Beginner's Guide

How Many Babies Do Kuhli Loaches Have?

One of the hardest things you will have to face while raising Kuhli loach is to breed them in a home aquarium. Breeding Kuhli loaches will be a real challenge as they will neither spawn nor will they breed easily. Even the female Kuhli loach will give you hard time to just pad out with eggs. And the uncertainty of these eggs hatching is even little and depends on various factors. Hence the question lingers: how many babies do Kuhli loaches have?

The number of eggs that female lays determine the number of fries Kuhli loaches will have. You will end up with nearly 300 to 400 Kuhli loaches babies/fry when your female Kuhli loaches lay enough eggs. This number can go down to 10 and 50 babies at a time when the water parameters and tank environment doesn’t support them.

You have to be extra careful when it comes to breeding Kuhli loaches. This condition is no different when the eggs hatch into Kuhli loaches fries. From maintaining the water parameters to feeding these babies a balanced diet, you have to take care of every small thing.

The above piece of information will take you nowhere while breeding or raising Kuhli loaches babies. Here is what you need to do: I will note down all the important notes related to Kuhli loaches and their eggs.

Read the article below to gain more knowledge about these Kuhli loaches eggs and fry. It will certainly help you have more healthy and happy Kuhli loaches in the tank.

How Many Babies Do Kuhli Loaches Have?

The number of babies Kuhli loaches will have depends on the number of Kuhli loach eggs that will hatch. You can end up with nearly 500 to 600 of them or will lag with 10 to 50.

Your Kuhli loach lays nearly 600 eggs each time they breed. And hence, your male Kuhli loach will fertilize maximum eggs among them.

However, only 300 to 400 of the Kuhli loach eggs usually hatch and give you these many Kuhli loach babies. But this can be quite rare as there is a high possibility that most of the fry will end up dead even after safe hatching.

Most of the time you will end up with 10 to 50 babies if you fail to take care of the Kuhli loach eggs or fry properly.

Even the slightest change in the parameters or improper tank maintenance will cause the death of Kuhli loach babies one by one.

Also, the number depends on the fact how well and healthy your female Kuhli loach is. If your Kuhli loach is healthy enough and is an experienced one, then she will definitely lay more eggs than the one who is new to breeding.

You will be surprised to see the number of Kuhli loaches babies swimming around in the tank once you provide them a favorable environment to hatch.

How Many Eggs Will Kuhli Loach Lay?

Again, the number of eggs that your female Kuhli loaches will lay depends on the fact how experienced she is and what is her health condition.

Once, you take care of your female Kuhli loaches, give them enough balanced diet and create an appropriate environment for spawning, they will pad out with eggs.

Most of the time you will end up seeing hundreds of eggs in a single clutch. As it is quite rare to see Kuhli loach breed in the tank, I was so shocked when I saw eggs in the tank.

But for me, the shocking part was the population of the eggs I have to take care of. I had tried my level best to make Kuhli loach spawn and breed.

So, I was happy when I saw my female Kuhli loach full of eggs and Kuhli loaches showing spawning triggers.

But the result I got was not something I was prepared for. There were practically 500 to 600 eggs in the tank.

Trust me, for someone who had basically dealt with fish that lay 50 to 100 eggs with a 30% success rate. I couldn’t collect my thoughts when I saw these many eggs.

And I could not grab my thoughts about how I will take care of these many babies of Kuhli loaches if all the eggs hatch together.

Hence, if you are looking and thinking about breeding Kuhli loach in the tank, find a bigger tank first. Even when you succeed after many and many tries, you will put your hand on your forehead to caress it.

These many numbers of eggs are something we cannot even imagine taking care of most. Hence, prepare yourself beforehand to make sure you can take care of these many fish fry.

How Can You Tell If A Kuhli Loach Is Male Or Female?

The good thing about Kuhli loaches is you can separate male from the female Kuhli loach way easily if you know where to look at them.

These fish are sexually dimorphic. Hence, things can’t get any better. Most of the aquarists often complain about the fact that their aquarium fish are giving them hard time when it comes to gender reveal.

It is hard to differentiate males from females in most aquarium fish. But your Kuhli loach comes in a different package here.

They are easily distinguishable. The body of Kuhli loaches has morphological differences that pinpoint the gender.

You do not have to wait till these Kuhli loaches pad out with eggs or the male Kuhli loach try to woo the female.

Your female Kuhli loaches are already plumper compared to the male ones. And of course, your female will have the tips of their tail somewhat straight while the male will show some curved tails that are slightly inwards.

If you are having a hard time distinguishing male and female Kuhli loaches based on weight and size, look at the tail.

Their tail is the tell-tale sign that will tell you the difference between the genders. You will be an expert within seconds if you go with this.

How To Tell If A Kuhli Loach Is Pregnant?

Well, I am never okay with people calling egg-laying fish pregnant. These Kuhli loaches are egg-layers even though it is quite rare for you to see that in a home aquarium.

I often had a hard time distinguishing the fact that if my Kuhli loaches are gravid with eggs or are just fat.  Not that I overfed my Kuhli loaches or anything but I never saw eggs in the tank and nor did my Kuhli loaches lost any weight even when I followed strict rules about feeding them.

I still think that those loaches were full of eggs and those eggs were eaten or filtered out right after laying before I could even see them. This is because I saw some weight loss in Kuhli loaches all of the sudden.

Whatever that was, it was a great failure for me as I could not manage to see the eggs or let the male Kuhli loaches fertilize them.

After that, I research enough and even bred Kuhli loaches in the tank by following every little procedure. I saw the eggs in the tank too and of course, was too shocked to see the number of eggs.

Signs That Your Kuhli Loach Is Full Of Eggs

Hence, here is what you need to do to find out if your Kuhli loaches are full of eggs or just fat. I hope they are not fat as obesity in aquarium fish is a curse.

Here are the signs that will assure your Kuhli loaches are pregnant.

  1. Your Kuhli loaches will get super thick and plumper at the middle where their distended stomach is.
  2. The color around the area where it is plumper will fade and seem lighter compared to the rest of the body of Kuhli loach. Kuhli loaches lose color of their entire body due to other reasons.
  3. You can even see the eggs through the skin of the Kuhli loach as it tends to get thinner and translucent when Kuhli loaches pad out with eggs.
  4. They will start to show spawning behavior and your female loach will signal the male loach about the eggs.

Will Kuhli Loaches Eat Their Babies?

Yes, absolutely. That’s why experts often suggest you keep the adults and eggs in a separate tank. Kuhli loaches often dig the gravel or substrate while searching for food.

These Kuhli loaches often go missing in the tank. Hence, when your other loaches lay their eggs on the bottom of the tank, these loaches will easily eat up all of them.

They will not intentionally kill the babies. But these loaches are known to eat anything that fits in their mouth.

Kuhli loaches are bottom dwellers and will stay there scavenging for foods and leftovers. The small fry of Kuhli loaches in the bottom of the tank will be an easy snack for these bottom-dwellers.

They will not go on hunting these babies down. However, if they are busy scavenging around and come across small fry, then this fry might end up inside their mouth.

You cannot put this on your Kuhli loaches. They are doing something that is so into their nature. You cannot force them to change their habit or nature after removing them from their natural habitat.

And of course, the hidden ones in the aquarium substrate will come out at night searching for food. And these babies will be one of the best food they will find in the tank.

Kuhli loaches will eat small snails in the tank. And even these Kuhli loaches eat up shrimps. Hence, these small eggs or Kuhli loaches babies are no big thing for them.

How To Take Care Of Kuhli Loaches Babies?

You have to be extra careful when it comes to taking care of babies. Can you imagine what a small child will be like? They will be all sensitive and fragile.

Even the slightest change in their living environment will make you lose them. That is why people often end up with 10 to 50 fry rather than 400.

You might not like to lose these many fries after going through all the things to breed them. It is one of the hardest things you have to face.

Losing nearly hundreds of Kuhli loaches babies just because you were not careful enough will make you regret everything.

That’s why I ask you to be attentive when it comes to breeding and raising Kuhli loaches babies. Also, take care of the female Kuhli loaches too.

These Kuhli loaches will be vulnerable and fragile after laying eggs. Think of them as the woman who has just gone through delivery.

The situation is quite similar and they will be as sensitive as any other pregnant living being. With that being said, let’s talk about the things you have to do for Kuhli loaches babies in the tank:


You have to be precise and well-stocked when it comes to their diet. They need more food than adult Kuhli loaches as these babies are in a growing phase.

For the first few days, you have to feed them infusoria. This should be continued for a week or two. After a week, the starting point of the second week, you can switch to brine shrimps and micro worms.

You need to feed them these things for nearly 6 weeks and after that, you can give them dry fish food too.

However, look carefully at what your fry is eating or avoiding. Do not give them food that they didn’t prefer in the first place.

Hence, diet is the very important factor that decides how well Kuhli loaches babies will grow in the tank.

Most of the time, they will be sellable after 5 months when they will be somewhat mature. After 2 months, these Kuhli loaches babies will be nearly 1.25 inches long and will attain good size only if you give them good food.

Water Parameters

Most of the time, people relax and let the water parameters on its own once they start seeing eggs as well as fry in the tank.

Your Kuhli loaches both adults and babies will be fragile and prone to bacteria and parasites after laying eggs and hatching respectively.

You have to make sure the water parameters do not fluctuate once the female Kuhli loaches lay eggs. Even the slightest change in the water quality and temperature will affect the eggs.

Your Kuhli loaches eggs will not even hatch and develop into babies when the water parameters go south.

Take care of the aquarium water filtration systems as well as the aquarium heater so that it is well-maintained throughout the growth phase of Kuhli loaches. You might wonder about Can I Turn off the Aquarium Filter at Night?

You have to perform water changes every day but make it only 5% of it. Overdoing water changes is harmful to your fish as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Raising Kuhli loaches babies can be tiring and adventurous. But the above article will only do justice to some of the things you have to deal with. There are some more FAQs that people are often asking. Hence I tried to answer a few of them.

Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Eggs?

Yes, your Kuhli loaches will devour eggs. There is nothing in between even when it comes to their own eggs.

One of the things we have already established is these Kuhli loaches are hard to breed. Hence, you will not want every single piece of the effort to go to waste by making the eggs food for Kuhli loach.

Breeding might be a wholesome task but it is more important to save the eggs and let them hatch. Some eggs will remain unfertilized while some will fertilize and yet the Kuhli loaches will eat them up.

You have to make sure that the adults stay far away from the eggs and leave these alone till they hatch and become fry.

Adding a Spawning mop or transferring either the eggs or parents from the tank can be one clever move to save your Kuhli loach eggs.

Do not expect Kuhli loaches to leave the eggs alone. They are omnivores and will eat anything that will fit in their mouth.

It is up to you to do everything possible in order to make sure the Kuhli loaches eggs hatch in a safe and sound environment.

Will Kuhli Loaches Eat Dead Fish?

Yes, as I have mentioned earlier, they will eat anything that will fit in their mouth. They won’t even leave their own eggs behind, how can you expect them to leave behind dead fish?

Cleaning up the tank and eating up all the leftovers is what your Kuhli loaches are famous for. Hence, one dead fish that is polluting the tank will be a lavish dinner for these loaches.

They will not only eat the fleshy part of the dead fish but will possibly consume the diseases carrying parasites.

These Kuhli loaches will not even let go of small fish that will fit in their mouth. So, a dead fish that shows no movement will be easy food for your fish.

Kuhli loaches will not care if the things that are going inside their mouth are either dead or alive. You need to take care of your Kuhli loach diet properly.

They might end up eating something that they should not and will end up dying as well. Do not let your fish eat other dead fish that have died in strange circumstances.

Remove the dead bodies of both fish and other aquatic beings as soon as possible. But if the other fish have died due to aging, let them be and remove the parts that Kuhli loach leaves behind.

How Long Can Kuhli Loaches Go Without Eating?

Well, firstly it is cruel to deprive someone of food who is alive for the love of food. Your Kuhli loaches swim around and search for leftovers as a thing to entertain themselves.

How can you expect a foodie to go on a diet and ruin their health? I have always been against the experiments that give results to stupid things like how long Kuhli loach can go without eating.

But sometimes circumstances are way weirder and you end up not feeding your fish for days. This often happens when people go on vacation or out of town for work.

You have to make sure that they are well-fed even when you are absent. Because 5 is the highest number of days that your Kuhli loach can go without food.

They are okay for the first 5 days if you have well-fed them before leaving them alone for starvation. After this, complications will start to take place in their body.

And they will start searching for food and munch on anything they will find in the tank. Do not let them go through these situations. They don’t deserve it. If you are confuse about the food for aquarium fish, here is what you need to read Fish Food 101: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Feed Aquarium Fish.


In conclusion, even if the breeding and hatching are a real challenge in the case of Kuhli loaches and their eggs respectively, the most stressing part for a new aquarist can be the number of Kuhli loaches babies they have to deal with. Can you imagine taking care of nearly 400 Kuhli loaches fry in a single tank? It can get from exciting to scary real quick. But you still have to make sure each of them is fine and healthy. Give the newly born babies good food after a while and proper water parameters to grow in. You can always make a profit by selling these babies to a potential buyer.

Not everything will fall into place when it comes to raising Kuhli loaches babies. You have to be prepared to deal with the loss of some Kuhli loaches babies even after they hatch and swim for a while.

Do not expect things much more than you might end up with. Keep calm and do your job and accept anything that comes your way.

You will do just fine if you take care of every little thing in the breeding and fry tank. If you still have questions related to this, do check other articles here. Or drop a comment on the comment section below.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!