The Kuhli Loach can be divided into two distinct subspecies on the basis of its coloration and markings: Pangio kuhlii kuhlii and P. kuhlii sumatranus (Sumatra Kuhli). The latter subspecies usually has fewer than 1 5 black circular bands along the length of its body, while P. kuhlii kuhlii has narrower, redder bands, and the black areas do not totally encircle the body. Kuhli Loaches have defensive spines close to the eyes. If threatened, they can raise the spines, which will easily become stuck in a net or in the mouth of a would-be predator.
Other common names
- Coolie Loach, Prickly Eye
- Cobitis kuhlii, Acanthophthalmus fasciatus, A. kuhlii
- Indonesia (Java and Sumatra), Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
- Up to 4in (10cm).
- Peaceful; most active at dusk; feeds at night and hides during the day.
- Wide range of foods accepted.
- Well oxygenated, well filtered tank with a substratum consisting of very fine gravel or sand (for burrowing). Water chemistry not critical, but soft, slightly acid water preferred. Temperature range: 7Q-75°F (21-24°C), although short-lived temperatures of up to 82°F (28°C) may be tolerated.
- Infrequent (but possible) in aquaria; the eggs are laid beneath the surface and stick to the stems and roots of floating plants.