Black Kuhli Loach (Pangio Oblonga)
The Black Kuhli Loach, also known as the Chocolate Kuhli or Java Loach, is a fascinating freshwater fish that brings a unique charm to any aquarium. This species is characterized by its elongated, eel-like body with a uniform color ranging from reddish-brown or milk chocolate to almost black. The fins are translucent, and the belly is usually paler than the rest of the body. In captivity, they can reach between 3 to 4 inches.
Black Kuhli Loaches are peaceful and social creatures known for their shy and nocturnal nature. They are best kept in a group of at least 3 individuals, though larger groups are preferable. They are compatible with a variety of tank mates but do best with other peaceful species.
Their diet is omnivorous, consisting of a mix of plant-based foods and meaty foods. They enjoy a variety of foods, including flakes, sinking pellets, and thawed frozen foods like bloodworms, Mysis shrimp, and brine shrimp.
Black Kuhli Loaches prefer a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots. They enjoy burrowing and often spend time fully submerged in the substrate, so a soft substrate is ideal for preventing stress or injury. Coarser gravel could inhibit their feeding behavior and potentially cause harm. The tank should also include plenty of plants, driftwood, and smooth rocks for them to explore while providing them with shaded areas. Dried leaf litter can further enhance the natural ambiance and provide additional cover. They prefer fairly dim lighting, and aquatic plants from the Microsorum, Taxiphyllum, and Cryptocoryne are well suited for this environment.
They are quite hardy and adaptable, but they prefer warmer water temperatures. When it comes to water flow, a gentle filtration system that causes slight surface agitation is sufficient. High flow rates should be avoided for the comfort of the Black Kuhli Loach.
Black Kuhli Loaches require an aquarium of at least 20 gallons, with the ideal community aquarium size being 30 gallons or more. The ideal water parameters for Black Kuhli Loaches are a pH of 5.5-6.5, a hardness of 1-5 dGH, and a temperature of 74-79°F (23-26°C).
Loaches are known to jump, especially when newly introduced to a tank, so a secure tank cover is essential. This species should be added to well-established aquariums, not newly set-up tanks, as they need stable conditions to thrive.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.