Giant Kuhli Loach (Pangio myersi)
The Giant Kuhli Loach (Pangio myersi) is a larger, more robust relative of the popular banded Kuhlii Loach. Due to their close similarity with Kuhli Loach (Pangio Kuhlii) they are often misidentified but can be distinguished by their pattern of overall larger black spots and a fully or mostly black caudal fin. They have a distinctive body pattern consisting of 8-11 very broad, dark, quadrangular bars. In captivity, they can reach up to 4 inches.
The Giant Kuhli Loach is a peaceful species, compatible with small, peaceful species from similar environments. They are a schooling fish, often found in large aggregations in nature, and should be kept in groups of at least 5-6.
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.
Giant 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 Giant Kuhli Loach.
Giant 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 Giant Kuhli Loaches are a pH of 5.0-7.5, a hardness of 1-8 dGH, and a temperature of 70-80°F (21-27°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.