Can Kuhli Loach Live In The Planted Tank?

You need to have enough experienced to start a tank for Kuhli loach. I have had so many problems in the past related to Kuhli loach care and ended up even losing a few of my fish. Since then, I have believed that you need to learn every small thing you can about the fish you are raising. Most tropical freshwater prefer planted aquariums and loves to stay in the tank with varieties of plants. But what about Kuhli loach? Does Kuhli Loach live in the planted tank?

Yes, Kuhli Loach does live in the planted tank. They actually love to have the tank with dense vegetation and enough hiding spaces. You will see them laying eggs on the roots of the floating plants if you are lucky enough. Duckweed, Hornwort, Java moss, Java fern, and Anubias are some of the aquarium plants you can keep in the Kuhli loach tank.

Plants are one of the best things that can happen in the Kuhli loach tank. You will amaze by the difference between your Kuhli loach’s behavior in the planted and bare tank.

You need to learn each and everything related to the importance of planted tank in the life of Kuhli loach. I have written this entirely for that very purpose.

Read it thoroughly to know more about your fish and its preferences.

Does Kuhli Loach Live In The Planted Tank?

Yes, Kuhli loach not only lives in the planted tank but thrives when they are surrounded by plants in the tank.

You may have many questions related to this. However, there is something you need to understand first. Kuhli loach loves the environment with lots of vegetation and is similar to their natural habitat.

These tropical freshwater fish come from the place with dense vegetation to hide and spawn. You will often find them near the roots of floating plants in the wild.

Hence, Kuhli loach absolutely loves the idea of having so many plants in the tank. Floating plants reduce the light levels in the tank making it comfortable for your Kuhli loach.

You will see Kuhli loach coming out more and playing around in the tank with many plants. Plants’ roots make the substrate softer for your Kuhli loach to dig and bury themselves.

Aquarium plants only bring good things in the tank with Kuhli loach. These plants will help you to keep the nitrate level normal every day.

Kuhli loach will feel safe and protected to live in the planted tank where there are more plants to hide and play with. If they are not busy digging the aquarium substrates, then there is a chance they are hidden among the plants.

What Kind Of Plants Does Kuhli Loach Like?

Now coming to the preferences of Kuhli loach in terms of aquarium plants. First and foremost, you need to understand the importance of choosing low-light aquarium plants.

Kuhli loach is nocturnal and prefers a darker environment. Brighter lighting stresses these Kuhli loaches out and will make them go crazy.

Hence, keeping dim lighting in the tank means you need to look for plants that will happily thrive in the low lighting environment.

Also, Kuhli loaches love floating plants and usually hang around the roots of these floating plants. My Kuhli loaches love the dwarf hair grass and Duckweed present in the tank.

You might be familiar with Dwarf hairgrass that you can lay on the substrate of the tank like carpet. My Kuhli loach really appreciates their presence in the tank.

I often find them in there or climbing up and down from the leaves of the bacopa plant. There are so many choices when it comes to choosing aquarium plants for Kuhli loach.

You can even keep lucky bamboo in the aquarium which will also work as the hiding space for the Kuhli loaches present in it.

Similarly, I have seen these loaches appreciating the plants like Java moss, java fern, Anubias that we often use to plant on the hard surfaces.

Keeping floating plants like Duckweed and Hornwort helps you to reduce the lighting that reaches the bottom of the tank where Kuhli loach is living.

Wait, I will list out all the plants that I think will be a great addition to the Kuhli loach tank:

  1. Hornwort
  2. Duckweed
  3. Java Moss
  4. Anubias
  5. Lucky Bamboo
  6. Java fern
  7. Bacopa
  8. Dwarf Hairgrass
  9. Amazon Sword

Do Kuhli Loaches Uproot Plants?

Well, if you are talking about the way you plucking the grass out of your garden, then this will never happen in the planted tank with Kuhli loach.

But yes, Kuhli loaches can uproot your plants only when the roots of these plants are not as firm as you think.

Since Kuhli loach is known to dig the substrate and make a burrow in the bottom of the tank, this will probably affect the plants’ roots.

Floating plants will not probably have problems with the digging but the plants that have roots just started to catch the substrate will loosen up when the Kuhli loach starts to dig there out of the blue.

Hence, this will make one think that Kuhli loaches are responsible for plants from the surface. But as a matter of fact, roots of these plants are not as firm as it needs to be in the first place.

The compact substrate will loosen up and become softer for the roots to stay when there is continuous digging and moving.

You can think of Kuhli loach as the earthworm of the aquarium substrate. These eel-like fish will have no problem moving through the softer substrate making it way soft for the plants’ roots to even stay properly.

Hence, you may blame the Kuhli loach but the main culprit is the way Kuhli loach has the urge to dig the substrate for hiding.

You may have a hard time making these plants firm to the substrate. Hence, it will be easier for you to give Kuhli loach enough places to hide so they don’t dig substrate more.

And of course, you can always go for the floating plants that don’t need to have firm roots in the substrate. Another thing you can do is wait for a while before adding Kuhli loach in the planted tank.

Give these plants’ roots to establish themselves firmly on the substrate so these Kuhli loaches will not be able to uproot the foreground aquarium plants.

How Do You Catch A Kuhli Loach In A Planted Tank?

As I have mentioned earlier, these Kuhli loaches will hide among the bushes and plants giving you hard time finding them.

Kuhli loach goes missing once in a while even in the planted tank but there is a simpler way to search for them. You can make these Kuhli loaches come out using some tricks.

For me, the easiest, as well as the simplest trick, is to bribe them with food. These foodies will come out of hiding within minutes.

The temptations food gives them are way beyond anything else. Hence, this one will work no matter how well and safely these Kuhli loaches have hidden.

You may not see them swimming through the plants during the daytime and they will probably be resting under the substrate or among the plants.

It is quite harder to find the Kuhli loach within the tank let alone catching them and moving to the next tank.

Here is the step-by-step guide to what you can do to catch Kuhli loach and move them to the other tank:

  1. Find a small bottle or vase with a small mouth at the top. It is better to take a glass bottle or anything that has a smaller mouth and bigger base.
  2. Place pellets, brine shrimps, or anything food that your Kuhli loach likes the best.
  3. Now, put that bottle or vase on the bottom of the tank while the mouth of the bottle touches the substrate by the side.
  4. Your Kuhli loach will come out of hiding towards the food as soon as they get hungry or have the mood to scavenge the bottom of the tank.
  5. Once, you see them inside the bottle or vase, tilt them upward and take them out slowly while closing the mouth of the bottle so your Kuhli loach cannot escape.

Does Kuhli Loach Eat Algae?

Yes, Kuhli loach eats algae present in the tank as well as love to devour algae wafer available in the pet store.

However, they are not included in the list of algae-eaters that will help you get rid of algae present in the tank naturally.

These loaches munch on the soft algae growing in the smooth rocks in the bottom of the tank. They do so while scavenging through the bottom and supposedly if the algae are right in front of them.

But these loaches will never help you completely demolish the algal growth present in the tank. However, the low lighting these loaches ask for helps to null the algal growth in the tank.

You will find them eating a little bit of algae once in a while. But this only happens when they are really very hungry and there is no leftover present in the tank.

Do not depend on your Kuhli loach to help you clean the algae in the tank. You have to seek other things to help you with this problem.

Frequency Asked Questions

I have collected some of the questions that people often ask while raising Kuhli loach in the aquarium. Here are answers to those questions to make it easier for you.

Will Kuhli Loach Eat Plants?

No, Kuhli loach will not eat the aquarium plants although these loaches are omnivores even if they live in the planted tank. As a matter of fact, they love to stay in the planted aquarium as I have mentioned above.

You might find Kuhli loach munching soft algae present in the smooth rocks and decoration just for fun or while scavenging.

Additionally, they will eat flakes and pellets along with the veggies like zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, etc. if you how to give these to them.

But your aquarium plants will be safe and sound near Kuhli loach. Honestly, you will see Kuhli loach hanging around the roots of plants to hide or play.

Make sure you feed your Kuhli loach properly or else they might start to find other sources of food through plants present in the tank.

Why Is My Kuhli Loach Swimming Frantically?

There are various reasons why your Kuhli loach is swimming frantically. You have to figure out and remove all the negative signs that might be causing your Kuhli loach to behave irrationally.

You may have heard about the famous Loach dance. Kuhli loach performs their world-famous dance when they are happy or spawning.

Also, change in weather or the poor water quality make them swim crazily in the tank. First of all, test the water parameters immediately.

If the water quality seems fine, then move on to another reason. Or else try your best to maintain the water quality back to optimum and best for Kuhli loach.

Similarly, if there is a thunderstorm coming or you create a monsoon season in the tank by sprinkling water from the top, then this can make your Kuhli loach excited and they will start to dance in the tank.

This is quite common and often seen when the female Kuhli loach is full of eggs and is ready to spawn. You can enjoy their dance while you can because it lasts for a while only.

Last but not the least, these Kuhli loaches can be swimming frantically just because they are feeling like it. Your Kuhli loach does weird things like hiding and digging the substrate just for fun sometimes.

But taking precautions never hurt anyone. So, test the water as well as check if your Kuhli loach is pregnant/ gravid with eggs.


Briefly, Kuhli loach loves the aesthetic that plants give to the tank. Aquarium plants make the tank livelier and more beautiful without even trying. Kuhli loach comes from the natural habitat with dense vegetation and thrives in the aquarium that mimics their natural habitat. Hence, they do not actually mind aquarium plants but will adore them and thrive within them. Even when you are trying to breed Kuhli loach in the tank, you will need so many plants. These Kuhli loaches lay eggs on the roots of the floating plants and the few number Kuhli loaches babies hatch there only while other babies settle on the bottom of the tank.

Every instant and action of the Kuhli loach lifecycle depends on the presence of plants within their environment and reach. They will absolutely appreciate your effort to make captivity as homely as possible.

You can easily go for plants like Java fern, Java moss, Duckweed, Hornwort, etc. without a second thought for a Kuhli loach tank.

If you still have queries related to this or any other topics, then drop them in the comment section below. I will try to solve them once I moderate the comments.

Till then, Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!