Caring for kuhli loaches in your fish tank should be pretty simple. Most people have an easy time caring for these fun bottom-feeding fish.
Kuhli loaches are interesting to look at, and they’re fairly hardy. You should have a good time with them even if you’re a bit of a newcomer to the hobby.
Before buying kuhli loaches, it’s wise to learn about their needs. What do these fish eat?
Keep reading to learn about kuhli loaches and their dietary preferences. This will ensure that you can keep these fish healthy and happy in your fish tank.
Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Snails?
You can feed kuhli loaches snails, but they’re most likely to eat small snails. These fish are opportunistic when it comes to feeding, and they are known to eat small invertebrates in the wild.
Enthusiasts do sometimes feed kuhli loaches small snails. If the snail is small enough for the loach to easily flip over, it’ll be a potential meal for it.
You shouldn’t rely on kuhli loaches to help you control the snail population in a tank, though. There are only some small types of snails that you can buy as treats for the fish.
Most find snails to be a bit of an inconvenient meal to give to kuhli loaches. So these fish can eat snails, but you don’t necessarily need to make snails a part of their diet.
Do They Eat Shrimp?
Kuhli loaches seem to love eating shrimp. It’d be a good treat for the fish if you want to give them shrimp from time to time.
There are many types of shrimp that you can buy for the loaches. They will eat brine shrimp if you want to buy some from the pet store.
It’s normal for people to feed kuhli loaches protein-rich foods several times per week. Just make sure that you don’t feed them too much.
Utilizing shrimp as an occasional treat will be a good choice. Not everyone chooses to give kuhli loaches shrimp, though.
It’s also worth noting that these fish like both freeze-dried shrimp and live shrimp. So choose whatever you want.
Do They Eat Algae?
These fish are known as cleaners, so you might expect them to eat algae. They do eat at least a little bit of algae in the tank.
A kuhli loach isn’t such a good algae-eating fish that you’ll be able to rely on them to keep the tank clean. Even so, it’s worth knowing that they will eat some algae off of the gravel in the tank.
This won’t make up a huge portion of the fish’s diet. They like eating algae, but they aren’t the same type of algae-eating fish as otocinclus catfish or Siamese algae eaters.
What About Algae Wafers?
Since kuhli loaches eat some algae in the tank, it makes sense that they will eat algae wafers. You can give them algae wafers if you want to.
These aren’t picky fish, and they’re known to pretty much eat whatever. Granted, they might have a hard time eating some algae wafers if they can’t sink.
So buying sinking algae wafers will be the best bet. Your fish will like algae wafers if you choose to get some.
Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Vegetables?
It’s normal for people to give kuhli loaches vegetables as a treat. This shouldn’t be the main thing that you feed the fish, though.
Kuhli loaches love eating blanched veggies. There are many types of green vegetables that they will appreciate.
You can safely give zucchini, shelled peas, cucumbers, squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes to these fish. Just ensure that the veggies are cleaned and peeled before giving them to the fish.
Do They Eat Planaria?
Kuhli loaches will eat planaria. However, they’re not the most reliable when it comes to killing and eating planaria.
So if you’re trying to get planaria under control, you might wish to go with another fish. Regardless, enthusiasts have noted that these fish will sometimes eat planaria.
Do They Eat Bloodworms?
Bloodworms are a type of food that your kuhli loaches will love. This is a normal thing that people give to these fish as a supplementary food option.
Sometimes you’ll want to buy frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms to give to these fish. It’s more common for people to give them frozen bloodworms.
Thaw them out, and they will make excellent treats for the loaches. This is a great way to ensure that your kuhli loaches are getting enough protein.
Do Kuhli Loaches Eat Fish Poop?
No, kuhli loaches don’t go around the tank eating fish poop. This isn’t a thing that fish intentionally do.
If you ever see a kuhli loach consuming fish poop, it’ll be by accident. This might occur when the fish is trying to eat leftover food in the tank.
People mistakenly think that cleaner fish such as kuhli loaches eat fish poop. This is simply not true, and it’s not something you should expect to see.
What Plants Do Kuhli Loaches Eat?
Kuhli loaches will eat plants in your tank. You can keep them in a planted aquarium because they won’t devour the plants.
It’s most common for these loaches to eat plants such as java moss and duckweed. These are fast-growing plants that are very easy to care for.
You might notice the loaches nibbling on other types of plants from time to time. People have even seen these fish eating bits of artificial plants in the past.
Will They Eat Dead Fish?
Yes, it’s not unusual to see kuhli loaches eat dead fish in a tank. If a fish dies in the tank, the kuhli loaches will come in and clean it up for you.
However, it’s generally not wise to let the kuhli loaches consume the fish carcass. You see, the fish might have use it was sick and carrying some disease.
It’s truly best for you to remove any dead fish from the tank yourself. This helps to keep your kuhli loaches safe.
Will They Eat Fish Eggs?
Kuhli loaches are known to eat fish eggs in aquariums. They will even eat their own fish eggs.
When breeding these fish, you’ll generally want to separate the adults from the eggs. Most people choose to put them in breeding tanks and then put the adults back into the main tank once the eggs have been laid.
A kuhli loach will also sometimes eat other eggs in the tank. Since these loaches are opportunistic feeders, it shouldn’t surprise you that they would eat fish eggs.
As long as the eggs are small enough for the fish to swallow they can be eaten by them. Fish eggs will often get eaten by other fish in the tank, and it’s not just kuhli loaches that you will have to worry about.
Are Kuhli Loaches Bottom Feeders?
Yes, kuhli loaches are considered to be bottom-feeding fish. They hang out at the bottom of the fish tank and eat many different things.
It’s always nice to have bottom-feeding fish in your tank. They’re excellent community tank members that are a bit shy and don’t bother others.
As you’ve learned already, they eat so many different things in the tank. You shouldn’t have a difficult time keeping them fed and happy.
What to Feed Kuhli Loaches
Feeding kuhli loaches won’t be that hard because they aren’t picky eaters. Of course, some things are better to feed the fish than others.
You’ll want to feed the fish sinking nutritional pellets daily. Sinking pellets are perfect because they can get to the bottom of the tank, and the loaches can easily eat them.
Aside from this, you’ll also want to give these loaches supplementary foods. You’ve already learned a lot about the other things that they can eat.
It’s common for people to feed kuhli loaches bloodworms and blackworms as sources of protein. You’ll also likely want to give them blanched veggies from time to time.
How Often to Feed Kuhli Loaches
You should feed kuhli loaches daily, but you don’t want to go overboard. These fish are known to have digestive issues when they get fed too much.
To keep things safe, you should feed them just twice per day. You feed them a reasonable amount of food each time you feed them instead of feeding them a ton of food at once.
Many people keep a simple feeding schedule that sees the fish being fed once in the morning and once in the evening. These fish are nocturnal, but it’s normal for them to be up and around in the dawn before many people go to work.
Also, the fish are usually somewhat active in the evening. So feeding them when you get home from work is very plausible.
How Much to Feed Kuhli Loaches
As mentioned above, it’s not wise to feed kuhli loaches too much food at once. Since feeding the fish too much can cause serious digestive problems, you’re going to want to be careful.
It’s good to feed these fish only as much as they can eat in two minutes. Do this each time you feed the fish, and all should be well.
You can keep the fish from experiencing problems by looking out for them in this way. It helps to prevent you from accidentally overfeeding the fish.
How Long Can Kuhli Loaches Go Without Food?
A healthy kuhli loach should be able to go for a week without eating. This doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to avoid feeding your fish for a week, though.
If you happen to be away from home for a few days, it’s unlikely that your fish will perish due to not being fed. Regardless, it’s better to feed the fish twice per day to keep it in optimal health.
It’s still good to know that a healthy kuhli loach can survive for a while without food. If there’s a reason why you can’t feed the fish for a few days, at least the fish isn’t likely going to die because of it.
Remember that you can always ask someone to feed your fish for you. If you plan to go on a vacation, it’s always better to ask someone to feed your fish.
Having a better understanding of what to feed these fish will benefit you greatly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that kuhli loaches will just scavenge food in the tank and be okay.
You need to feed these fish regularly to keep them in good health. Feed them twice per day without feeding them too much at once.
They like to eat sinking nutritional pellets as well as other types of food. You can give them protein-rich foods as snacks such as bloodworms, live blackworms, brine shrimp, and more.
It’s also normal for these loaches to eat blanched veggies. While this can’t be the main food that you feed the fish, veggies can make a good treat for the kuhli loaches.
Use the information above to make sure that the kuhli loach is receiving an optimal diet. It’ll help the fish to thrive for a long time in your tank.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.