How To Tell If A Kuhli Loach Is Pregnant?

Kuhli loach is quite hard to breed and people won’t even get to experience this during the whole time raising Kuhli loach. Sometimes, it is even hard for people to distinguish if the Kuhli is pregnant or just fat. Obesity in fish is one of the hardest things you will have to go through as it invites so many health issues in your fish. But what if the Kuhli loach you are thinking it in the wrong way and your Kuhli loach is full of eggs. How to even tell if your Kuhli loach is pregnant or overweight?

Kuhli loach gets plumper at the middle and you will be able to see the eggs through the translucent skin of Kuhli loach. Also, the color fading in the distended stomach along with the spawning behavior will give the pregnancy away in Kuhli loach.

These Kuhli loaches can be amazingly wonderful when they get pregnant. It is quite a rare case to see pregnant Kuhli loach. So, you have to have enough knowledge related to this.

Read this article below to understand every little detail related to the pregnant Kuhli loach and how to differentiate it from obesity.

How To Tell If A Kuhli Loach Is Pregnant?

First and foremost, your Kuhli loach will be gravid with eggs not pregnant. I had often question people when they use the same term for both livebearers and egg-layers.

Do you call an ovulating woman pregnant? No, right. Hence it is similar to this for egg-layers as well. Your Kuhli loaches will not get pregnant but will be gravid with eggs.

Now that being said, you need to understand that there is a high probability that your Kuhli loach is just fat.

Kuhli loaches are hard to breed in the home aquarium. I have often heard people complain about how much effort they put into breeding them and return empty-handed.

But it is no rocket science to breed them. If you take care of certain things, these Kuhli loaches will lay eggs and give you beautiful Kuhli loaches babies.

Hence, when you try everything you are supposed to do to breed Kuhli loach, you need to make sure your female Kuhli loach is full of eggs.

Steps To Find Out If Your Kuhli Loach Is Pregnant Or Not

Here are few things you can do to find out if your Kuhli loach is pregnant or not. Most of the time, you will figure it out if you look closely at the body of female Kuhli loaches.

  1. Look at the middle section of their body where the stomach is. You will find their bodies plumper and thick with distended stomachs if these Kuhli loaches are gravid with eggs.
  2. You will see the faded color in the area with distended stomach compared to the rest of their body. But be careful as there are other factors that will make Kuhli loach lose their color.
  3. Kuhli loach skin tends to get thinner and translucent when they are gravid with eggs. You will be able to see the eggs inside the body of Kuhli loach if you look closely.
  4. You have to look for the spawning behavior between males and females. The female Kuhli loach signals the male Kuhli loach when she is full with eggs and the weather is favorable.

How Long Is A Kuhli Loach Pregnant?

Kuhli loach won’t stay gravid with eggs for long. Once you see them full of eggs, you need to create weather that mimics monsoon season.

This will help these fish trigger spawning. If your trigger is successful and your Kuhli loach starts to swim around the aquarium excitedly the very next morning.

After that male and female Kuhli loaches will swim side by side and will probably stay at the surface of the tank for a while.

Then, you will start to see the female Kuhli loach laying the eggs on the roots of the floating plants while the male Kuhli loach will be busy fertilizing it.

This is the only time period your Kuhli loach will be pregnant. This will last for a week or 2 till the Kuhli loach becomes full and starts to spawn.

How To Take Care Of Pregnant Kuhli Loach?

Pregnancy or being gravid with eggs, both situation can make the female weak and sensitive. During this time, your female Kuhli loach will be sensitive to any changes in the tank.

They will need more energy to build their immune system strong enough to get away from any bacteria or parasites.

As a point of fact, your Kuhli loach is already difficult to raise for the beginner aquarist. Can you imagine doubling the amount of work once your Kuhli loach becomes full with eggs?

Even the experienced aquarists are bound to make some petty yet common beginners’ mistakes while taking care of pregnant Kuhli loach.

That’s why I am here to guide you through the journey of taking care of Kuhli loach that is carrying eggs.

  1. Maintain the water temperature and quality optimum all the time and don’t let it fluctuate.
  2. Install aquarium heater for the proper maintenance of temperature.
  3. Check the water parameters often and make sure your aquarium filtration system is working properly.
  4. Perform 5% of water change with rested water every day. But remember too much aquarium water change is a curse for your pregnant fish.
  5. Feed them nutritious food as well as give them more food than usual. Also, increase the number of times you give them food. But do not overfeed them as obesity in aquarium fish can bring various health complications.
  6. Do not keep them with the tank mates that can hurt or injure them.
  7. Remove all the decorations that can harm your pregnant fish as well as the eggs.

How Many Eggs Will Kuhli Loach Lay?

Kuhli loaches will lay eggs in bulk. You will be surprised or most probably shocked when you see the number of eggs that Kuhli loach will lay.

I still remember the way I was shocked and was caressing my forehead when I saw the cluster of eggs in my Kuhli loach tank.

Your Kuhli loach can lay nearly 500 to 600 eggs altogether every single time. Can you imagine the number of Kuhli loach fry you will end up with if you succeed in breeding Kuhli loach in the aquarium?

Honestly, I was scared when I came across these many eggs. I was used to raising and seeing 50 to 100 eggs at one time.

Even with the low survival rate of fertilization and hatching, these many eggs can make you question your next move.

How Many Kuhli Loach Eggs Usually Hatch?

By the number of eggs these Kuhli loaches can lay, you can contemplate the number of Kuhli loaches babies you will be taking care of.

Most people think that not all eggs will fertilize or hatch. But they are wrong. If you are careful and caring enough, then you will end up with nearly 400 fries out of 600 eggs.

Hence, these loaches might be hard to breed but once you achieve success in breeding them, the result will be way better than you expect.

However, there is a thin line between good results and bad results. Most of the time adults fish or other fish in the tank end up eating eggs and give no chance for them to hatch.

And of course, if the filter you have is way strong than necessary, then it will suck up all the eggs. That’s why remember to use a sponge filter in the tank with eggs.

I have heard many stories from people where they have ended up with just 10 Kuhli loach babies only. Do not let this happen to you. There is a high chance of you ending up with 300 to 400 Kuhli loach babies once the eggs hatch.

Hence, have patience and try to maintain water conditions optimum all the time. Let the eggs take their time to hatch. You will start to see the eggs hatching after two days from the time Kuhli loach lays the eggs.

Where Do Kuhli Loaches Lay Eggs?

Kuhli loach might be far from their natural habitat but they will not leave behind their natural behavior.

And hence you will have to look for eggs according to the places where wild Kuhli loaches would lay eggs. You see, these fish come from a natural habitat that has dense vegetation and darker lighting.

They will find the roots of floating plants in the wild and lay eggs there. Thus, these aquarium loaches will do the same.

If you are planning to breed Kuhli loaches in the aquarium, you have to make sure there are many aquarium plants.

These Kuhli loaches will breed faster and easier when the environment they are in is similar to their natural habitat.

Thus, adding aquarium plants is quite important as Kuhli loaches will actually search for the roots of floating plants and lay eggs there.

You can also add a spawning mop for your fish to lay eggs in. As most of the time, the female Kuhli loaches will lay eggs and let them be which will then sink towards the bottom of the tank.

What Does Kuhli Loach Eggs Look Like?

Once, these Kuhli loaches lay eggs and male ones fertilize them, these eggs will be near the roots of floating plants.

You will easily spot them in the tank most of the time. And trust me, the cluster of 600 eggs together is pretty hard to miss.

Still, if your Kuhli loach lays a somewhat little number of eggs and you cannot pinpoint their location, then you can find them with the help of their color.

Kuhli loach eggs have a somewhat greenish shade of color. These eggs will look like a small mass of jelly-like substances.

These eggs quite bright in color and hence will not give you hard time while looking. Look at the roots of most floating plants, you will be able to locate them quite faster.

How Many Babies Does Kuhli Loach Have?

Well, this depends on the fact that how many Kuhli loaches eggs will hatch. Most of the time, you will end up with nearly 400 Kuhli loaches babies.

I know this is way more than you can imagine. To be honest, I was so shocked when I heard about this and even witness these many babies.

However, the tank condition, water parameters, and diet along with the tank mates will decide how many Kuhli loaches babies you will end up with.

There is a chance that only 10 to 50 of the Kuhli loaches babies will make out alive from all the eggs that hatched.

You need to be extra careful and attentive with every little thing that will help you save all the Kuhli loach babies.

Honestly, you will have a sellable size of Kuhli loaches after just a few months of care and attention. They will give enough profit once they reach the sellable size.

I don’t think you will be able to raise nearly 400 Kuhli loaches babies in the home aquarium. Hence, give them away to other fishkeeping enthusiasts or pet stores if you can’t find a good buyer.

Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Eggs?

Yes, every fish let alone Kuhli loach will eat anything that will fit in their mouth. Some fish throw it back while omnivores like Kuhli loach will not think twice.

That’s why I often suggest people go for the different breeding tanks and separate adults and eggs as soon as possible.

You have heard that Kuhli loaches eat snails, right? Well, you can imagine if they can eat up small snails, will they leave behind their way smaller eggs?

Okay let go snails, your Kuhli loach will eat up shrimps present in the tank. This is the way they live and feed.

They will go on searching for food in the tank and feed on leftovers, algae, or the eggs present in the tank.

The way they eat their eggs is not predatory or anything. Neither will they go hunting for their fry or eggs.

It is just that these Kuhli loaches will unintentionally feed on something that is lying at the bottom of the tank.

Hence, if you have left behind eggs at the bottom of the tank, these bottom-dwellers will most certainly eat them.

Adding a Spawning mop in the breeding tank to save your Kuhli loach eggs and stop adults from eating them.

Frequently Asked Questions

I know the questions related to Kuhli loaches are never-ending. That’s why I tried to collect some of the questions that people often ask and answer them.

Will Kuhli Loaches Breed?

Actually, this is kind of complicated. Yes, Kuhli loaches will breed but they are very hard to breed in the home aquarium.

You have to maintain certain weather as well as water temperature along with a good diet for Kuhli loach to even get pregnant.

And even after carrying the eggs for their entire life, female Kuhli loaches or even male ones will not spawn after all your effort.

They need the rainy season under certain circumstances to even be triggered for spawning. I have heard of very little success related to breeding Kuhli loach in the home aquarium.

Why Is My Kuhli Loach Swimming Up And Down?

Your Kuhli loach can act strangely out of the blue and most of the time they do so for fun. Hence, if you find them swimming up and down in the tank, they might be enjoying the tank environment and living their life to the fullest.

However, test the water parameters and quality to make sure there are no complications. This will help you to be on the safe side as there is a possibility of fluctuating water parameters making your Kuhli loach act strangely.

Also, do not let them bully other tank mates while these Kuhli loaches are busy swimming up and down. Similarly, these Kuhli loaches are famous for their dance.

These Kuhli loaches dance when there is a change in weather or just the way they are enjoying life. They might also dance while wooing the female Kuhli loaches to spawn.


In a nutshell, Kuhli Loach is an egg-laying fish and won’t in point of fact get pregnant. You will be able to tell the pregnant Kuhli loach from the fat ones if you are an experienced aquarist. The way their middle section gets plumper and the color starts to fade evidently symbolizes the egg-carrying fish. You can even see the eggs inside the body of Kuhli loach, thanks to their thinner and translucent body. Pregnant Kuhli loach is way sensitive and fragile, hence you should give them good food and maintain water parameters ideal all the time. Even the slightest change in the water quality can bring death to the pregnant fish.

Hence, you need to do your research well before you breed Kuhli loach in the tank. Take care of Kuhli loach as well their babies properly.

I know you will have more questions related to Kuhli loach. Drop them in the comment section below. I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!