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how do I know if my kuhli loaches are getting food?


Sora
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I have 5 kuhli loaches. I dont see them at all during the day because they like hiding and they are just babies so they are small. I try to give them some bottom feeder wafers during the evening. but sometimes my platys eat them and sometimes they are still there in the morning.is there a better way to feed my kuhlis?

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Feeding nocturnal fish during night time is the best idea. Same goes for plecos as well. They are generally shy, and even smaller fish bother them and move them away from food during day-time feeding, even when they try to be brave! 😄

So try dropping a piece of food when the lights are off. They are likely to go for it! Maybe check in an hour or so, if they show any interest. with a low lighting flashlight or something maybe. Sometimes trying different type of food is better. You may wanna try giving them some other food options too. Also observe how much they eat for some time, like if you wake up with some uneaten food, next time try dropping a smaller version of food! It generally means you are overfeeding, even if kuhlis had a chance to take a bite. And overfeeding will cause to foul your water.

Also if they are new, let them settle for a lil. Keep feeding in smaller portions. Maybe you can try repashy or some other stuff. small frozen food too! I usually try to drop small portions next to my fish when they are new. They tend to be more skittish, especially if they are nocturnal.

 

Edited by Lennie
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On 1/24/2023 at 7:44 AM, Sora said:

I have 5 kuhli loaches. I dont see them at all during the day because they like hiding and they are just babies so they are small. I try to give them some bottom feeder wafers during the evening. but sometimes my platys eat them and sometimes they are still there in the morning.is there a better way to feed my kuhlis?

I personally think that if you have a small group of kuhli, they tend to be a little bit more skittish. Before in my 55 I had around 5, never saw them once, once i added 9 more they started becoming more brave and they came out even when it was day. Your kuhli loaches will be eating, they are scavengers and at night will come out to look for small particles through your substrate.

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@Sora I often freeze part of my brine shrimp hatches and add some after all lights are out. As they thaw, they sink. The night feeder goggle them up. I also soak my dry sinking food in a dish of tank water before I feed it after dark, then the fish can eat it before the snails cover it. Kuhli loaches have small mouths, so soft food is easier for them to eat.

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Not so much looking for uneaten food at night, but if there is any left the next morning. 

I agree with @DiscusLover you'll see them more often if you have more kuhlis. I found that 12-15 in a 36" long well planted tank was the point at which they are more inclined to come out and say hi during the day. But at night, after the lights are out, you'll definitely be more likely to see them out and about (eg put a flashlight on the tank). 

The devil's advocate in me says that if you don't see them, and don't see any bodies, they're probably still around. I've gone for like 9 months thinking I had like 10-12, and found 20 when I took the tank down. 

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I have noticed with my khuli loaches that the do have their own personalities.  One of them, who was the really tiny one when I got them, is way more adventurous then the rest, and often comes out during the day regularly.  Usually the others will follow him if they feel safe, but they are a bit more skittish.  Hopefully they will get comfortable for you and a few will decide to be a little more outgoing.

I give them a wafer at night, but they also do seem to have no issues finding stuff  from leftover food to micro organisms on their own as well.

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On 1/24/2023 at 12:43 PM, Lennie said:

Did they breed?? Or you just didnt know the total number?

I got excited 😄

I wish!

I knew that I had added quite a few over various batches, but I thought that over time I had also lost a few, since I never saw more than 8 or 10 at once. If you usually see 4, sometimes see 6, and you max out at 8 or 10, then you probably have 12. LOL 

But like I said it was a lot more than that. They're amazing survivors, if the place is good for them. 

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It has been my experience that Khulis find a way to survive no matter what.  Finding uneaten food is their specialty and they are good at it.  I have khulis in a 40 long with other loaches and tetras and they have no problem thriving. As I increased their numbers in the tank, I definitely noticed that they spent more time moving about during daylight hours and competing for food during feedings.

@TOtrees Congrats on the khuli spawn.  I've been the recipient of a few  and am always grateful it has happened (I can't have to many khulis). 

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On 1/24/2023 at 2:36 PM, Lots Of Loaches said:

Congrats on the khuli spawn.

Not breeding, just surviving better than I thought. I've kept the 20 I referred to above and they're fat jumbo sausages now. I'm hoping that one day, things will somehow be just right for them, and they'll figure it out. 

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Some times you can catch them feeding at night, but sometimes it can be a mystery. I have a green phantom pleco in my 125 gallon tank and I know where it hides all day and I used to place food there all the time but there was never evidence that he ate it so I stopped doing it. Whenever I see him once a month he looks full, happy, and a little bigger, but besides driftwood in the tank I have no idea what he eats. Its been like this for close to a year or possibly more. Just make sure they look healthy whenever you see them and I wouldn't be too worried. 

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Baby khulis are so cute! My last spawn produced over 50 babies and watching them swarm on sinking wafers is a sight to see. Now, if I could just get them to spawn in a controlled environment where I can separate them from their parents for proper grow out, I'd be thrilled! Supposedly, they usually have a hundred or more eggs per spawn but I haven't had any luck with planned breeding of them.

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Feed at night once the light is off. I never seen mine during the day. Ironically I saw one today with the light on for the first time in months. Half the time I wonder if they died. I use Hikari sinking wafers. If I'm sneaky and I have a dim external light near my tank on and the tank light is off I can see them come out and feed sometimes at night. Kind of an odd fish to have in that regard since I never see them, but I have a lot of java fern on three large pieces of drift wood which is where they live during the day so I know they are helping swim around in there and keep it clean.

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On 1/24/2023 at 11:07 PM, Lots Of Loaches said:

Baby khulis are so cute! My last spawn produced over 50 babies and watching them swarm on sinking wafers is a sight to see. Now, if I could just get them to spawn in a controlled environment where I can separate them from their parents for proper grow out, I'd be thrilled! Supposedly, they usually have a hundred or more eggs per spawn but I haven't had any luck with planned breeding of them.

I wish I was living nearby and able to adopt some. That sounds amazing. I'm jelly!!

Would love to see pics one day

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