Opinions on kuhli loaches? How active do they tend to be?

stormyskies

Hello! I'm currently in the process of deciding on what fish to keep in a 55-gallon tank, and so far, kuhli loaches are one of the prospective candidates. I've heard stories of how they'll immediately go into hiding, completely disappearing for months. Does this usually tend to be the case? Is there ways to nudge them towards being more outgoing, and would providing them with ample cover and a larger group help?
 

Nameer Khan

The larger the group the more active, get atleast 8, maybe more but depending on your stocking, if you were to get 4 I’d be surprised if you ever see them. They are also nocturnal so at 2pm they aren’t going to be as active as 8 for example, still won’t always be sleeping through the day.
 
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GlennO

Yes keep them in numbers and ensure that they have plenty of cover to move around in and under like lots of plants or even leaf litter and you will see them especially at feeding time. If they don't have cover they won't feel secure and you won't see them when the lights are on, they'll only come out at night.
 
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smee82

I never had a problem seeing mine theyre always out and about especially at feeding times.

I probably would keep less then a dozen myself
 
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QCAquaholic

I see mine all times of the day. They're mostly hanging out in between rocks and at the base of the big piece of spider wood that looks like a tree trunk. I can usually coax them out a little more with some Repashy.
 
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FishBoy101

I don't have any, but I heard many stories. At night they should be out more then earlier then in the day.
 
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richiep

Its strange how some see more than others ive got 18 in 140lts with Cory's and i only see them at feeding time or if I put the lights out early
 
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GlennO

Its strange how some see more than others ive got 18 in 140lts with Cory's and i only see them at feeding time or if I put the lights out early

They are strange characters. I don't see mine that much unless I look for them hiding among plants. But when I'm doing a water change and all the pumps and filters are off they come out and start doing laps of the tank. Funny things.
 
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faydout

I've got about 12 in my 40, and there are 3 that I see out and about whenever I look in there. There are another 3 or 4 that I see poking around most days, then there are 3 or 4 that I see when I go looking for them. Lots of hiding places does seem to help coax them out, but they're shy and nocturnal by nature.
 
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stormyskies

Yes keep them in numbers and ensure that they have plenty of cover to move around in and under like lots of plants or even leaf litter and you will see them especially at feeding time. If they don't have cover they won't feel secure and you won't see them when the lights are on, they'll only come out at night.

Thank you! I hadn't even thought of using leaf litter to provide cover, but I love that idea. Do you have any recommendations for which types of plants and leaf litter to use?
 
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stormyskies

The larger the group the more active, get atleast 8, maybe more but depending on your stocking, if you were to get 4 I’d be surprised if you ever see them. They are also nocturnal so at 2pm they aren’t going to be as active as 8 for example, still won’t always be sleeping through the day.

Thank you, I'll aim at grabbing at least 8! I'm actually still in the process of stocking and thus only have a dwarf gourami at the moment, so I have plenty of space.
 
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Islandvic

I would suggest to get 8-12 minimum.

I have around 10-12 in our 65g community tank. They are always out, but they have lots of cover to make them feel safe.
 
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stormyskies

I've got about 12 in my 40, and there are 3 that I see out and about whenever I look in there. There are another 3 or 4 that I see poking around most days, then there are 3 or 4 that I see when I go looking for them. Lots of hiding places does seem to help coax them out, but they're shy and nocturnal by nature.

Ooo thanks! I'm perfectly fine with them being shy and nocturnal, but I've heard stories about them completely disappearing without a trace and that makes me hesitant to add some to my tank, y'know? As long as they appear now and then for a headcount, I'm good lol
 
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stormyskies

I would suggest to get 8-12 minimum.

I have around 10-12 in our 65g community tank. They are always out, but they have lots of cover to make them feel safe.

Thanks for the advice! What do you use for cover?
 
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GlennO

Thank you! I hadn't even thought of using leaf litter to provide cover, but I love that idea. Do you have any recommendations for which types of plants and leaf litter to use?

Any plants are good, low growing leafy ones probably provide the best cover. This is a good article related to leaf litter in aquariums:

All the leaves are brown… — Seriously Fish
 
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MiaK

I have 6 of them and they are out and about all the time. They need company to feel safe plus the more hiding places they will have the more they will go out. While I don't have tons of hiding places I have a lot of plants.
 

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LyndaD

I put five in my 40g and rarely saw them -- until I took my six young electric blue acaras out! Now I see them all the time. I never saw the acaras going after them, but I think their presence made the kuhlis feel uneasy.
 
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