Kuhli Loach Diet: What Do Kuhli Loach Eat?

One of the most important aspects of fishkeeping is deciding what you need to feed your fish. The diet of fish varies according to their nature, some are herbivores while others are either omnivores or carnivores. Hence, it is necessary to research your fish beforehand and do not make the mistake of feeding spinach to a carnivore. Now, coming to the Kuhli loaches. Diet is quite important for the growth of Kuhli loach. Hence you have to know what Kuhli loach prefers to eat. And Of course, what should you avoid while feeding your Kuhli loach?

Kuhli loach is an omnivore and will eat anything you give them. This Kuhli loach will eat both live and frozen foods along with some veggies and algae. These are the clean-up crew that will happily devour the leftovers as well as the sinking pellets and flakes.

However, feeding them bread, human food, etc. is always a big No. And depending on the leftovers for Kuhli loach is quite risky as well.

This piece of information will take you nowhere while taking care of the fish. That’s why you have to collect all the information related to the Kuhli loach diet and their feeding habit.

Try to go through this article I have specifically written down below on this topic. You will find most of the information here, and if you don’t, do ask.

But first, let’s dive in.

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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat?

Kuhli loaches are a great fish when it comes to feeding them. You might have a hard time raising them in the tank.

But you will love them when they are eating anything you feed them. They are quite easy to feed and their diet is not even that vast to make a hole in your wallet.

These Kuhli loaches will even be okay with the feed that they fin in the bottom of the tank left by other fish.

That’s why they are even known as the clean-up crew. Kuhli loaches are the proud member of the Clean-up crew thanks to the way they clean out all the leftovers from the tank.

You can also find them cleaning the gravel from the algae. But do not keep them in a tank to get rid of algae.

These loaches do love to munch on the algae present on the smooth gravel. But they will not help you get rid of the entire algae from the tank.

You still have to feed them good food as leftovers and algae present in the tank won’t help them get rid of their hunger.

They will keep on searching for food in the tank throughout the night. You have to feed these omnivores food that will help them last longer than leftovers.

Kuhli loaches will love both meaty food and veggies if you know how to feed them.  They prefer frozen bloodworms to zucchini, sinking pellets to algae wafers, basically anything you feed them.

Can Kuhli Loach Eat Snails?

Yes, Kuhli loach can eat snails. And it is not a new thing or a big surprise. If the snails or any other living beings in the tank are small enough to fit in the mouth of Kuhli loach, then it is a gone case.

However, they will not act as a clean-up crew when it comes to snail infestation. These Kuhli loaches only eat snails because those snails were near them and were smaller in size.

They won’t go around the tank searching for snails specifically. This is similar to them finding a leftover in the bottom of the tank.

You might have already heard about this or most have seen these loaches feeding on the snails. It is quite rare or impossible for the small snails to come out alive when they are in the Kuhli loach territory.

If the Kuhli loach sees the opportunity to make snails their lunch or dinner, then that is the most definite thing they will do.

Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean your snail and loach won’t live together. You can keep bigger snails in the tank with Kuhli loach and these two won’t even come near or bother each other.

The aquatic lifestyle can be quite different and complicated if you sit back and think about it. No wars yet there are casualties and no harmony yet there is peace.

Do Kuhli Loach Eat Algae?

Oh yes, these Kuhli loaches eat algae too. But do not put them on the list of algae eaters who will clean your tank and help you get rid of algae.

Yes, they are a clean-up crew but only when it comes to the leftovers. These loaches will not eat all the algae present in the tank.

They will munch on the algae that are growing on the gravel lying on the bottom of the tank. Kuhli loaches do so when they are searching for food or scavenging through the tank.

You have to come up with another plan to get rid of algae naturally or chemically from the tank. But remember to keep in mind that algae are quite a natural impression on your tank and over-cleaning them can make your aquarium look more artificial.

And also, make sure the method you use to get rid of algae will not harm your Kuhli loaches or any other fish living in the tank.

Yes, they will eat some algae from the bottom of the aquarium and algae that grow on the gravel but cleaning the aquarium is down to you. You cannot buy a few algae-eating fish and expect your aquarium to be cleaned by these fish.

Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Vegetables?

Yes, your Kuhli loach will eat vegetables as well as fruits if you know how to give them those things. Green foods are the biggest yes when it comes to omnivores like Kuhli loaches.

However, you have to make sure those things are well boiled. You have mashed the green foods and give them to make it easier for Kuhli loach to eat.

There are various vegetables that will be great food for your Kuhli loaches. And of course, you have to avoid certain vegetables that are high in carbs.

Spinach, lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, peas, etc. will be the best food for your Kuhli loach. And this gives you a window of having unlimited food for your fish at home even if you run out of food.

But remember to cook these green vegetables properly till they are mash able enough and are soft for Kuhli loaches to eat.

You might have to buy a plastic veggie clip or a small plastic container where you can keep vegetables or even fruits for your Kuhli loaches.

Fibrous vegetables will save your fish from bloating as well as swimming bladder disorder. Hence the best decision ever.

List Of Suitable Foods For Kuhli Loach

There are various types of food that your Kuhli loach would love to have. You have to be careful with the foods that you feed them.

Your Kuhli Loach is an omnivore so it makes it easier for you to choose their food. But whatever food you choose, make sure they are at the bottom of the tank. Your Kuhli loach stays there and is only on the top of the tank while they are acclimating with the tank.

Otherwise, these bottom-dwellers stay at the very bottom of the tank digging and hiding their way through the substrate.

With that being said, let us list out all the food these Kuhli loaches will eat happily. These foods are the very favorites of your Kuhli loach and will be the best ones for them as well.

Now, to the list:

  1. Sinking pellets
  2. Flake food
  3. Algae tablets
  4. Live daphnia
  5. Mysis shrimp
  6. Brine shrimp
  7. Frozen foods
  8. Bloodworms
  9. Veggies like zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, etc.
  10. Algae
  11. Finely chopped meaty foods

Foods You Need To Avoid For Kuhli Loach

Your fish might be one hell of a clean-up crew, but they cannot and should not eat everything. Some things are better to be left in the freezer and bottom shelf.

People often experiment with the food when it comes to feeding their fish. This habit is a curse for your fish as well as for you as an aquarist.

Do not go overboard while feeding your Kuhli loaches. There are so many instances where I have seen people feeding their fish bread and corn.

Trust me, you are killing your fish because your fish will eat anything you give them. Bread contains yeast and gluten that your fish or even Kuhli loach will not be able to digest.

Food that contains a high amount of carbs, sugars, or even the slightest hint of yeast is a big No when it comes to feeding your fish.

Aquarium fish can eat human food but you have to be careful when it comes to Kuhli loach.

I will list all the foods that you need to avoid when it comes to the Kuhli loach diet. Hope this helps you to understand thing easily.

  1. Anything that has yeast in it.
  2. Food with food coloring or preservatives
  3. Carbs enriched foods
  4. Rice and rice products
  5. Corn
  6. Soy
  7. Wheat and wheat products
  8. Chocolates
  9. Gummy worms
  10. Bread
  11. Pasta
  12. Fatty meat
  13. Fruits with high sugar content

How Often Should You Feed Kuhli Loach?

Kuhli loach is nocturnal. Thus, people always think that they have to feed Kuhli loach during the night. And they are right to some extent, I cannot deny that.

However, there is a thin line between feeding them at night and feeding them while feeding other fish in the tank.

You have to make sure you drop food at night and that needs to be enough for all the Kuhli loaches present in the tank.

These fish will feed throughout the night and will of course search for more food or lefto0vers once they are done eating their food.

But that doesn’t mean you have to seize the opportunity from them to feed along with other fish in the tank.

You need to treat each and every fish similarly and you cannot differentiate Kuhli loach from other fish while you are feeding them.

Kuhli loach will ask as well as need similar types of food to eat at the time as you feed others. Hence, feed them once in a while along with other fish.

But do not overlook the fact that they are nocturnal and will search for food during the night as well. Be careful while feeding Kuhli loaches and give them enough food so that they won’t remain hungry.

Here is an article on Fish Food 101: A Beginner’s Guide On How To Feed Aquarium Fish

How Much Should You Feed Your Kuhli Loach?

The feeding frequency and the quantity are as important as it is to feed them qualitative food. You cannot go around thinking that your Kuhli loach will live off of leftovers.

No, that will not be the case. Despite eating the leftovers in the tank, they will be hungry as that is not their appropriate diet.

How can you expect your Kuhli loach to survive from the food that some other fish discarded? The food might not always be enough for your Kuhli loach.

Most of the fish that have the potential to become the tank mates of Kuhli loach have a similar diet to these.

Hence, the food that those fish leave behind will be probably less or only as a snack for Kuhli loach. Hence, keep an eye on the diet of your Kuhli loach and look how much they are eating.

You have to specifically drop the sinking foods in the tank for your Kuhli loaches even when there is leftover in the tank.

Feed them food that they can eat within 2 to 3 minutes. Most of the time, they will leave behind the food when they get full.

Hence, after a while, you will have enough knowledge about the amount of food these Kuhli loaches need.

Do not exceed the quantity and always make sure to check the leftovers from other fish too. Calculate and subtract the leftover from their daily diet and feed only the remainder of it.

Foods That You Can Get From Amazon For Kuhli Loach

I know there are too many options to choose from when it comes to fish food. It is hard to identify which one is appropriate for the type of fish you have.

And even the similarity between the packages of food for every fish type fuels the confusion. I have struggled so much to find the best ones for my Kuhli loaches and I cannot deny what a rollercoaster ride it was to make my loaches fall in love with those foods.

Not that they were fussy or anything, the problem was about the uncertainty of the liking and disliking of Kuhli loaches.

  1. Omega One Freeze-Dried Brine Shrimp
  2. Omega One Freeze-Dried Mysis Shrimp
  3. Tetra 77080 Pro Tropical Color Crisps
  4. Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms
  5. Omega One Freeze-Dried Tubifex Worms
  6. Tetra ShrimpWafers Complete Diet
  7. Omega One Color Enhancing Pellet Combo
  8.  SAN FRANCISCO BAY Brand Freeze Dried Bloodworms 1.75oz
  9. Aquatic Foods Inc. Blackworms, Loose Freeze Dried California Blackworm 10gram
  10. Northfin Food Community Formula 0.5Mm Pellet 250 Gram Package

Frequently Asked Questions

I have collected some of the most asked questions related to Kuhli loaches that often hinder the mind of aquarists. I hope this will help you while raising Kuhli loach.

How Big Do Kuhli Loaches Get?

The size of Kuhli loach can vary according to the environment they are living in. hence, be careful with the parameters and water quality in the tank.

Your Kuhli loach can grow up to 3 to 4 inches in the tank. However, there are many cases where they are seen to be grown for nearly 5 inches.

They reach maturity when they are 2 to 3 inches. After that, there is a chance you will see your female Kuhli loach getting full of eggs.

Can Bettas Live With Kuhli Loaches?

One of the best things about Kuhli loach is the way they can co-exist in the tank with a betta. Bettas are known to be one of the hardest fish to live with.

They can get quite aggressive and territorial. Hence, every fish that lives with betta end up getting stressed or most probably dead too.

But your Kuhli loaches are way more amazing than you think. They will stay with the bettas till the end no matter how aggressive they might get.

Any betta will try to make the life of Kuhli loach difficult. But these loaches are born to endure and face the storm head on.


In conclusion, Kuhli loach is a part of the clean-up crew that will happily devour the leftovers in the tank. But this will not be enough for their dietary needs. Thus you have to feed them good food at an appropriate time every day to keep them happy and healthy. You can go from sinking pellets to sinking flakes that are easily available commercially. Also, Kuhli loach loves the live variety of food such as mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, etc. along with some frozen foods like bloodworms.

These Kuhli loaches are not that fussy when it comes to food and diet. They can be quite easy to take care of in terms of diet. These loaches will even be happy with algae if you feed them properly.

If you follow the things I told you, you will do just fine. And I am always here to help you. Drop your queries below in the comment section.

Good Luck!!!

Happy Fishkeeping!!!