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Kuhli Loaches - Is Sand A Requirement?


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Ok, I want Kuhli loaches eventually, but I’m scared of the maintenance sand would require (and issues that come along with it). Is it really a requirement for them? 

for those that have sand substrate, is it a lot more maintenance? More issues? What about growing plants in it? Please, I need some guidance and/or encouragement. I’ve always had gravel and not sure I want to make take the leap in my new setup 

Edited by FLFishChik
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If one is a newbie, sand might be a bit struggling. If one is not, sand is the easiest to take care of imo. All of the poop, detrius, mulm, whatever basically sits on top, all you have to do is siphon the top of the sand whenever you want and that's it.

You dont have to use full sand type of setup. Many aquascapers use different stuff on the bottom like dirt, aquasoil, lava rocks, etc to create more plant root friendly base. And cover the top with sand. 


I think aquasoil and/or fine sand is a requirement. Not even sand. It is a daily requirement of their normal behavior not for their survival. They don't just swim around search for food like cories. When it comes to cories we usually worry about their barbels and potential damage. Kuhlis are different. They dig and bury in with their whole body. I see many of mine laying inside as a whole in the aquasoil. Their heads popping out of the soil looking so silly. 

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On 9/12/2023 at 2:06 PM, Allan said:

Mine are fine with gravel substrate.  I think I have 9, had them for 18 months now.

We keep ours on gravel also they have been fine.  Just make sure they have lots of hiding spots to get under since it's harder to dig in gravel.  They hide under the sponge filter, wood logs, rocks, etc.

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