Can I Keep Kuhli Loach And Betta Together?

Betta can be one of the hardest fish to find a tank mate for. They are often known to attack their tank mates and are moody to the limit that they will kill other fish. And of course, their fin attracts too many fin-nipper. And Kuhli loach has the famous image of being an ideal tank mate for almost every freshwater aquarium fish. But can they live with a betta? Or can I keep betta and Kuhli loach together in the tank?

Yes, you can keep Kuhli loach and betta in the same tank without worrying about either of them. Kuhli loach doesn’t nip the fin of other fish and can handle aggression and mood swings of betta. These fish are known to withstand any trouble from the tank mates by going into hiding.

You have to give them enough space and plants to stay properly in the tank. Most of the time people fail to maintain the water parameters good for both of them and end up blaming these fish when things go south in the tank.

Do not do that when you are not sure about the culprit. Collect enough information before you draw any conclusions.

Here is an article that will give detailed information about the living condition between Betta and Kuhli loach. Do not miss a thing if you want your fish to be safe and happy together.

Can I Keep Kuhli Loach And Betta Together?

Yes, you can keep Kuhli loach and betta together. Out of all the wonders that Kuhli loach hides under its sleeves, living with betta without making any fuss in the tank is the best one for me.

I always struggle to find a good tank mate for my betta. Finding a fish that can deal with the moody fish like Betta in the tank is nearly a miracle.

And this miracle was my one and only Kuhli loach. When I first heard about them, I was confused and worried. I would have ended up killing my loaches and making betta angry.

But to my surprise, these two lived together quite well and way better than what I imagine. Both of them mind their business in the tank and didn’t create any aquarium drama.

These two even need the same kind of environment which makes them ideal mates for each other.

From the moody behavior to water parameters, these Kuhli loaches are definitely one hell of a match for Betta.

And of course, Kuhli loaches are not fin-nippers. Hence, they will be okay living with the fish with beautiful fins.

Your betta will be safe and sound with your Kuhli loach as neither of them has the traits that will bother the other.

Will Betta Fish Attack Kuhli Loach?

Well, when you are dealing with moody fish like Betta, you have to be careful with every step you take in the tank.

While keeping Kuhli loach with betta can be one of the best decisions you will ever take, there is always a fear in the back of your head.

Bettas are famous to attack and injure anything that will move around the tank. Mood swings in bettas can be really stressful if you don’t understand what you are dealing with.

However, there is no way your Kuhli loach will go near bettas and start any war. These loaches are so peaceful and friendly that they will happily live with any fish.

You have to, although, make sure they accept each other in the tank from the very first day. For some days, your Kuhli loach can stay at the top of the aquarium while acclimating.

This time can be crucial so monitor them very closely. After the acclimation process, your Kuhli loach will be busy digging the substrate of the tank and quite far away from the mid or top-dweller fish like betta.

Hence, betta attacking Kuhli loach in the tank is far from possible and will be just fine without any interaction.

You might have to intervene once in a while if there is something wrong with the tank. Or else, they will be good to go.

Are Kuhli Loach Fin-nippers? Will Kuhli Loach Nip The Fins Of Betta?

No, Kuhli loaches are not Fin-nippers and No, they will nip the fins of your betta. That’s what makes them the ideal tank mate for the betta.

I have heard people complaining about Kuhli loach nipping fins from betta but they were clearly misunderstood.

There is no way that Kuhli loach will go out of their nature and act like this. These Kuhli loaches are neither aggressive nor territorial.

They will mind their own business and are quite peaceful fish to keep. Also, these loaches are bottom-dwellers that will spend most parts of their life scavenging the bottom of the tank.

The only time you will see your betta in the upper part of the tank is when they are acclimating or there is a problem in the tank water parameters.

But they will never attack or act like fin-nippers to any of the fish in the tank. So, don’t worry about keeping betta with Kuhli loach.

This one right here will probably be one of the best tank mates for the betta fish with such beautiful fins. Trust me, if you know what you are doing, you will end up with two totally beautiful and admiring fish.

How Many Kuhli Loach Should You Keep With Betta?

Although you are aware of keeping betta and Kuhli loach together, you have to consider the number of Kuhli loach you need to keep together.

You see, Kuhli loach might not school or shoal but they are in dire need of company all the time. No expert will ever recommend you to keep a single Kuhli loach in the tank.

And when it comes to the tank with betta fish, you need to sit back and think properly. Never risk the health of Kuhli loach under the excitement of getting a tank mate for a betta.

You need to keep at least 5 to 6 Kuhli loaches together in the tank. Don’t worry, all of them will stay at the bottom of the tank and will not bother your betta.

Keeping the Kuhli loach alone means making it go into hiding and barely letting them come out. And when it comes to living with betta fish, they will be more comfortable in a group of at least 5.

Can Kuhli Loaches Eat Betta Food?

If you are familiar with Kuhli loach, then you probably know that they are famous for cleaning up the leftovers.

Kuhli loaches are the clean-up crew that will happily devour all the food that other fish leave behind. And their omnivorous nature serves them well in this case.

Hence, they will happily eat betta food as well. They won’t go into a war with betta for the sake of food though.

These Kuhli loaches scavenge through the bottom of the tank during the nighttime and eat whatever they find.

Hence, they will only eat the food that betta left behind and is present in the bottom of the tank. But you have to feed them good food despite them eating the leftover.

You need to take care of the Kuhli loach diet separately. Thus, add their food such as sinking pellets or flakes into the tank at night.

Things You Will Need To Keep Betta And Kuhli Loach Together

You cannot just drop fish in the tank and expect them to live together in harmony. Not that these fish will start any mess, it just that both of them will die one after another when the tank parameters are not optimum and the condition of the tank environment is not 1% similar to the wild.

You may think I am blabbering nonsense things but it is a fact. No fish will be happy in captivity until and unless you create a tank that resembles the wild where they come from.

It is easier to keep betta fish and Kuhli loach together though. Both of them ask for similar water conditions and tank environments.

I will talk about them separately in the section below. This will help you understand these things more clearly.

Tank Parameters

Most of the time, both of these fish ask for the same water parameters. Kuhli loach often tilts towards the cooler side but it is a big No with Betta.

Not that they will not survive in the cooler tank but they will only be breathing not living their life. You have to maintain the tank temperature between 76 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The filtration system needs to be strong and must be dependable. You have to filter out all the chemicals out of the tank as soon as possible.

Both of these not only share the same tank requirements but also the delicacy and sensitivity when it comes to fluctuation in water parameters.

Aquarium ammonia poisoning can be a curse to both of them. And you might even lose the fin as well as the betta due to fin rot.

You have to lower the ammonia level in the tank and maintain every chemical content to zero. That’s how you will be able to take care of both the fish properly.

The ideal pH level for both of the fish is between 6.8 to 7 despite Kuhli loach loving the acidic water, they will live happily in this pH coexisting with Betta.

Tank Size

Kuhli loach needs to be with the group of at least 5 to 6 of them. So, the minimum tank size for Kuhli loach is 15-gallons.

Thus, you cannot go for smaller than this when it comes to keeping them with the tank mate. The ideal tank size for Kuhli loaches along with tank mates is 20-gallons.

Do not go for the smaller tank but go for the tank which is bigger than 20-gallons. Both of them ask for space in the tank and will probably start an aquarium war if there is no space for them to swim around.

Aquarium Plants

Kuhli loach comes from the natural habitat that has heavily dense vegetation and so does betta. They love the tank where they have many plants.

Kuhli loach will search for plants when they are on the verge to lay eggs or hide. While Betta will love to play and swim in the tank with plants.

That’s why you have to go for low-light aquarium plants that will thrive in the environment these Betta and Kuhli loach prefer.

You have to be careful with the lighting though. Your Kuhli loach hates bright lighting and will not come out of hiding till the light in the tank is bearable.

Aquarium Lid

Both of these fish are famous for the way they jump out of the tank. I have seen Kuhli loach trying to escape the tank when the tank conditions went sour.

Most of the time Kuhli loach stays at the top of the aquarium while they are acclimating. But sometimes, they come up for the very purpose to leave the tank as soon as possible.

And betta, of course, is the expert in jumping out of the tank. Hence, to keep them together peacefully, you have to

Sand Substrate

Betta fish won’t care about substrate as much as Kuhli loach does. Kuhli loach will dig the substrate and bury themselves when they are feeling like it.

Hence, you have to be careful with the substrate choice. You have to pick the one that will be easier to dig as well as won’t hurt your Kuhli loach.

Injuries from the substrate will grow into infections and can even kill your fish. This way both of your fish are at the risk of contracting parasites.

That’s why You have to go for sand substrate or fine gravel mix when it comes to keeping Kuhli loaches in the tank.

Benefits Of Keeping Betta And Kuhli Loach Together

Kuhli loach has various good points to be tank mates with a betta. I can list out many benefits of keeping betta with Kuhli loach without even giving a second thought.

You may be aware of the fact that finding a perfect tank mate for betta can be hard while Kuhli loach will adjust with most of the freshwater aquarium fish within an instant.

Hence, these two, coming together, will be a boon to someone who loves to have a betta in the tank along with tank mates.

To be honest, I had my doubts when I first attempted this stunt. But I was stunned by the results and how well these two live together in the tank.

I think you will be at ease if I list out all the benefits of keeping Betta with Kuhli loach in the tank or vice versa:

  1. Kuhli Loach is not a fin-nipper meaning that the fins of betta are safe.
  2. These loaches are amazing that will happily finish the leftovers from the betta.
  3. Betta and Kuhli loach ask for the same water parameters. Hence, you will not have to worry about managing it for them separately.
  4. There is zero chance of attack and aquarium war when it comes to Betta and Kuhli loach.
  5. Both of them are delicate and will react accordingly to the water change.
  6. Kuhli loach will clear out algae and snails that are hampering the tank conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have collected a few of the questions that people, often ask when it comes to either betta or Kuhli loach. Hope this will help you find some answer as well.

What Is Compatible With A Betta Fish?

Apart from Kuhli loach, there are several fish that will happily reside in the tank with Betta fish. Some of them might be a catch but it will be worth it.

While selecting a tank mate for betta fish, you have to make sure the fish doesn’t nip fins or are aggressive.

Aquatic beings that will be okay to adjust according to the mood of betta will always be compatible with Kuhli loach.

I will list down some of my favorites fish and other aquatic beings that will live happily with Betta:

  1. Cory Catfish
  2. Ember tetras
  3. Otocinclus Catfish
  4. Neon Tetras
  5. Pleco
  6. Short-fin Mollies
  7. Female Guppies (Do not keep betta with male Guppies)
  8. Harlequin Rasboras
  9. Malaysian Trumpet Snails
  10. Ember Tetras

Can Angel Fish Live With Betta?

Yes, Betta and angelfish can live together peacefully until and unless the bettas don’t have the mood swing and angelfish doesn’t get attracted towards the aquarium war.

However, there are several instances where people have managed to keep them together with no issues whatsoever.

Hence, there is a chance that you will be able to succeed in keeping them together. But make sure you have a spare tank ready to transfer betta away from angelfish as soon as things start to go south in the aquarium.

This case is quite rare to happen but it can happen. Hence taking a precaution and having plan B is never a wrong thing.

Also, betta will live happily in the smaller tank that’s why it will be easier for you to transfer them to the other tank rather than angelfish who prefer 55-gallons tank.

Prepare a 5 to 10-gallons tank for your betta fish beforehand and transfer them almost immediately if you see them struggling in the tank with Angelfish.


In conclusion, Betta and Kuhli loach are compatible with each other. So, they will happily live with one another. One of them is nocturnal while the other one will happily swim in the tank in the presence of light. Hence, these two will never come together in the same and start an aquarium war. Making your betta angry due to territorial issues is out of the question when you are keeping them with Kuhli loach in the tank. These bottom-dwellers will mind their business and will make sure never to come across betta fish.

You will barely worry about the fin of betta as well as the life of Kuhli loach. They will live together just fine if you take care of their other needs.

I know you will have queries and I am here to help. Drop your query in the comment box below. I will get back to you once I am done moderating the comments.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!