Kuhli Loach Gravel – The Best Substrate For A Kuhli Loach

Last Updated on January 24, 2022 by cmoarz

There’s nothing like choosing the best substrate for your fish, and this is no exception with the awesomely awesome Kuhli Loach.

There are so many substrates to choose from and they all have their different pros and cons and specific use cases, and it’s important we always pick the right substrate gravel for our fishy friends and plants alike.

So with that said, What Kuhli Loach gravel is best? What does the Kuhli loach require from its aquarium substrate? This article intends to answer the question of which is best for this fish.

Kuhli Loach Gravel – What Does Your Khuli Loach Need

To answer this question we need to dive into the history of the khuli loach and its natural habitat to find out what comes most natural for your fish.

Kuhli Loach In Natural Habitat

The Kuhli loach, Pangio kuhlii, is a small freshwater loach that originates from Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Malay). Its native habitat is lowland forest streams of crystal clear low current water.

The natural bottom for these bodies of water is often a soft well worn down sand bed, and they are often filled with leaf litter.

This, in turn, means that there is a lot of decomposing organic matter and the substrate, in general, has a darker color than other substrate gravels we might choose, say lighter browns and beiges.

Although the color isn’t as important a factor in choosing the correct substrate, it’s still good to know to make an informed decision.

Kuhli Loach Gravel – A Sand Bed

Although Kuhli loaches don’t necessarily need to be kept in a sand substrate they will appreciate the softer texture which makes it easier for them to burrow in slither around on.

And that’s the recommendation of this article. Kuhli loaches should be given a thick bed of dark soft sand as their substrate for a comfortable and happy life. Preferably well planted with a bit of leaf litter spread around.

What Substrate Should You Avoid For Your Khuli Loach?

While technically they can live in just about any type of gravel substrate, it’s best to avoid anything with large rocks, rough edges, and anything that might scratch their eyes or mouth.

Also, avoid any gravel that could be ingested during feeding and disturb your loach’s digestion by sticking to his insides and causing blockages.

If you need a more plant-centric substrate, consider using layers of something like eco-complete underneath a layer of sand.

This will allow your plants to gain all the nutrients and minerals they need and still allow your loach to be happy. It’s certainly not required but is a nice added bonus if you want to do the best for your fish and plants.


Owner of AquariumGravel.com and also owner of actual Aquarium Gravel believe it or not! ;). Setting up beautiful aquarium sceneries and habitats since I was very young. Enjoy!