Why Kuhli Loach Swimming in Circles: Causes & Other Unusual Behaviors

The kuhli loach is a freshwater fish that originated in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, where they live in slow-moving rivers and lakes. If you have a kuhli loach in captivity, you may have noticed that they swim in circles.

They are often found swimming in circles due to different reasons such as their eating habit, a change in the weather, or their behavior when happy.   Some people believe that this behavior is normal for these fish and that it is simply a way to keep them active and entertained. Others believe that swimming in circles is an indication of stress or anxiety, and may be indicative of a problem with the fish’s environment or health. Regardless of why these loaches swim around in circles, it is an interesting behavior that many viewers find entertaining.

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Is It Usual for Kuhli Loach to Swim in Circles?

Typically, loaches swim in a variety of directions, but some fish (including the kuhli loach) may swim around in circles for no known reason. This is an interesting and often watched behavior by aquarium enthusiasts, so it is not unusual to find these fish swimming in circles. Many believe that this may be normal behavior in these fish – for example, when the loaches are active and happy.

Pangio myersi (Myer’s loach, Myer’s kuhli or giant kuhl) is a species of loach in the genus Pangio native to Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Reasons Why Kuhli Loach Swim in Circles

Weather Change

In the past, kuhli loaches have been known to swim in circles when water temperatures drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Celsius). This behavior is thought to help these fish conserve energy and stay warm. However, recent studies have shown that the loaches may not be swimming in circles as much as they used to because of changes in weather patterns.

Poor Water Quality

Loaches are sensitive species and may swim in circles when the water quality is poor. The ammonia levels, for example, can be a cause for stress and swimming around in circles as a response. Additionally, other toxins or contaminants can also cause circling behavior from fish. If your loach is displaying this behavior, it might be best to have it checked out by an expert to rule out any health issues.

Lack of Food or Other Stressors on the Fish

While it is interesting to watch kuhli loach swimming in circles, this behavior might warrant further attention if the fish appears anxious and agitated. When viewing a fisher swarmer, it can be challenging at times to figure out what triggers any particular behavior – especially when they’re in their tanks! The best thing you can do as an aquarist is always keeping your wits about yourself. If your kuhli loach is displaying this behavior, it might just be because the fish is unhappy or uncomfortable and requires additional care to assure a happy life for the other residents of its tank.

Depends on Their Mood

Several factors can contribute to why kuhli loaches swim in circles. Some of the more common reasons include water quality, lack of food or other stressors on the fish, and mood changes. It’s important to keep these things in mind when trying to figure out what might be causing your loach to do this – but usually, it is only a small part of the picture. Some people say that loaches swimming in circles is a sign of happiness, while others believe it’s simply a way to conserve energy. In either case, it’s something to be observed and enjoyed.

My Kuhli Loach Is Swimming in Circles – Is It Going Crazy?

If you’re noticing that your kuhli loach is swimming in circles, it might be worth checking out the fish’s environment and behavior for any indications of stress or health concerns. However, if the fish is displaying normal behaviors alongside this circling activity, there may not be anything wrong with it. It can often take a little bit to figure out what’s causing a particular aquarium behavior – so don’t feel discouraged if you can’t immediately figure out the reason why your kuhli loach keeps circling. You’ll likely need to observe it over time or start getting help from other enthusiasts and fish keepers to get closer to discovering what’s going on with your tank-dwelling friend!

Kuhli Loach Catfish Pangio kuhlii Worm fish on bottom

Other Unusual Kuhli Loach Swimming Behavior

Swimming Back and Forth

Another common kuhli loach swimming behavior is back and forth movement. This can be indicative of a fish that’s trying to find food or a place to hide from predators. Again, it might take some time before you can determine the cause of this behavior in your loach – but if everything seems normal, there’s probably nothing wrong with them.

Swimming Up and Down

Another common kuhli loach swimming behavior is up and down motion. This might be a sign that your fish is anxious, stressed, or excited. Again, it can take some time to determine the root cause of this behavior so patience is essential if you want to figure out what’s going on with your pet fish.

Improper/Side Swimming

If you’ve been keeping an eye on your kuhli loach, you may have noticed that it’s been lying on its side for a while now. This is usually a sign that your loach is in trouble and needs help. Here are some reasons why your clown loach may be lying on its side:

  • Your loach may be sick or injured and unable to swim properly. If you see that the fish is struggling to move or stay afloat, something is likely wrong. Get help for your loach as soon as possible.
  • Kuhli loaches are territorial animals and may fight with another loach over territory or a food source. If one of your fish starts to struggle or is unresponsive, there is likely a problem and you should take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • Kuhli loaches may be laying on their side to cool down. Laying on its side allows the clown loach to absorb surface heat from the water quicker than if it was lying flat. If your loach is noticeably hot or uncomfortable, please take it to see a veterinarian for assistance.

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