What's the best way to catch Kuhli Loaches? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-14-2012, 02:56 AM Thread Starter
Sylverclaws's Avatar
What's the best way to catch Kuhli Loaches?

How do you catch Black Kuhli Loaches in a way that's easy on them, and wont stir up your tank? Their little snake-like bodies and small size make it SO hard to net them, and I'm terrified to use my hands which can also damage the animal. I usually use two nets to try and coax them over to the other net or a bottle, but that didn't work in my favor, I didn't catch a single one after half an hour of gentle coaxing.
About a month ago or so, I had moved them to another tank when the tank they were in got a bad case of Ich. Somehow they escaped it, I don't know if they just don't get it, or if they got really lucky. I had to move them because they could not handle the heat, they started floating at the top and they were an easy catch then, but kinda an emergency move considering the circumstances. Nobody died in this little fiasco thankfully, I was also unaware I had any in that tank, they bred like rabbits and I thought I had re-homed them all. ^^; I keep finding them though!
I'm going to be re-homing them soon, but for now I need them in a tank that is safe for them. They are currently in a tank with gravel bottom which isn't good for them, and there isn't enough room for them. I'll be moving them to a smaller tank with a sandy substrate and caves and plants (already cycled so don't worry), until I can re-home them all.

Problem is, they're so hard to catch, and just so delicate, slippery and small! I am worried I may mush one or cause one to damage itself when escaping in a tank that doesn't have soft substrate. Or just anything could go wrong when chasing them around with a couple of nets, not to mention it's stressful on all the tank inhabitants.
Does anyone have any easy ideas for catching them? I've tried the bottle with food, they go in, they go back out again, and my other fish get in there too, making it difficult to syphon out the ones you don't want without dropping the loaches back in. lol Quick little things. They also burrow under the gravel and the driftwood, making it difficult to move things around without risking injury. I have yet to injure anyone, but I'd like to lessen the chances of it even more. I know patience is key, I have plenty of it and it doesn't help a bit! xD

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post #2 of 5 Old 12-14-2012, 10:28 AM
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They will do fine with gravel so long as it's not got sharp edges but would enjoy sand much better.
I have caught a fair number of loaches,pleco's, by using a section of PVC pipe approx six or eight inches long, and diameter of an inch and an eighth, to inch and a half, and stuffing some filter floss in one end, while leaving the other end open. Remove any place else they can easily hide in, and place the PVC pipe in the tank. May have to place a stone on it to hold it down ( I siliconed mine to flat stone).
In the morning,before light's on,,I simply reach in and place my hand or net over the open end and dump out any visitor's into bucket of aquarium water from the tank.
May take a few attempt's, but these fishes are curious, and will explore such area's as this of an evening especially if other area's are few .
Hope this help's.

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-14-2012, 10:37 AM
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Back when I had kuhli loaches and had to catch them, I always set up a clear flower vase at one end of the tank and guided them into it. I dont know if it was because they couldnt see it or not but I was usually able to get them all rather quickly.

Or I made my friend net them but he called it quits when one of them decided to hid in a piece of decor then launch itself at his face when he pulled it up to look for them

Catching them was always a pain though e.e

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post #4 of 5 Old 12-14-2012, 11:19 AM
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Slow and steady wins the race. First, put the net in the tank. Let it sit there and let them get used to it. Then it's just a matter of slowly creeping up on them. There's no easy way, but that's what has worked best for me. Taking out hiding places is very important also.

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post #5 of 5 Old 12-14-2012, 12:05 PM
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I've had to catch and move my kuhlies twice, and it was a pain both times. Really it's just persistence. I ended up with two nets in the tank and guided them with one net and scooped with the other. I tried using a divider of sorts to keep them on one side, but they kept swimming through it.


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