socializing different types of kuhli

  • #1
So I have one black/orange kuhlI loach (pangio kuhlii). He is super healthy and an accidental addition to my tank. He came as a stowaway on some of my plants when I was starting my planted tank. I absolutely love him but haven't had a chance to make it out to the LFS to pick up some more kuhlis so that he can group. My mom came to visit the other day and the LFS is near her house so I asked her to pick me up 5 more kuhlis. She came with some black kuhlI loaches (pangio oblanga). I love these guys as well, but they were not what I was expecting. My question is: will the oblangas provide a social group for my true kuhli? So far it seems they are swimming together and hang out under the drift wood together. The oblangas are a bit bigger and possibly more active but that could be because they are still exploring the tank.
  • #2
Different species of kuhlis will shoal together, however it would probably be best if you got some more P. kuhlI if you have a large enough tank.

I have a tank with Pangio oblonga, kuhli, doriae, myersi, and anguillaris. I have them all in groups of at least 3 (besides the doriae; he was purchased as an oblonga, and they are very hard to find) but most of the time they will all swim together as if they are all the same species.
  • #3
I would try to find the same species. I have two different kuhlis in my tank, they swim and sleep together but you got to remember, we are keeping them in a closed environment unless you have a 33 feet long aquarium where else are they going to go?
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  • #4
Thanks, guys. What are your thoughts on the bioload of these fish? I've read that they have a relatively small bioload, which makes sense, given their thin little bodies. My tank, as is, is "overstocked" according to a site like aqadvisor, but I am not really inclined to follow those guidelines for this particular tank. For one, it's a well planted tank, which should recycle some of the fish waste. Second, the kuhliis are bottom feeders which I think would help clean up typical excess food. Can the tank handle 4-5 more of the p. kuhlii?

Also, my mollies are already breeding like crazy. I got 5 fry a couple weeks after bringing these guys home and one of the females is pregnant again. When the juveniles are big enough, I will rehome them so that there is only an adult population of 4-6 at any given time. Aqadvisor is too simplistic an algorithm to account for the plants and the various sizes of my mollies. For more info, I updated the tank stats yesterday in my bio.
  • #5
Unfortunately, I don't think your tank would be able to handle it.

Yes, the kuhlis have a small bioload, but it's your other fish that are the issue here.

Dalmatian Mollies are Poecilia latipinna, and they're one of the larger species of mollies (also, they're poop machines). I've seen some females over 6" long. Even after you rehome the juveniles, you're looking at an overstocked tank with adult lengths in mind.

What are your nitrates right before a water change? Also, do you mind uploading a picture of your tank? Seeing just how densely planted it is will also help.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Keep in mind that this is a new tank and my intention is that the plants will fill out more. I'm a planted tank beginner so still learning how to optimize conditions for the plants. They're growing, but I think they will do even better once I get the hang of it. The nitrates are around 5-10 ppm when I do the water changes each week. I've only had the p. oblanga a few days so I can't say what it will be with them in there. I cycled with a filter from an established tank and this tank has done very well so far (nitrites and ammonia are solid at zero).


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  • #7
Your tank really isn't densely planted enough to put a dent in the nitrates.
I really think you should rehome the mollies, or at least the females. The males will stay smaller and won't reproduce (obviously), so they'll put less of an impact on the bioload. Even with that in mind, you will have to keep a close eye on your nitrates and perform frequent water changes.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Over the next six months, my plan is to get the tank to the point that it is densely planted. These plants have only been in there a couple months and they've already grown up a couple inches on either side. I will definitely consider getting rid of the mollies though. They're so active that they rip leaves off the plants quite a bit and it's starting to get annoying. For now, I will just closely monitor the nitrates and see how it goes. It'll be a little while before I can get my hands on more p. kuhliI anyway. I don't think they're sold anywhere in Boston. The LFS that has them is in the burbs and I don't have a car.

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