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Loaches / Cobitinae / Kuhli Loach

Coolie Loach, Kuhli Loach
Pangio kuhlii

Synonyms: Acanthophthalmus fasciatus, A. kuhlii, Cobitis kuhlii
Physical description: The Kuhli Loach has an eel-like shape. The dorsal fin is located far back on the body. The body coloring is orange to salmon with 15-20 wide transverse black bands that extend to the belly. The belly is light pink to white. Four pairs of barbels extend from the mouth, and spines are located just below the eye.
Size/Length: To 4" (10 cm)
Similar species: Other Pangio species. There are other types of Loaches that resemble the shape of the Coolie Loach, but differ in color or pattern, such as Meyer's Loach or the Slimy Loach ( Pangio meyersi ), the Half-banded Loach ( Pangio semicintus ), and Shelford's Loach ( Pangio shelfordi ).
Habitat: The Kuhli Loach lives in great masses around plant cushions of muddy rivers. Southeast Asia; Borneo, Java, Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Thailand
S: bottom
Aquarium: A tank measuring 20" (51 cm) with a volume of 10 gallons (38 L) is sufficient. The tank should be heavily planted and a cover of floating plants is suggested. The substrate should be fine gravel, or preferably sand or peat, for burrowing. Provide hiding places among roots, rocks, and wood.
Water chemistry: pH 5.5-7.5 (6.7), 4-15 dH (8); 77-86°F (25-30°C)
Social behavior: An excellent community fish that can be combined with small to medium sized species. It hides during the day but comes out at feeding times, and during the evening. Do not combine with fish that might try and swallow this slender Loach.
Suggested companions: Tetras, Danios, Barbs, Rasboras, Gouramis, Corydoras, Loricarids, Angelfish, Apistogramma
FOOD: Tablets; live; insect larvae, worms, crustaceans. A nocturnal bottom feeder.
Sexual differences: The females are larger during the spawning season, and their second pectoral fin is thicker than that of the male.
Breeding techniques: Breeding has been accomplished both accidentally, and on a few occasions by imitating the rainy season. Use a large tank with a large group of fish. The tank level should be lowered and the water should be softened. The fish should be conditioned with a variety of live foods. Spawning takes place near the surface with the male entwining around the female. The bright green eggs float to the surface and adhere to the roots of floating plants.
Breeding potential: 9. Breeding is very rare and extremely difficult.
Remarks: Often hides or buries itself during the day, coming out at night to feed. The Kuhli Loach is often very active in the morning and when the lights are turned on. If a fish is floating on surface it is a sign of heavy water pollutants. There are two sub-specieS: P. kuhlii kuhlii and P. kuhlii sumatranus .
Difficulty of care: 2. A robust, peaceful species with a bizarre body form.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com