Very cool Video of your loaches. Do they do well in your cichlid tank? I love the idea of these guys. I have red zebra's, yellow taile acei's and electric blue johanni's in a 4 foot tank. How many would you recommend, or do you recommend them in with cichlids?
Mine do great! They love clean, turbulent, oxygenated water so they fit right in my tropheus tank. The trophs pretty much just ignore them and vice versa. They should do well with your cichlids as long as they are not too small. They can defend themselves well with their sub-ocular spine if needed.
They require a high protein diet but NLS works well. I use NLS Thera+A and spirulina flakes and they seem to love both. If you have snails in your tank they will gobble them up and the snails will supplement their diet too.
I've read that they should not be kept in groups of less than 5, but mine are in trios and seem perfectly fine. Give them lots of hiding spots (mine are always out in the open), they like to squeeze into very tight spots.
When you do purchase them go for decent sized ones maybe 4" or so if you can find them. The real small ones are often sick, and definitely quarantine for at least 3 weeks before you add them to your main tank.
They are very fun to watch and a great addition to any community tank IMO.