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Black Kuhli

black kuhli

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Scientific Name:   Pangio oblonga      
Min. Tank Size:   25 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   73-84°F      
pH:   6.0-7.0/0-8°dGH      
Size:   3"      
Diet:   Omnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept with at least 4 of its own species; can be kept with Cyprinids, Characins, Gouramis, Livebearers and other Loaches.

Black Kuhli

Though most frequently called the Black Kuhli Loach, this fish is also known as the Chocolate Kuhli or the Java Loach. These fish are fairly widespread, having been found in parts of Java, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These fish tend to inhabit shallow, slow-moving waters such as swamps, backwaters and forest streams. Black Kuhli Loaches are often found in blackwater environments and waters that are shaded by marginal or submerged vegetation.  

Tank Set-up

In the home aquarium, these fish prefer sandy substrate in which they can dig and bury themselves. Black Kuhli Loaches may also enjoy the addition of bogwood and leaf litter to stain the water and introduce tannins. The ideal tank environment for these fish will have dim lighting, gentle filtration and minimal surface agitation. Like their relative the Kuhli Loach, these fish are peaceful in nature and do best in tanks with conspecifics as well as four or more of their own species.


Micropredators by nature, Black Kuhli Loaches sift through substrate in the wild to find insect larvae and small crustaceans. In the home aquarium, however, these fish may accept prepared foods. To promote health and good coloration, offer Black Kuhli Loaches a staple diet of high-quality sinking foods supplemented with live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia and bloodworms.


Black Kuhli Loaches are difficult to sex outside the breeding season, but females are typically more full-bodied than males. There are few accounts of successful spawnings of this species under controlled conditions. Fry have been found, however, in well-established tanks having a pH between 7.8 and 8.0 and a temperature around 78 or 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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