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Pangio spp. - Kuhli loach


  • Pangio spp. - Kuhli loach

    Photo thanks to Baccus
    Pangio semicincta - Kuhli loach

    Scientific name: Pangio spp.
    Common name: Kuhli loach
    AKA: Acanthophthalmus spp.

    Country of origin: South East Asia

    Pangio semicincta:
    pH: 3.5 - 7.0
    Temperature: 21 - 26c
    Hardness: 0 - 143ppm
    Water flow: standard - high
    Oxygenation: standard

    Maximum size: Pangio semicincta: 10 cm

    Diet: Live, frozen, flake, spirulina & (sinking) pellet foods - they are omnivorous.

    They have a reputation for being used as part of a clean-up crew, as they will eat any left-over food, however they need their own food source and a clean environment to live in.

    It is not easy to breed in captivity, but it is possible.

    Tank companions: It will eat shrimplets, and adult shrimp. It is NOT recommended to keep with shrimp.

    It goes well in most community tanks, with other peaceful fish. As with other fish, it will eat anything it can fit in its mouth, and equally it will be eaten by other fish much larger than it. This should be taken into account when choosing tankmates.

    It is one of the few fish which can be used to control snails. It may need some assistance by manually crushing large snails, which it will then eat along with the smaller ones.

    It should be kept in a group of 7+.

    It has a reputation for nipping fins - take this into account when choosing tankmates.

    Tank size:
    A 4 ft tank minimum.

    Position in tank: Bottom of the tank. Because it spends much of its time swimming on or snuffling in the substrate, it cannot be kept on a sharp substrate such as Aqua One's Ebony Black Gravel, which is made from crushed glass, as the fish will be injured. Sand is the best choice for these fish.

    It will do well in either a heavily planted tank (2Tone's DIY substrate is a good choice) or a biotype - sand, driftwood, lots of tannins.

    They appreciate lots of hidey-holes. If they feel safe, they will display playful behaviour.

    It is often confused with P. eques - the only other species recognised.

    There are many species available:
    Pangio anguillaris "Eel loach"
    Pangio cuneovirgata - rare in the trade
    Pangio malayana
    Pangio myersi "Giant kuhli loach"
    Pangio oblonga "Black kuhli loach"
    Pangio semicincta "Kuhli loach"
    Pangio shelfordii

    It is on the allowable import list 26/08/2013 (as Acanthophthalmus spp):

    The IUCN Red List reports Pangio goaensis (Indian Coolie Loach) and Pangio semicincta as species of least concern with an unknown population trend at 20/10/2013. Other Pangio species have not been assessed yet:

    They do not have scales, and this should be taken into account when administering medication - including copper based medications, which can be fatal.

    It is very important not to release any aquarium specimens into our waterways. Any that are not sold or re-homed/ given away, can often be re-sold to aquarium stores. If they are homed in ponds, care should be taken that they cannot escape in run-off into our waterways. Even if fish are native & local they should not be moved from one waterway to another, as this can transfer disease. If they are not local fish, they can both spread disease and either out-compete or eat local fish, shrimp & plants, causing their demise.

    It is a good fish for beginners +1 - with a little experience.

    Relevant threads/ articles:


    Swimming into outlets & filters:

    Tankmates (eating them):

    ID - pics & breeding:

    Photo thanks to tropicalman
    Pangio myersi - Giant Kuhli Loach

    Photo thanks to loachs4all
    From this thread - "loach river" tank:

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Thread with more loaches and ID - d golem:

      Photo thanks to d golem - Pangio semicincta (on left), Pangio myersi (on right)

    • d_golem
      d_golem commented
      Editing a comment
      My experience keeping RCS with these guys is that they definitely won't eat the adults (too big) and don't actively search for shrimplets to munch on. If they come across an unlucky one while foraging around, of course they'll gobble it up. 99% of the time though the kuhlis stay on the bottom of the tank and the shrimplets can and will scuttle away quicker than the kuhlis can chase them (and that only if they decide to give a chase, as a well-fed kuhli won't bother wasting energy with such a small meal like a shrimplet).

    • DiscusEden
      DiscusEden commented
      Editing a comment
      Thankyou very much for sharing your experience with them!
    Posting comments is disabled.



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