Kuhli Loaches or Otos

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Aquarium Advice Newbie
Jan 12, 2023
Good morning

I'm new to the site and have read through some posts but not quite getting my answer.

I have a new 20 gallon long tank. It is fully cycled. With both fake plants and some small live plants (dwarf hair grass & bacopa caroliniana red). There's also some small lava rocks and some caves/hidey-holes.

Currently I have a female koi betta and a clown pleco. I am doing this tank with all Guppies, for breeding (2 male Cobras & 6 female Fancies).

I am curious though, as I can't decide, should I do Kuhli Loaches or Otos to assist with bottom cleanup?

I've had Otos before and they do great on cleaning, but I've never had Kuhlies. I've heard Kuhlies are great little fish, just a bit more prone to diseases?

Would 3 Kuhlies be ok? Or should I stick to Otos (4 or 5).

I am fairly experienced in aquariums btw.
Hi and welcome to the forum :)

If you want to breed guppies, just have a group of females in a well planted tank. In 6-12 months they will have used up the sperm packets they got when living with males and then you can add a male for a few weeks to fertilise them all. Then remove the male and leave the females to carry on breeding.

Guppies should be dewormed and treated for gill flukes before adding them to an established tank. If you don't have a quarantine tank, treat the main tank for worms and gill flukes when you have the fish.

Guppies do best in water with a GH around 200ppm and a pH above 7.0.

Bettas, suckermouth catfish and khuli loaches come from softer water with a GH below 150ppm. Bettas and plecos also come from water with a pH below 7.0.

You should contact your water company and find out what the GH, KH and pH are.

Otocinclus catfish should not go into new tanks. They need algae, biofilm and driftwood. It takes several months to get a decent layer of biofilm in the tank.

As to whether you should get Khuli loaches or Otocinclus catfish, which do you prefer?
You will probably see the Otocinclus more and they will help clean up algae, whereas the Khulis will hide all day and do nothing to algae.
Thanks for the info.

Yeah, I'll hold off on the Otos.

My water is fine I think, I test it often.

pH is 7.5, no ammonia, no nitrites, minimal nitrates.

I think I will go with a couple Kuhlies for now. And maybe a couple Otos later.
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