If you have owned an aquarium for a while then you are aware of the problem of pairing different species of fish together. Keeping species having different temperaments in the same tank can be troublesome and lead to dire consequences.
The submissive fishes won’t be able to get their nutrients and get hurt. You have to do a lot of research and observe the behavior of the fishes so that the aquarium becomes a peaceful one.
Can you keep Kuhli Loaches with Bettas?
Bettas can be a handful when it comes to keeping them with other species of fish in an aquarium. Bettas with their mood swings are troubling to other species. They are prone to attacking and hurting their tankmates. On the contrary, Kuhli Loaches are in the category of peaceful fishes that don’t disturb or harass other species. They just like to spend all their sweet time dwelling on the bottom of the tank.
Although it is perfectly fine to keep Kuhli Loaches and Bettas can be kept together in one aquarium. You can keep these two species in one tank and don’t pose any threat to any other.
The Kuhli Loaches are species with peaceful temperaments. They don’t disturb any other species and surely won’t disturb your Bettas. They are completely capable of handling the aggressive nature of the Bettas and their mood swings. They can live with it. The Kuhli Loaches don’t nip the fins of Bettas as well.
So if you are looking for a perfect tankmate for Bettas, Kuhli Loaches is the answer.
Will the Kuhli Loaches disturb your Bettas?
As mentioned before Kunli Loaches don’t disturb Bettas. Not just Bettas they don’t bother any other species. They are peaceful species of fish.
Kuhli Loaches are not aggressive, and the same goes with territorial. They will never disturb your Bettas. They don’t nip the fins of the Bettas. So there is no room for any disturbance in keeping these two species together.
Do Bettas show aggression towards Kuhli Loaches?
It is a given that Bettas will pose a problem to other species of fish. They cannot be blamed as it is in their nature, and they are built this way. They are moody, and sometimes this can be stressful. Bettas will attack or show aggression towards anything that moves.
A simple answer is that Bettas will not show aggression towards Kuhli Loaches. Kuhli Loaches love spending time in the bottom of the tank. It is not in their nature to disturb other species of fish. So they will not swim up from the bottom of the tank to bother your Bettas. Meaning that Bettas will not disturb your Kuhli Loaches.
You must, however, ensure they accept each other in the tank from the onset. While acclimating, your Kuhli loach can stay at the top of the aquarium for a few days.
This is a critical period, so keep an eye on them. After acclimatization, your Kuhli loach will be busy excavating the tank’s substrate, far away from the mid- or top-dwelling fish such as betta. As a result, betta attacking Kuhli loach in the tank is unlikely, and they will get along great without any contact.
How many Kuhli Loaches can you keep with Bettas?
Keeping Bettas and Kuhli Loaches together is completely fine. Although, you must take into consideration the number of Kuhli Loaches to keep. Kuhli Loaches are not the type of species that school or shoal usually. But they will prefer companionship.
It is not recommended that you keep one Kuhli Loach in an aquarium. Even the experts of keeping aquarium won’t recommend it. Especially, when keeping them with Bettas, don’t get impulsive by the idea of getting a tankmate for Bettas. You must take a moment to think about the Kuhli Loaches.
In an aquarium, you must keep 5 to 6 Kuhli Loaches together. All the Loaches will spend their time in the bottom of the tank and will not bother the Bettas. Keeping a single Kuhli Loach in a tank will only make the one Loach live in timidity. They will hide their whole life and once in a blue moon come out of seclusion.
Tank Parameters for keeping Kuhli Loaches and Bettas together
The tank parameters that the Kuhli Loaches and Bettas prefer adds more reason to the fact they are perfect tankmates. All the parameters that these species prefer are almost the same.
In terms of water temperature, Kuhli Loaches prefer a cooler temperature than the Bettas. So you must keep the temperature ranges to around so that both the fish species feel comfortable.
Keep the water temperatures between 76℉ to 85℉. Next comes the pH levels. A Betta’s pH level should be between 6,8 and 7,0. Even though Kuhli loaches prefer a more acidic pH, they will soon adapt to the Betta’s needs. Kuhli Loaches will comfortably live in these pH levels.
Ammonia poisoning in aquariums may be a burden for both of them. Fin rot might cause you to lose both the fin and the Betta. You must reduce the ammonia level in the tank and keep all chemical levels at zero. That is how you will be able to properly care for both fish.
Tank size for keeping Kuhli Loaches and Bettas together
As is already mentioned, the Kuhli Loaches must not be kept alone in a tank. You have to keep at least 5 or 6 of them in a tank. So for them, the minimum tank size required is about 15 gallons.
So while keeping them with Bettas, the minimum tank size is about 20 gallons. One mustn’t go for a tank size lower than 20 gallons. If you keep these two species in a small tank, they can come in contact, and the Bettas won’t hold back on their aggression.
Tank setup for keeping Kuhli Loaches and Bettas together
For tank setup for the peaceful coexistence of these two species, let us begin with the substrate. For the substrate, you will have to take into consideration the Kuhli Loaches. As Bettas swim around in the tank they don’t have many preferences regarding the substrate.
As the Kuhli Loaches are bottom dwellers, you will need a soft substrate. A sandy substrate or a fine gravel mix will be a perfect substrate for the aquarium. These substrates won’t hurt the Kuhli Loaches when are off to their digging.
An aquarium lid is a must as both the Kuhli Loaches and the Bettas are prone to jumping out of the tank. The Kuhli Loaches can jump out of the tank if the water parameters fluctuate or the tank’s condition worsens. In these situations, Kuhli Loaches don’t hesitate to jump out of the tank.
Bettas will jump out of the tank whenever they feel like it. So keep the aquarium covered with a lid at all times.
Both of these species love plants. They come from the type of natural habitat where it is dense with plants. The Bettas prefer playing and swimming around plants. The Kuhli Loaches prefer plants for laying eggs and for hiding.
In case of lighting of the aquarium, go for low to medium lighting. Kuhli Loaches don’t like bright lights. If your lighting is too bright they will just go for secluding themselves. Also, remember to keep plants that require low lighting.
Feeding while keeping Kuhli Loaches and Bettas together
Regarding feeding these two species when they are together, you must pay attention to the nutrition of the Kuhli Loaches. Kuhli Loaches come around to eat around the night and will sweep up all the food that is on the bottom of the tank. In case of food preferences, these two species have the same taste. The Kuhli Loaches will eat everything that the Bettas prefer.
Although the Kuhli Loaches search for food in the substrate means that they eat the leftovers of the Bettas. You will have to feed them an extra diet as well. Just the leftover food won’t be able to provide them with the necessary nutrients. The diet of the Kuhli Loaches must be looked upon with attention. Make sure that they get their nutrients for a healthy life.
Other tankmates for Bettas
There are other species as well that can be kept in the same tank as Bettas. You can pair the Bettas with Cory Catfish, Neon Tetras, Plecos, Short fin Mollies, Females Guppies, Ember Tetras, and Otocinclus Catfish.
Kuhli Loaches and Bettas are the best fishes to pair up in an aquarium. These two species are a match made in heaven. The Kuhli Loaches are indifferent to the Bettas’ mood swings.
They don’t bother the Bettas and the Bettas won’t do anything to them. Their preferences for the tank conditions are pretty much similar. The Kuhli Loaches are masters of adjusting to the parameters of Bettas.
Although to not let everything go haywire you will have to take care of the water parameters and maintain it. Remember to keep an eye out for the diet of the Kuhli Loaches.