freshwater fish

Glass catfish Care Guide: Tank Size, Tank Mates, Lifespan, Diet

Glass catfish

glass catfish are also known as Kryptopterus bicirrhis, glassfish, feather fish, crystal catfish, and Javanese crystal and characterized by a  tropical fish that has an Asian origin, being very striking as it allows observing the light in its internal organs. By living in captivity, it can adapt to the food that is provided, so it has to be varied.

General characteristics

Like all other Siluridae, glass catfish have a very slender body, which is progressively reduced from head to tail. Being in captivity, it achieved a length of 10 cm in an elongated shape and flattened on the sides; its head is small, as are its eyes. Its mouth is very large, with a long barbel on each upper side that can be extended to the front. There are a long anal fin and a tail that is divided into two parts; the lower one is much longer.

One aspect that stands out in this fish is the transparency it has, which helps it in the natural environment as a protection against the presence of predators. By having this particularity, it is very attractive to be able to observe part of its organs. On several occasions, they can have a golden hue or the presence of metallic iridescence, varying the incidence they have of light. Being the head, the only part that is not transparent, having a silver color.

The sociability of glass catfish

A very peaceful and gregarious fish. He does not like loneliness and lives with a group of individuals who are of the same species. A  very quiet and mostly static specimen because it can be located in the same area for a long time without making a special movement. When it falls asleep, it is placed in a diagonal position next to a branch or a plant; in this way, its spine blends in with its surroundings. Being his method of defense, the camouflage to be transparent and thus go unnoticed when he wishes.

Aquariums for glass catfish

The glass catfish do not adapt to being alone in an aquarium, so you should have a minimum of 8 to 10 specimens together. Keeping in mind that it is prone to bacterial infections, its habitat should have filtered water every day. It is important to note that since they live in the lower and middle part of the tank, they must be kept in a clean environment and not have the presence of bacteria or fungi.

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Fishbowl for glass catfish

The fish tank for the glass catfish to live must be elongated and not very high; the water capacity must be 40 liters. The water must have a great lightness and alkaline so that in this way it can have a very natural habitat. The container has to be rich in plants, especially at the bottom and at its sides, having a clear central area so that they can swim freely.

Within the surface plants, riccia, Salvinia, Azolla, lemna, among others, can be used. Likewise, their lighting must be very good, although they acclimate to a low. You can include several logs and plants that are floating to provide them with greater decoration.

Glass catfish

Aquarium elements

Filter: an important element so that the glass catfish can live comfortably, as it is in charge of being able to maintain and degrade the different wastes that are produced by them, as well as the remains of dead plants and water particles.

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Heater: an element that is submerged inside the aquarium, and its function is to keep the water at a temperature between 20ºC to 25ºC.

Thermometer: ideal for verifying the temperature of the water and thus being able to modify it and place it if you want them to reproduce between them. You can buy the one that is submerged or the one that is like a sheet that can be pasted on the outside of the glass.

Substrate: it is important for the natural plants to be located inside the aquarium, and it is adapted to the needs of this type of fish in particular.

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glass catfish diseases

glass catfish are specimens that can present diseases that damage their health overtime—being a species that is very sensitive to changes in temperature and cannot live alone because it can die from being used to living in company. For that reason, it is important that they can know the causes of the diseases they may have in the aquarium and prevent them.

Diseases of glass catfish (video included)

It should be known that glass catfish can suffer from diseases due to not having an aquarium in good condition, which is described below:

White spot disease: it is produced by a parasite that is very common in freshwater aquariums, so fish should be prevented and treated properly. Resulting in imminent death due to the presence of this parasite. Its development is found in specimens that have weak defenses or do not have them firmly developed, presenting white spots on its body, especially on the gills.

Mycosis disease: is an infection that is caused by the presence of aquatic fungi, mainly Saprolegniales, because it is one of the most common within ornamental fish, and they are responsible for infecting the fish in their tissues by having open wounds. Since there are several species of fungi that feed on organic matter, they contribute to the composition of parasitic infections within the body.

Tips to take care of health

clean and hygienic habitat is important for glass catfish to be in good health. Despite being a species that lives at the bottom of the fish tank, you should not stop cleaning to keep it in perfect condition. In this way, it will be possible to have a survival of 5 to 7 years and a healthy life, providing a balanced diet that can help its growth and development inside the fish tank. Therefore, both food and cleaning are important to avoid diseases.

glass catfish hatchlings

The reproduction of glass catfish in captivity is not defined because it has a small amount of accurate information regarding their reproductive habits. However, when they are in a wild habitat, there have been reports of building nests inside marine leaves and then giving paternal care to the eggs. Achieving in this way that they can have young with good health and thus preserve their species.

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Reproduction of the glass catfish

There are few cases where they reproduce inside fish tanks because they are voracious with their young, and most do not survive. So if you want to try to reproduce, you must take special care in relation to changes in temperature and be able to give them a natural habitat. This is due to the fact that young are currently being obtained through semi-captive breeding.

For the reproduction of the cat glass catfish, the bird must be isolated in another pond with 25 liters of water, with abundant plantations and a series of floating plants. The temperature must be raised to 26ºC. The female will lay five to six hundred eggs, which will remain attached to the plants. After they are in place, the parents must be removed so that they cannot devour them and fail in the attempt. Taking into account that the fry will be born in the next 24 hours.

Tips for breeding

When the baby glass catfish are born, they should be fed with an abundant quantity of infusoria. After three to four days after they are born, it is important that they be given nauplius of artemia in a large quantity, as well as put a diffuser so that in this way the current can be in charge of dragging the food and can be embedded in the mouth of the small specimens. It is essential that there is directed overfeeding through a series of air diffusers so that the young can survive over time.

Glass catfish

Glass catfish feeding

It is important to know that the diet of glass catfish is very varied, so their care is very easy. But it is not for this reason that importance should not be given to the different habits they may have, such as the inclusion of a balanced diet. In this way, a series of options can be offered to them within the pond, ensuring that they live in optimal conditions for a good time.

What do glass catfish eat?

The issue of feeding is important; this is because it is the source of energy it has so that it can have a long life in the pond. Noting that catfish are what parasitize other fish through lepidophagia or hematophagy, that is why special care must be taken with those who live with them and thus not cause disease or death.

  • Artemias.
  • Herb porridge.
  • Flake food.
  • Frozen food.
  • Small live prey

How to feed them

At first, the glass catfish may be a bit shy when receiving the food that is being offered, but with the passage of time, it will acclimate to the meal times that have been established and the food that is given. These types of fish are the first to rise when they are fed, being very fast so that on several occasions when they go at high speed, they fail to catch their food.

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Being a type of fish that is kept in a group of no less than eight specimens, it is necessary to ensure that they give enough food so that they do not have malnutrition problems. The schedule so that they can feed must be established in a punctual way two times during the day, in that way, they can have a healthy life, and they will be able to reproduce and have more offspring. The glass catfish, being a species that lives at the bottom of the aquarium, will collect the leftovers that have not been reached, but that does not mean that the tank should not be cleaned frequently.

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glass catfish care

The glass catfish is one of the very popular species as pets within the aquarium, being a type of species of the family that have several phenotypic characteristics. Among its outstanding aspects is that they are species that live at the bottom of the pond. So if you want to adopt a type of these specimens, you need to know their customs, as well as their size, which must be compatible with the appropriate fish tank. In the same way, it should be borne in mind that it achieves growth of no more than 7 to 10 cm within a captive habitat.

Basic care

Temperature: the water must be at a temperature within the range of 24 to 30ºC.

Water pH: it is important that glass catfish are at a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.

Hardness: the hardness of the water must be 10dGH.

Food: a type of fish that adapts to all kinds of foods that can be administered, taking the appropriate precautions for its diet.

How to care for glass catfish

Being in captivity, the glass catfish needs a series of trunks and accessories that provide security and a place to hide when they want, adapting to places with low light. As we have already mentioned, their diet can be varied, including frozen food, flakes, or herbs. Therefore, it is advised that during the week, you can have a balanced diet and thus take care of its presence in the aquarium for a long time.

For it to have adequate conditioning, an important focus must be given to water, oxygenation, and in the same way to the filtering system, being aspects that help it to be preserved and can count on adequate care. In the same way, a type of gravel that has a fine structure must be included; this is because this type of species, being at the bottom of the fish tank for the longest time, manages to adapt better to this type of gravel in particular. and also to be able to prevent them from having injuries to their tentacles.

Kryptopterus bicirrhis

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