Of all the fish in the world, one of the most fascinating is the giant kuhli loach. Social but not living in schools, eel-shaped and stripy, of all the fish commonly available from tropical fish stockists, the giant kuhli loach (also known as the Myer's Loach and Myer's Kuhli1) is completely unique, and it evolved naturally in its tropical home. It is shaped almost like an eel and, depending on the size of its environment, it can grow to be a few inches long, but is usually small and thin. Normally, it appears to be yellow with dark brown stripes. However, they are very strange fish in that they appear darker at night and lighter in the morning. When placed in a white bowl2 they soon turn completely white and no hint of their former stripes remains. So they can change colour at will.
Another interesting aspect of the giant kuhli loach is where they live - at the bottom of the fish tank. Sure, they can swim to the top if they want to, but they don't. As they like small spaces, they enjoy hanging out in tubes or hollow rocks. They will sometimes lie on their sides, especially when trying to fit in a small space, and appear to be happy like this. If they are surprised by something they will hide under the gravel at the bottom of their tank or river.
They will spend all day hanging around in no particular area, but if a net should be introduced to their habitat, they immediately find the will to move, and quickly. Visit a fish store and the worker may explain that with any other fish you can pick which one you want but with the giant kuhli loaches it is, well, impossible. They are extremely fast.
When you have more than one giant kuhli loach in a tank (always preferable so that they aren't afraid of other fish) they will spend a lot of time together, all huddled in one corner as if they don't have the entire tank to spread out in. In the wild, however, they do not spend time together for security, though they do often occupy the same corner of the river. So they may be said to be social fish, and, indeed, one will occasionally begin to chase another for no reason and soon they will all be swimming in every direction only to end up in their favourite corner again.
And so, the giant kuhli loach is a lovable oddity among fish, as well as a desirable pet. They can live for more than six years provided you take good care of them and keep the water filtered and between 75 and 80°F (24 to 27°C). They eat some algae off the rocks or gravel in their tank, small snails and other small live food, and standard fish food. Giant kuhli loaches are among some of the most interesting fish you can keep in your tank.