How Big Do Striped Kuhli Loach Grow?

Some loaches grow way larger and some stay too small for you to even understand what to do. So, most of the time it is necessary to do your research about every fish you are going to keep in the tank beforehand. Striped Kuhli loach might be one of the best cleaner fish you will add to the tank but do you know how big will these striped Kuhli loach grow?

How Big Does Striped Kuhli Loach Grow?
The size of Kuhli loach even if it is striped ones depends on the fact how well they are taken care of. This striped Kuhli loach basically grows up to 5 inches with some exceptions. The size may vary from 3 to 4 inches on most of the Kuhli loach while 5 inches is the maximum size they can attain.

You need to be extra careful with the space you give them to grow. While diet, water parameters, tank mates, etc. play important roles to determine the size along with the tank size, you are the key factor that will help them grow properly.

I have got some additional info related to the size of striped Kuhli loach and how big they will grow. Also, there is a separate heading for explaining the impact of various factors on the growth rate of striped Kuhli loach.

Do not miss anything below and learn more about them from this article. Hope this will help with your fishkeeping journey.

How Big Does Striped Kuhli Loach Grow?

As I have mentioned earlier, the determining factor for the growth of the striped Kuhli loach is the condition they are living in.

The size may vary according to the environment they are living in. When I was new to raising Kuhli loach in the tank, the very first Kuhli loaches of mine were barely 3 inches in size.

So, I always thought that 3 inches was the maximum size these striped Kuhli loaches can attain. However, after few years, while raising the second batch of the Kuhli loach, I realized that was not the case.

At this point, I was experienced enough to raise and take care of these striped Kuhli loaches. I guess, my experience and good training were the very reason my Kuhli loach grew a little larger than 3 inches this time.

Now, I know what was the thing that I did wrong in the first batch of Kuhli loaches. I kept them in a smaller tank and kept too many of them together.

Hence, do not repeat the same mistakes as I did. Your Striped Kuhli loach can grow up to 5 inches maximum if you take care of them and their needs properly.

However, they do not always reach this size. So, don’t get disappointed when your striped Kuhli loach is 3 to 4 inches in size.

You need to know that, 3 and 4 inches are the average/normal sizes that are quite common among the striped Kuhli loach. If they are smaller than this, then you need to take the necessary measures and run some water tests immediately.

How Fast Do Kuhli Loaches Grow?

You may not want your fish to grow faster and cover the entire tank. Most of the time people miss the growth phase of their fish because of the faster growth rate.

But don’t worry, you will get top experience every step of the growth phase of your Kuhli loach. They might not be a fast grower but they are that slow either.

The most complaints you will ever find about Kuhli loach is how late they attain their maturity. It will literally and figuratively takes them years to reach their full size.

You will have to wait for a year or two for Kuhli loach to reach its mature size. However, they will start getting fat after a while though.

Most of the time and quite commonly, your Kuhli loach reaches its sexual maturity when it is 2 years old.

Most of the time, their growth stops when they reach 3 inches to 4 inches in size. After that, all the food they eat will be an addition to the body fat rather than size.

Not that I am saying you to stop feeding them, but be careful with the diet plan. You need to feed them the exact amount they need.

Any more food than that or overfeeding can lead to obesity in your aquarium fish. Trust me, the size won’t increase but you might lose your fat fish due to complications brought by obesity.

Here is a detailed article on Most Common Beginner Aquarium Mistakes When Setting Up New Tank

Factors That Will Determine How Big Striped Kuhli Loach Will Grow

Every fish have a specific list of basic needs that you need to fulfill if you want them to grow properly and attain their maximum size.

Even the simplest complications in the basic necessities of the fish can lead to undergrowth, sickness, health complications, and even death.

I know you don’t want to live through any nightmare that is related to striped Kuhli loach. Every fish keeper wants their fish to grow properly and I know you feel the same about your Kuhli loach.

However, these striped Kuhli loaches can be kind of a headache for beginners. If you have no idea what you are doing, research as soon as possible.

This one, right here, is a real piece of work that will add so much workload for you while raising them.

You need to be extra careful with every little detail about this fish. I know this might sound absurd but you need to take care of these more often than any other fish.

And of course, when it comes to the growth rate of striped Kuhli loach, you need to have enough patience.

These Kuhli loaches are slow growers and want too much attention even with the simplest thing.

The color fading to gasping for breath are some of the quite common issues you will have to deal with if there are any complications in the tank let alone the undergrowth.

I have tried to put all the factors that play the main roles in determining how big your striped Kuhli loach will grow.

These factors carry the “One miss, game finish” level of importance when it comes to the growth rate of Kuhli loach.

Tank Size

One of the most important things that you can give your fish is enough space where they can grow. Space plays a major role in determining how big your striped Kuhli loach will get.

Although this Kuhli loach is quite small compared to some loaches, you cannot let them live in the small tank.

I have also written an article on Aquarium Size and Weight Guide – A Shocking Truth

It is quite important for you to understand that confined space makes the growth rate slower. And apparently, after a while, your fish will stop growing at all due to the ongoing space crisis.

The minimum tank size when it comes to striped Kuhli loach is 15 gallons. You can keep around 3 to 6 Kuhli loach in a 20 gallons tank though.

You might like to read an article on How To Setup A 20-Gallon Fish Tank: Livestock and Equipment List [2020]

But remember to not overcrowd the small tank. And if you want to keep some more Kuhli loach, then go for a bigger tank.

Or else, the outer layer of the body might stop growing due to small space but the inner organs will keep on growing.

This will invite other complications in the body of these striped Kuhli loaches. I know you don’t want your fish to suffer, hence you better get a bigger tank in the first place.

Tank Mates

Bullying is the hardest thing any fish or living being has to go through. The impact of someone looking down at you is way more than people understand.

Mental health plays an important role in deciding what will happen next and how big your fish will grow.

If you keep your Kuhli loach with an aggressive and territorial fish that will attack your Kuhli loach every chance it gets, then there is a very small or thin line of survival of your fish.

Tankmates need to be the ones who will let the striped Kuhli loach live in peace and won’t disturb its time and often.

If there is a predator in the tank, then your striped Kuhli loach will be stressed and go into hiding. Mental health directly affects the physical growth of the fish.

You will end up with a dwarf striped Kuhli loach, forget the big ones, as stressing tank mates will not let them grow appropriately.

Remember to research carefully about the fish that will live happily with Kuhli loach and try to avoid each and every incompatible fish.


Food is the basic source of energy for any living being. No one can imagine the growth taking place without the consumption of food.

Tell me, what happens if you don’t feed little children good food during their growth years? Well, they will suffer from malnutrition which will, in turn, hinder the physical growth of their body.

The case is not that different compared to Kuhli loaches. You have to feed them good food according to the diet plan at an appropriate time regularly.

The amount of food you give them needs to enough for them to keep going till they get food again. You have to take care of this fish diet as you would take care of the diet of any fussy child.

They will not go hunting for food. Hence, it is your duty to feed them food that will sink directly at the bottom of the tank.

You need to be right on time and need to feed them once or twice a day every day. Feed them food that they can eat within 2 to 3 minutes.

Your Kuhli loach loves grindal worms, micro worms, bloodworms, Artemia, larvae, crustaceans, and plant food as they are omnivores.

Remember to feed them alternate food every day and make sure the food reaches the bottom for Kuhli loach to eat.

I have also written an article on Fish Food 101: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Feed Aquarium Fish

Water Parameters

Even the slightest fluctuation in the water parameters will make the growth rate slower. The reaction your Kuhli loach shows to the water changes is way worse than you can imagine.

When there is not an ideal environment for the fish to live in, they will not live happily let alone grow. You need to maintain the water quality optimum at all the time.

Can you imagine living in an environment that is completely strange for you? No, it gets harder for people to survive even the sudden climatic change sometimes.

How can you expect these small delicate living beings to handle sudden change? Your Kuhli loach will try to avoid the situation by hiding or jumping out of the tank.

This will also affect the growth rate of the fish as this will hamper the physical as well as mental health of striped Kuhli loach.

You need to maintain the water temperature between 73 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. And the pH. needs to between 6.0 and 6.5 while the water hardness needs to be within 0-5dGH up to 10Dgh.

The growth rate is directly proportional to how healthy and happy your Kuhli loach is in the tank. Or else they will end up with shorter size or sickness

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions related to fishkeeping or any type of specific fish can be never-ending. The same thing happens when you decide to keep Kuhli loach in the tank. So in order to lessen your burden, I have answered some of the FAQs people often want answers to. Hope this helps.

How Many Kuhli Loaches Should You Keep Together In The Aquarium?

First, you have to look at the size of your Kuhli loach and understand how big it will grow. As your Kuhli loach will most often stay between 3 inches to 5 inches in size, you need to plan accordingly.

Although it is suggested to keep 1 inch of fish per gallon of water, you have to be open-minded in the case of this fish though.

Your Kuhli loach is known to produce very little bioload and is quite compatible with their own kind. So, they won’t make any fuss over the fact that they are living with other Kuhli loach.

But remember Kuhli loach are not schooling fish, hence they don’t essentially need school to survive in the tank.

With that being said, if you have a 20 gallons tank or even larger, then you can keep 3 to 6 Kuhli loach in the same tank.

But remember, do not exceed more than 4 in the tank with a capacity of 20-gallons if you indeed want your Kuhli loach to grow properly.

You might like to learn more about Fish Tank Setup For Beginners | Aquarium Setup – Fishkeeping Guide

Having the same kind of fish with them, Kuhli loach will feel comfortable and safe to come out of hiding and stay playful in the tank.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Kuhli Loach?

The lifespan of Kuhli loach varies according to the place they are living in. If your fish is living in the wild, then their lifespan is automatically more than the aquarium fish.

The same type of fish that grow in a different environment, the first one in the wild while the second one in captivity, has a vast difference in the years they will live.

In the wild, your Kuhli loach is known to live up to 14 years with no problem whatsoever. However, the number of years decreases substantially when these Kuhli loaches are kept in captivity in a home aquarium.

Kuhli loach will only live for 10 years in the tank given that you are maintaining the tank well and keeps the conditions optimum. The number may vary depending on the fact how well you are taking care of the aquarium and the fish living in it.


In a nutshell, Striped Kuhli loach won’t grow that big as you think. They are medium-sized fish that will live happily in an average size tank. You need to, however, make sure that they don’t feel suffocated or overcrowded in the tank. They will live happily alone as these striped Kuhli loaches are not schooling fish. However, these loaches would love to have a companion in the tank. And they will be comfortable with the presence of another.

Kuhli loach might not be an ideal choice for beginners. But they will be a great addition to your tank, even community tank if you know what you are doing. Most of the time, we fail to understand and take care of our Kuhli loaches which will lead to the undergrowth of these striped Kuhli loaches.

If you are looking for a loach that will stay up to 5 inches to 3 inches, then go for this one. Or else, there are many small loaches that are smaller than 3 inches too.

And if you are looking for bigger ones, then there are many types of larger loaches you can choose from. But remember to research them thoroughly.

Good Luck!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!

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