a fishless cycle on my kuhli tank by using the fish food and dumping a bunch of TSS+ into the water and then just made sure to keep feeding the tank fish food every day to feed the growing bacteria. I also had borrowed media jammed into the filter from my other established tank to jumpstart the bacteria colony. I did this for about 4 weeks and checked the parameters every day after week 2 just to make sure I didn't get any spikes. Then when I added the kuhlis, I dumped in more TSS+ for good measure. May have been overkill but they're all thriving so far !
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2016

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