Aquarium Maintenance

Can Kuhli Loach Eat Shrimp

can kuhli loach eat shrimp

Are you planning on adding shrimp to the kuhli loach tank? Either way, you’ll have an omnivore with a teeny tiny shrimp.

So, you need to question several things before going through with the plan. What will be the outcome if you keep kuhli loach with shrimp? Will the kuhli loach eat your shrimp? Or do kuhli loaches generally eat shrimp?

Yes absolutely. Your kuhli loach will happily eat the shrimp in your tank as it would with any other food. Therefore, if you want your shrimp to live for a long time, it is very unlikely and highly restricted to keep these two together in a tank.

The Kuhli loach is more likely to eat your shrimp when kept in the same fish tank. The loaches turn most shrimp over before taking them out of the shell, the same way they do with snails.

However, there is a way you can do it if you really want to put kuhli loach and shrimp together. I hope this helps you to make your decision easier.

Let’s dive!

Before we go any further, if kuhli loach can eat shrimp, let’s know how big the kuhli loach can get.


They also have eyes which are covered with transparent skin. The loach fins are short with the dorsal flipper and a slender snake like body compressed on the both sides starting behind the middle of the body and the anal fins well aft.

Nevertheless, breeding females may be stockier than males, but are easily recognizable by their green ovaries seen through the skin prior to spawning.

Size of the kuhli Loach—How Big Are the kuhli Loach?

The kuhli loach reaches maturity of 2.7 inches but continues to grow to a maximum length of 4 to 5 inches. However, in a fish tank, they mostly grow to no more than 3.5 inches.

For this reason, Kuhli loaches will live anywhere from a 10-gallon aquarium, but keep them in a bigger fish tank if you want to keep them in bigger schools.

Nevertheless, fish love the changes and bubbles of the water and will do the traditional kuhli happy dance when they like the conditions of your tank.

Use soft tap water in your fish tank that is slightly acidic to neutral but make sure the water isn’t too cold for them.

Do Kuhli Loachs Eat Shrimp?

Yes, they will eat shrimp. If the shrimp is small enough that can fit in the loach’s mouth, it’s a done deal. You will never see your shrimp again when you leave them alone in the tank with a kuhli loach. There is always a risk that the kuhli loach will lurk around your shrimp, if they are staying together.

It is like putting a deer and a lion in the same den and waiting for the lion to leave the deer alone. Nature doesn’t work like this so my friend you have to be mentally prepared to face reality.

If you’re keeping your shrimp in a tank with a kuhli loach, you might not even be lucky enough to see the dead body of your shrimp.

The kuhli loach is not intentionally killing your shrimp but it is a force of habit. You can’t see them leaving their prey behind.

Keeping a juvenile or baby kuhli loach with the shrimp may work for you until it is large enough to eat the kuhli loach shrimp.

Why Would Kuhli Loach Eat Shrimp?

Why do we eat food? Can you stay in front of food without taking a bite after a day’s work? Can you expect a chocolate lover to drop a piece of chocolate?

I can’t come up with a better example than this to explain why your kuhli loach eat shrimp. The way they eat the shrimp around them is their way of living.

It is the habit of any fish to put anything in its mouth that fits. They won’t care if it’s shrimp or any other food.

You can’t blame your kuhli loach for eating, can you? They are not doing it intentionally or out of vengeance or anything, it is just that shrimp is like a delicious meal to Kuhli, just like a deer is to a lion.

In addition, there is a chance that your kuhli loach is hungry and scavenging the bottom of the tank in search of food, they may stumble upon shrimp and will happily feed on them.

It is simply a pure act of hunger and love for food. And, no, that doesn’t mean that your kuhli loach is aggressive.

How can you prevent kuhli loach from eating your shrimp?

It’s easy enough to save your shrimp from a lunch, dinner, or mid-day snack. Take another tank and keep your shrimp and kuhli loach separately.

Do you really think there’s any way to prevent your loach from eating your shrimp?

Ok here’s what you can do. But I still don’t recommend putting them together. You can keep your kuhli loach with the shrimp as long as the kuhli loach is big enough for your shrimp to eat.

If you have a newborn kuhli loach or one that is yet to develop, you can keep them with fully grown shrimps.

So don’t keep your shrimpletss with these small kuhli loaches. If shrimp or shrimplets can get into their mouth, game over.

There is no way to keep shrimp in a tank with a kuhli loaches. Please act rationally and logically. Accept the fact that shrimp and kuhli loach are not compatible and will not stick together. Plan well before taking any drastic step.

What do kuhli loaches eat?

Let’s make this clear first: Kuhli loaches are omnivores. you know that right? Okay, don’t think I’m questioning your knowledge of Kuhli loaches. The only thing is that when I was a novice in fish farming, I thought of them as carnivores.

Now, when I come to think of it, I was making an absurd guess without thinking it through.

So, if you are a novice too, don’t repeat the mistake I made and assume anything on your own. That being said, let’s talk about the food that your kuhli would love to eat in the aquarium.

Food for your kuhli loach

The best thing about omnivores is that you can feed them both types of food. You can feed them live foods as the ones you can find in the aisle of fish food in any pet shops.

But feed them pellets and flake food for daily meals. To balance the diet more, feed them vegetables also which are rich in vitamins.

They rarely hunt for food, but instead, wait for the pellets to drop to  the bottom of the water and then find it to eat.

For this reason, you will adequately feed your kuhli loaches from the food left behind by the mid and top dwelling fish.

  • Are there any shrimp-safe loaches? Loaches that won’t eat Shrimp

Apparently not. There is no loach that will leave your shrimp alone. You need to be extra careful with your loaches when there are shrimp in the tank.

If you really want to see if the shrimp have any chance of survival, try placing a shrimp with a kuhli loach.

You might not even see your shrimp the next day. The Kuhli loach is one of the most peaceful fish that basically goes on its own business at all times.

So, if your shrimp isn’t safe with a kuhli loache, you have barely any options left to try. If you’re sure about keeping your shrimp with fish, go for Otocinclus.

You have many more options to choose from but the kuhli loach or any other loach is not for you. Please don’t experiment or even try to be clever by placing shrimps with juvenile loachs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can Ghost Shrimp Live with Kuhli Loach?

Whether the shrimp is ghost or amano. Either way, it’s quite risky to keep shrimp with your kuhli loach. As I mentioned earlier, your kuhli loach likes their food more than necessary.

Those fish that will stay on the middle and top section, however, are much safer as these bottom feeders can barely make it past their substrate.

So you have to give them food that will sink to the bottom of the tank. And, it is best for the Ghost Shrimps to stay away as well as amano shrimp.

  • Who can kuhli loaches live with?

If you’ve been growing kuhli loach in your tank, you already know how amazing this fish can be.

They are also not fussy and they are one of the most peaceful fish you can have in the tank. But when choosing a tank mate for these fish, you need to consider any possibilities. And the shrimp is a no no.

Therefore, you need to consider the size of the next fish, their needs in the aquarium and of course the water parameters.

You need to look for tank mates who will neither threaten your kuhi loaches nor be bullied by them.

In addition, the Kuhli loach are bottom dwellers and will live at the bottom of the tank happily swimming around most of the time.

Hence, it is better to go for mid-dwelling or top-dwelling fish. I have a few names that will live happily with your kuhli loach. Choose the one you like and undeniably love from the following list of non-aggressive fish:

  • Do you kuhli loaches eat cucumber?

Oh yes, your kuhli loach is a huge fan of vegetables like cucumber. We are talking about a fish that will happily eat whatever you feed it.

I have always found it easier to raise omnivorous fish as I have to think very little about their diet. If someday my food runs out, I can just go to my refrigerator and choose vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, etc. And after a few steps of making it suitable for your fish, you just leave them in the tank. can.

So, you can feed your kuhli loach cucumber without much worry. But I suggest that they also be boiled to make them edible and chewy for your fish.

  • Kuhli loaches and snails

If you put kuhli loaches with snails, you are likely to get mixed results, as not kuhli loaches are ready to eat snails, especially if they are large.

So, in case you were wondering, kuhli loaches aren’t the most helpful fish in reducing adult snail populations. However, there is a high chance that your loaches will eat snail eggs and small snails.

On the other hand, if you have small pet snails with kuhli loaches in your tank, exert caution as your loach may decide to whip them out of their shell and make them an easy snack.


Lastly, Kuhli Loach would love to eat shrimp occasionally. So, don’t risk keeping your shrimp with a kuhli loach. There are some loaches that will stay away from your shrimps.

You can research them or actually go for fish that won’t even consider shrimp their food. And if you really want to try to have kuhli loach with shrimp, keep them while the kuhli loach is still small enough that the shrimp won’t fit in their mouth.

But why risk your shrimp on a simple experiment? You can always have a choice between other fish that are big enough for your kuhli loach to eat. I still advise you not to experiment and keep these aquatic creatures separate from each other.