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Is it ok to keep 5 kuhli loaches in a 20" 10 gallon tank with a betta?


UnityLover
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My cousin kept 5 or 6 kuhli loaches in a 10 gallon. When she purchased them they were young and small. As they grew into adults she determined the 10 was too small for them as they seemed cramped and her nitrates were continuously higher than she was comfortable with. 
I have never personally kept them I just wanted to share her experience with you. 
 

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I think they might drive most bettas a little batty.  Bettas don’t typically like that much commotion, especially at night when Kuhlis are most active.  As much as I love Kuhli loaches, I don’t think they would fit well with most betta’s personalities.  Otos are a far better fit and 6 of them wouldn’t be an excessive bioload in a 10 G.

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On 8/31/2023 at 2:18 PM, Odd Duck said:

I think they might drive most bettas a little batty.  Bettas don’t typically like that much commotion, especially at night when Kuhlis are most active.  As much as I love Kuhli loaches, I don’t think they would fit well with most betta’s personalities.  Otos are a far better fit and 6 of them wouldn’t be an excessive bioload in a 10 G.

Im planning to get a female or calmer betta, by going to the store, and seeing if it flares at other bettas or at the guppy tank. Also not picking hyperactive ones, but ones the relax more. Half the tank will be owned by aponogeton, so there will be lots of line of sight breakage.

Edited by UnityLover
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On 8/30/2023 at 5:20 PM, Guppysnail said:

My cousin kept 5 or 6 kuhli loaches in a 10 gallon. When she purchased them they were young and small. As they grew into adults she determined the 10 was too small for them as they seemed cramped and her nitrates were continuously higher than she was comfortable with. 
I have never personally kept them I just wanted to share her experience with you. 
 

Is her tank planted? mine will have christmas moss, java fern, and 3 wee- I mean nitrate destroyers. They include aponogeton, hornwort, and amazon frogbit.

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On 9/5/2023 at 5:40 PM, UnityLover said:

Im planning to get a female or calmer betta, by going to the store, and seeing if it flares at other bettas or at the guppy tank. Also not picking hyperactive ones, but ones the relax more. Half the tank will be owned by aponogeton, so there will be lots of line of sight breakage.

That might work with very careful selection.  You’ll like the Aponogeton at first but it will likely absorb the tank and keep on going in a 10 G.  Your fishies will end up with zero swimming room!  As much as I love Apos, most of them get to double, or more, of the height of a 10 G tank, and many want to take intermittent rest periods.

Maybe try looking into some of the smaller sword varieties or large crypt varieties instead?  Echinodorus horizontalis might be an option but it has very broad leaves and might be too bulky for the look you want, E. horizontalis ‘Mini’ is another good option, there is also E. h. ‘Variegated’ which is nice look.  E. harbich is a nice size for a 10 G, one of the E. ozelot varieties might work but some are a bit tall for a 10 G. E. parviflorus would be very tidy in a 10 G, not too tall at all and might be small enough for a mid ground or centerpiece plant.  E. ‘Red Devil’ should be a nice size, E. uruguayensis should stay a nice size and comes in a variegated form, too.  E. xinguensis is also a nice size and has narrower leaves that are more consistent along their length so a bit closer to what most Apos leaves look like than a lot of swords are.

For crypts, I really like the look of Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia - it’s a very bright green with quite broad, slightly wavy leaves on strong stems.  It spreads well but not so aggressively it’s impossible to contain.  It also gets taller than many crypts except the very tallest and can get about 12” tall under some conditions.  It’s a great sword substitute for smaller or shorter tanks.  There are several crypts that get very tall but most of the taller ones have very thin leaves, but will grow dense enough to,almost give an Apo effect.  Crypt. spiralis or retrospiralis which both come in red varieties, too would be a nice option without overwhelming the tank.  C. usteriana, looks a lot like an Apo, but won’t get quite so crazy growth as an Apo and eat your whole tank.  The red variety stays a bit shorter and has nice color.

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On 9/6/2023 at 9:40 AM, Odd Duck said:

That might work with very careful selection.  You’ll like the Aponogeton at first but it will likely absorb the tank and keep on going in a 10 G.  Your fishies will end up with zero swimming room!  As much as I love Apos, most of them get to double, or more, of the height of a 10 G tank, and many want to take intermittent rest periods.

Maybe try looking into some of the smaller sword varieties or large crypt varieties instead?  Echinodorus horizontalis might be an option but it has very broad leaves and might be too bulky for the look you want, E. horizontalis ‘Mini’ is another good option, there is also E. h. ‘Variegated’ which is nice look.  E. harbich is a nice size for a 10 G, one of the E. ozelot varieties might work but some are a bit tall for a 10 G. E. parviflorus would be very tidy in a 10 G, not too tall at all and might be small enough for a mid ground or centerpiece plant.  E. ‘Red Devil’ should be a nice size, E. uruguayensis should stay a nice size and comes in a variegated form, too.  E. xinguensis is also a nice size and has narrower leaves that are more consistent along their length so a bit closer to what most Apos leaves look like than a lot of swords are.

For crypts, I really like the look of Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia - it’s a very bright green with quite broad, slightly wavy leaves on strong stems.  It spreads well but not so aggressively it’s impossible to contain.  It also gets taller than many crypts except the very tallest and can get about 12” tall under some conditions.  It’s a great sword substitute for smaller or shorter tanks.  There are several crypts that get very tall but most of the taller ones have very thin leaves, but will grow dense enough to,almost give an Apo effect.  Crypt. spiralis or retrospiralis which both come in red varieties, too would be a nice option without overwhelming the tank.  C. usteriana, looks a lot like an Apo, but won’t get quite so crazy growth as an Apo and eat your whole tank.  The red variety stays a bit shorter and has nice color.

I can trim the apos. The entire reason im getting an aquascaping kit is mainly for scissors. You also dont really NEED to rest them, though they appreciate it.

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Some, (ulvaceus, crispus, I’m talking to you), will take that rest whether you want them too, or not.  Most Apos will go to the height they want, not the height that fits your tank.  They don’t like their leaves trimmed for length and will sometimes give up on that trimmed leaf and do their best to dump it.  You end up with lovely long, wide leaves that overshadow everything else in the tank.  Very pretty and if that’s the look you want, superb, you’ll get it.  If you want anything else to grow, well, even low light crypts wouldn’t grow below mine in a 29 G (18.5” tall vs. your 10 G that is 12” tall) where the Apo didn’t even cover half the surface.  I usually have good luck with crypts but they didn’t really grow much in that tank until I moved out the Apo.

Edited by Odd Duck
Typo and spelling error.
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On 9/7/2023 at 5:28 PM, Odd Duck said:

Some, (ulvaceous, crispus, I’m talking to you), will take that rest whether you want them too, or not.  Most Apos will go to the height they want, not the height that fits your tank.  They don’t like their leaves trimmed for length and will sometimes give up on that trimmed leaf and do their best to dump it.  You end up with lovely long, wide leaves that overshadow everything else in the tank.  Very pretty and if that’s the look you want, superb, you’ll get it.  If you want anything else to grow, well, even low light crypts wouldn’t grow below mine in a 29 G (18.5” tall vs. your 10 G that is 12” tall) where the Apo didn’t even cover half the surface.  I usually have good luck with crypts but they didn’t really grow much in that tank until I moved out the Apo.

Im getting aponogeton ulvaces. Is that the one that you mean, or is it different. They also cost 5 bucks, so I dont mind if they are too big, and they wont trim. Ill try it out. If I dont like it, I can sell it for a profit or just throw it out.

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