kuhli loach

What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding

What do Kuhli Loach eat is not a question we are asked too often, however, we were recently asked this question when a fellow aquarist, who is new to the hobby, asked if his Kuhli loaches could eat Bloodworms.

This got me thinking and I thought we could clear up a few myths and questions about feeding freshwater loaches but in particular Kuhli loaches.

What do Kuhli Loach eat? These fish are classed as carnivores which means that they mainly eat meaty foods. However, Kuhli loach should be fed a balanced diet of live foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp. Standard flake fish foods do not contain all the nutrients they need. This means you’ll need to supplement their food to ensure they get all the nutrients they need to thrive in a home aquarium.

Here’s a list of suitable foods for Kuhli loach

  • Bloodworms
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Flake Food
  • Sinking Pellets
  • Algae Tablets
  • Live Daphnia
  • Mysis Shrimp
  • Vegi Matter
  • Frozen Foods
  • Finely Chopped Meaty Foods

Can Kuhli Loach eat snails?

Fish keepers new to the hobby are often mislead by inexperienced aquarists or poorly trained pet store employees.

People are told that kuhli loach will eat snails and all the garbage from the bottom of your aquarium. Whilst this is true to a certain extent, this type of food should not be their only source of food.

My kuhli loach that I have at the moment never eat snails in my aquarium. They do burrow in the gravel in search of food which is great for keeping my aquarium clean and tidy. However, I do ensure that they receive extra foods like algae pellets and live and freeze-dried Bloodworms. They really like the blocks of freeze-dried bloodworms. These are easy to feed to them without the other fish eating it all up before it hits the bottom of the aquarium. 

Kuhli loach
Image Credits @goldfishpagoda.co.nz

TOP TIP: If you’re looking for a fish that eats lots of snails, don’t buy Kuhli Loach, instead buy a Yo Yo Loach !

Can Kuhli loach eat Flake Fish Food?

Like most tropical fish Kuhli loach can and will eat flake food. Depending on the mix of fish you have in your aquarium will depend on how much flake food your Kuhli loach receives.

If you have a large selection of fast-moving, top and mid-level swimmers like Tiger Barbs your Kuhli loach may not get its fair share of flake food.

Want to know which food we feed our Kuhli Loach?

Click this link  🔂 to see which food we feed all our loach’s

Do kuhli Loach eat algae?

Yes, they will eat some algae from the bottom of the aquarium and algae that grows 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.

What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 1

Only regular water changes and aquarium maintenance will keep your aquarium clean and healthy. It is true that Kuhli Loach do help keep the gravel loose and free and by digging in the substrate. They loosen trapped dirt and leftover foods which will then be taken out by your aquarium filter.

Ensuring you have the correct filter for the size of your aquarium is vital. Read our guide of the best filter for a small aquarium and the best filters for larger aquariums.

These will help you keep your aquarium clean. But don’t forget even a filter will not eradicate the need for water changes. 

How often should you feed Kuhli Loach?

Kuhli Loach should be treated no differently to all the other fish in your aquarium. They will need the same types of foods at the same time as others. 

Yes, Kuhli Loach will eat throughout the night and search for leftover food. You do need to give them every opportunity to feed like all your other fish.

My Kuhli Loach actually come out and feed with the other fish at feeding times. I have some really nice size loach including Yo Yo Loach, Clown Loach and of course Kuhli Loach with their distinctive colors and patterns. 

Below is a simple feeding guide for Kuhli Loach:


FoodHow OftenHow Much
Flake Food3 Times a dayEnough to consume in 90 Seconds
Pellets3 Times a week1-2 Mini Pellets Per Fish
Bloodworms - live2 Times a week3-4 Worms per fish
Bloodworm - Freeze Dried2 Times a weekSmall Pinch
Algae Wafers / tablets2 Times a week1 Tablet or wafer per 10 fish
Brine Shrimp - LiveOnce a week1-2 Brine shrimp per fish
Other supplement foods or Vegatables2 Times per weekEnough to consume in 90 Seconds

Which food do we recommend for Kuhli Loach?

As previously mentioned, we feed our loach the same types of food that we do for all our fish. So, I have listed some of them below. We have selected these foods as part of a staple and varied fish diet through years of trying and testing many types of foods.

The foods below are tried and tested for many years and will provide your fish, including your lovely Kuhli Loach, with all the nutrients they need. 

Tetra PRO PlecoWafers for Algae Eaters, 5.29-Ounce

$3.21  in stock
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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 2 Amazon.com
as of February 18, 2020 11:26 am

Features

  • PLECO FORMULATION: Supports the nutritional needs of herbivore bottom-feeders such as Plecostomus.
  • SINKING WAFERS WITH CONCENTRATED ALGAE: Provides a complete, balanced diet for algae eaters.
  • ALL-VEGETABLE SUPPLEMENT: Easily digested vegetarian fish food that’s naturally high in fiber.
  • DAILY USE: Feed only the amount that your bottom-feeding fish will consume within a few hours each day.
  • CLEAR-WATER FORMULA: Won’t cloud water when used as directed.

OMEGA One Freeze Dried Brine Shrimp 1.28oz

$8.75  in stock
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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 2 Amazon.com
as of February 18, 2020 11:26 am

Features

  • NUTRITIOUS TREAT: Freeze-Dried Brine Shrimp are an excellent high-protein treat for all freshwater and saltwater fish
  • HIGH QUALITY INGREDIENTS: Made with the highest quality brine shrimp available, this product is rich in vitamins and minerals
  • SAFE ALTERNATIVE: Freeze-dried brine shrimp are just as nutritious as live food, without the risk of bacteria or parasites
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed as a part of a varied diet, which should include at least one Omega One staple food. Feed daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 48% / Min Crude Fat 6% / Max Crude Fiber 2.5% / Max Moisture 5%

OMEGA One Freeze Dried Bloodworm .96oz, Yellow

$10.70  in stock
5 new from $10.70
Free shipping
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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 2 Amazon.com
as of February 18, 2020 11:26 am

Features

  • NUTRITIOUS TREAT: Omega One Freeze-Dried Blood Worms are an excellent high-protein treat for all freshwater and saltwater fish
  • HIGH QUALITY INGREDIENTS: These full-bodied, authentic bloodworms are rich in vitamins and minerals
  • SAFE ALTERNATIVE: Freeze-dried bloodworms are just as nutritious as live food, without the risk of bacteria or parasites
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed as a part of a varied diet, which should include at least one Omega One staple food. Feed daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 55% / Min Crude Fat 3% / Max Crude Fiber 5% / Max Moisture 5%

OMEGA One Color Mini Pellet 3.5oz

$7.63  in stock
5 new from $7.63
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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 2 Amazon.com
as of February 18, 2020 11:26 am

Features

  • COLOR-BOOSTING NUTRITION: Super Color Mini Pellets produce significant color enhancement thanks to elevated levels of beta carotenes in salmon skin. They are also rich in Omega 3 & 6 HUFA's to support strong immune systems in freshwater and saltwater fish
  • KEEP A CLEANER TANK: Our Super Color Mini Pellets are naturally insoluble, which reduces water pollution, and they have significantly less starch, which reduces fish waste
  • SUPERIOR QUALITY: No meals, hydrolysates, digests, or any other pre-processed protein
  • INSTRUCTIONS: Feed 1-3 times daily, using only as much food as fish can consume in two minutes
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Min Crude Protein 42% / Min Crude Fat 11% / Max Crude Fiber 2% / Max Moisture 8.5% / Max Ash 8%

TetraPro Tropical Color Crisps, Fish Food With Natural Color Enhancers

$18.59
$7.31  in stock
6 new from $7.31
Free shipping
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What Do Kuhli Loach Eat? Foods | Times | Amounts | Feeding 2 Amazon.com
as of February 18, 2020 11:26 am

Features

  • TROPICAL FORMULATION: TetraPro Tropical Color Crisps provide advanced nutrition for the discerning tropical fish-keeper.
  • OPTIMAL HEALTH: Made with exclusive low-heat process that preserves essential vitamins and nutrients – enhanced with biotin to support fish’s immune system.
  • COLOR ENHANCING: High content of natural color enhancers promote the development of rich, beautiful coloration in tropical fish.
  • CLEAR-WATER FORMULA: Easy-to-digest formula helps fish metabolize food more efficiently, reducing waste in the aquarium.
  • FLOATING FOOD: Fish have longer to eat, so more food gets eaten and the water stays clear.

Conclusion: What Do Kuhli Loach Eat?

Kuhli Loach are amazing fish and will eat just about any type of freshwater fish food. Don’t rely on one type of fish flake to give them all the nutrients and vitamins they need to thrive in a home aquarium

As responsible fish keepers, we have a duty to feed our fish the correct food source which is healthy, fresh and contain the correct vitamins and minerals.

Imagine eating just one type of food for the rest of your life like Lettuce! Boring right and not very healthy. Well, It’s the same for your fish.

Carl Broadbent