Black Kuhlii Loach (Pangio semicinctus) originate from the densely vegetated jungle streams of Thailand and Borneo. They have evolved elongated bodies that allow them to move in and out of dense vegetation along the river substrate and inside tree root and submerged wood. This allows the Black Kuhlii Loach to scavenge for small worms and crustaceans that other Carnivores are not able to reach. Their ability to maneuver in tight spaces also provides them security against larger predators that would consume the Black Kuhlii Loach if provided the opportunity. As is common with most Loach species, the Black Kuhlii Loach are communal fish who live in social groups of many individuals in the wild. Hobbyists should keep at least 3 loaches at a minimum, with larger groups of 6 to 10 being more ideal if space allows. Being a largely nocturnal scavenger, the Black Kuhlii Loach will prefer an aquarium environment with diffused lighting or at least areas within the aquarium with lower light levels. Ideally they should be kept in heavily planted aquariums with plenty of submerged root or driftwood and / or piles of smooth rocks or rocky caves. This will provide them with plenty of places to hide and seek shelter when needed; as well as, create areas in the aquarium that have reduced or diffused lighting. Being a very peaceful and somewhat shy species, the Black Kuhlii Loach will greatly appreciate the company of others of its own kind. Keeping a group of Black Kuhlii Loaches will make them much more comfortable in the aquarium, which will have them out and about the tank more instead of hiding all day. If too few hiding places are available, the Black Kuhlii Loach will often lay on its side and not move for long periods of time. While they may appear to be sick, this is just a defense mechanism that they use when they are uncomfortable with their environment. They should only be kept with other peaceful tropical community species who will not pick at or harass the loach. Lastly, being a substrate scavenger the type of substrate used within the aquarium is important to the Black Kuhlii Loach. They prefer either a sandy substrate or a fine grained smooth gravel that will allow them to easily scavenge for food and not scrape or irritate their underside. In the wild Black Kuhlii Loaches are nocturnal scavengers, who prey on small worms, crustaceans and insect larvae. With time they can be trained to feed with the aquarium lights on, and are much more likely to do so in well planted tanks which will diffuse the bright aquarium lighting. Hobbyists should feed their Black Kuhlii Loaches a mixture of various meaty foods and commercial food designed for Carnivores. Some ideal food sources include: live, frozen or freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex worms, cyclopeeze, brine shrimp, glass worms and commercial meaty foods designed for substrate scavengers.
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