Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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iamntbatman 06-17-2008 04:50 PM

Black Kuhli Loaches
I wanted a group of kuhli loaches for my sandy-bottomed 29g aquarium. My LFS carries regular banded kuhlis, but they're sold incredibly small (maybe an inch long and as thick as a pencil lead) so I'm afraid they'll get eaten by my other fish (especially the kribensis). They also for for about $4 a piece. However, the store recently got in some black kuhli loaches that full grown or very close to it and are selling them for only $1.50 a piece! Not only are they cheaper, but also the store owner says they have trouble keeping the banded kuhlis alive.

The research I've done seems to indicate that black kuhlis are hardier than their banded cousins. So...I have a few questions. How long-lived are kuhlis? I know many other loaches have long lifespans, but I'm always averse to buying adult fish because they could be in their old age already. Would a group of 5 or so black kuhlis do well in a sandy bottomed 29g? There are plenty of caves made from red shale for them to hide in, and I have some pretty low-level lighting in the tank. Tankmates will be 2 golden wonder killifish (already in the tank), a breeding pair of kribensis, a trio (1 male 2 female) swordtails, and eventually a single (or maybe pair? I haven't decided) badis badis.

tangy 06-17-2008 06:05 PM

I currently have six of these babes in my 55 g, all black. Cost me $1.20 each, not bad at all for these although I am jealous u have banded available, lucky.
Not clear on lifespan but from what I have learned a group no less than 3. I dont believe you will have an issue with compatability even with the badis badis in there, besides they almost always spend all their time hiding in the day and popping out at night. One thing is they wont be able to dig themselves in the sand. Mine cannot bury themselves because the sand tends to become compact but ur good with the hiding places.
Oh if ur lucky u might see them do this wacky thing where they all huddle in a ball. I have seen it only a handful of times with mine but its so frikkin cool :shock:

Lupin 06-17-2008 06:20 PM

Black kuhlis are most likely Pangio oblonga. Banded ones range from Pangio kuhlii, Pangio myersi, Pangio pulla to Pangio semicincta. None are that difficult to keep to me. Is the LFS using different sources? The only explanation here is small loaches are more sensitive than adults and tend to become weaker even.

I wouldn't try the killis with all those fish. Get them another tank. As far as the lifespan, I can only guess 5-6 years is possible although yours may be able to live for 4-5 years. It really depends because there will be the time they may die without warning or even fall ill under circumstances.

iamntbatman 06-17-2008 07:19 PM

The black ones they carry look most like Pangio oblonga. The banded loaches look like young Pangio kuhli or possibly Pangio malayana.

The killies are still young, maybe the size of an adult male guppy. I know they can be predatory, and I hope they do a decent job at eating the swordtail fry. I don't think they'll bother the kribs (although we'll see what happens when the kribs rear another batch of fry). I can't imagine them going after an adult swordtail or badis badis, either. The only possible problems I can forsee would be with the killies going after the loaches...but since the killies don't seem to drop below the surface and the kuhlis are so quick and stay at the bottom mostly, I don't know if it'll be a problem. If I do get predation problems, I can move the killies and replace them with a school of hatchets.

Another question...will kuhlis eat young mystery snails (1cm and under)? My girlfriend took the puffer tank with her to New York and she won't be back until late July, meanwhile I've got hundreds of juvenile brigs I could stand to get rid of. I suppose I could try to sell them...

Lupin 06-17-2008 07:34 PM


Originally Posted by iamntbatman
Another question...will kuhlis eat young mystery snails (1cm and under)? My girlfriend took the puffer tank with her to New York and she won't be back until late July, meanwhile I've got hundreds of juvenile brigs I could stand to get rid of. I suppose I could try to sell them...

Kuhlis cannot easily eat snails more than the snail eggs.

iamntbatman 06-17-2008 07:40 PM


...Anyone want some mystery snails?

Lupin 06-17-2008 11:22 PM


Originally Posted by iamntbatman

...Anyone want some mystery snails?

Make a post about it in Classifieds section. I'd sell 50 cents to a dollar per snail.

iamntbatman 06-18-2008 01:53 AM

I was thinking about doing that. Would people buy snails that young? I checked aquabid and people had auctions for really small snails, but everyone on aquabid uses Buy It Now so it's difficult to tell if people actually buy snails that young. I don't want to have to raise the things as I've already got maybe 200 of the little poop machines in my 20g tank.

tophat665 06-18-2008 09:53 PM

Don't worry about mystery snails. They lay their eggs above the waterline, and, so long as you check your lid a couple of times a week, it's really easy to remove the eggs.

iamntbatman 06-18-2008 10:50 PM

I'm going to worry about them, because I've already got them! The snails started laying the eggs, which I was going to remove, but the girlfriend convinced me to let them hatch because we could always use the extra snails as puffer food. At the last minute, she decided to take the puffer tank with her to New York and she won't be back in town for about five weeks. She wants me to keep the snails so she can feed them to the puffers when she gets back, but they're growing pretty fast so I don't think I'm going to wait five more weeks to get rid of them.

One of the parent snails (the female, I suppose) died recently from what I think was an injury caused by burning herself on the metal reflectors in my hood. That means no more eggs will be laid, but I've still got the young snails to deal with. Maybe I'll trade them to the LFS for those Endler's I mentioned in the other thread. Or maybe for these loaches.

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