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Why is My Kuhli Loach Hiding? (Is It a Sign of Illness?)

Why is My Kuhli Loach Hiding? (Is It a Sign of Illness?)
This post is written to the author's best knowledge and is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. In addtion, this post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Keeping kuhli loaches in your fish tank will be a lot of fun. Many people have fallen in love with these odd-looking bottom feeders.

They can be great fish to put in a community tank. You might choose to add them to the tank for a bit of variety.

They’re easy to care for, and so many have great experiences caring for these fish. What if your kuhli loaches are always hiding in the tank, though?

Is it normal for these fish to hide? Or is there something happening in the tank that is making them feel stressed?

Read on to get a better idea of what’s going on.

Is Hiding Normal for Kuhli Loaches?

It’s pretty common for kuhli loaches to hide in fish tanks. They have a reputation for being pretty shy fish.

If your kuhli loaches are hiding, that isn’t necessarily an indication that something is wrong in the tank. However, there are ways that you can make the kuhli loaches more comfortable and less likely to hide all the time.

You’ll learn more about that later. For now, you should know that hiding is a common issue that people encounter when caring for these fish.

Kuhli loaches are known for squeezing themselves into tight little hiding spots. It’s recommended to keep hiding spots in the tank so they will feel more at ease.

Do Kuhli Loaches Burrow?

Yes, kuhli loaches love to burrow and, it’s something you’ll see them doing often. This is why it’s important to choose an appropriate substrate for these fish.

Kuhli loaches dwell at the bottom of the tank. They’re known for burrowing, and they love to burrow directly into the substrate.

If you don’t choose a soft substrate, such as fine aquarium sand, the loaches could get hurt trying to burrow. So be sure to set up the tank in the right way.

A kuhli loach will burrow and hide when it gets startled by something. These fish are shy and reclusive.

Kuhli Loach Hiding Places

There are many areas in a fish tank where kuhli loaches will hide. You’ve learned that it’s normal for these fish to hide in the tank.

Now you might be wondering where the hiding spots are located. It might be hard to find every single possible hiding spot, but you can get a good idea of where kuhli loaches commonly hide in fish tanks.

They love to burrow into the substrate and hide. So the kuhli loaches could be hiding in the sand.

It’s also common for these fish to squeeze into little caves that people put in tanks as decorations. They love hiding in caves, and they will also utilize driftwood as hiding spots.

People commonly put various types of smooth stones in fish tanks that the loaches can use as hiding spots. Even PVC piping can work out, and the fish will love it.

Sometimes the fish might hide behind or underneath certain types of aquatic plants. There are many potential hiding locations for these fish in an aquarium.

Kuhli Loaches Need Lots of Friends

Your kuhli loaches will feel very nervous in a fish tank if they’re kept in groups that are too small. It’s not wise to keep just one or two kuhli loaches in the tank.

To keep the kuhli loaches comfortable, it’s important to keep at least three of them in the tank. Otherwise, the loaches will be very stressed and uncomfortable.

It’s even better to keep six or more kuhli loaches in the tank. Enthusiasts say that these fish are most comfortable when there are twelve kuhli loaches in the tank.

So if you have enough room, it’s wise to buy more kuhli loaches. The kuhli loaches will be more active in the tank and will hide less when they’re kept in larger numbers.

Provide More Hiding Spots

The kuhli loaches in the tank will feel far more comfortable if there are more hiding spots. If there aren’t many good hiding spots in the tank, they will feel nervous.

You might be surprised to hear that this will make them hide more than usual. The fewer hiding spots that are in the tank, the more the fish will choose to hide.

That might seem strange, but enthusiasts know that this is true. People who love these fish recommend keeping plenty of hiding spots in the tank.

Be sure to put little caves, driftwood, and other hiding spots in the tank for these fish. It gives them more confidence and makes it more likely that they will be active in the aquarium.

Are the Kuhli Loaches Sick?

There have been times where kuhli loaches have become sick and started hiding more in the tank. Your fish might be going through a tough time due to some type of disease.

When fish are sick, they are less active due to trying to fight off the disease. You might need to pay attention to the fish to diagnose any issues.

Many diseases that kuhli loaches can get are treatable. You might need to give the fish some medicine or solve an issue in the tank to help the fish get better.

Water Quality Issues

Even if your fish aren’t sick yet, it could be that they’re stressed due to problems with the water quality in the tank. If you’re not keeping the fish tank clean enough, there could be issues with ammonia spikes.

When ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels spike in the tank, it’ll be bad for all of the fish. Kuhli loaches might hide more often when there are severe issues with water quality that need to be addressed.

Be sure that you’re testing the pH balance of the tank regularly. Perform regular water changes and clean the tank as often as necessary.

Simply focus on fixing water quality issues, and it should help the kuhli loaches feel better. They will stop hiding so much once the water quality is back to normal.

Are the Kuhli Loaches Dealing with Bullies?

Bullies in the fish tank will make kuhli loaches want to stay in hiding. Kuhli loaches are peaceful fish that aren’t going to want to fight.

You might have put these fish in a community tank with fish that they aren’t compatible with. Doing so puts the kuhli loaches in danger.

When these fish sense danger, they do their best to hide in the tank. They’re good at hiding and thus avoid conflict most of the time.

Check to see if all of the fish in the tank are compatible. If you have bully fish in the tank, you should separate them and give them their own tank.

Strong Currents

Having a strong current in the tank might make these fish want to hide as well. These fish aren’t used to dealing with very powerful currents.

When the current is a bit too strong, they will choose to hide so they won’t have to deal with it. Do your best to reduce the flow in the tank so the kuhli loaches will be more comfortable.

This should help to solve any issues that you’re experiencing. The current can be mitigated by putting more plants in the tank.

Could the Kuhli Loaches Be Sleeping?

Sometimes kuhli loaches are just going to sleep. Fish have periods of time when they rest in the tank.

Typically, kuhli loaches are going to sleep during the day. They’re a bit more active during the evening and nighttime.

When they sleep, they will hide in little caves or other hiding spots in the tank. You might not see them a lot since they aren’t as active during the day.