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

The crystal catfish is also known as Bicirri, glassfish, featherfish, crystal siliro and Java crystal. Characterized by a tropical fish that has an Asian origin, being very striking to observe the light in its internal organs. Living in captivity can adapt to the food provided, so it has to be varied.

Glass catfish

General characteristics

Like all other silurians, crystal catfish have a very slender body, which is progressively reduced from head to tail. Being in captivity it achieves a length of 10 cm of elongated and flattened shape on the sides, its head is small as well as its eyes. The mouth it has is very large, with a long barbillon on each upper side that can be extended to the front. There is a long anal fin and a tail that is divided into two parts, the lower one being much longer.

An aspect that stands out in this fish is the transparency it has, which helps it in the natural environment as a protection before the presence of predators. 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 iridescences, varying the incidence they have of light. Being the head the only part is not transparent, with a silver color.

Sociability of crystal catfish

A very peaceful and gregarious fish. He does not like solitude and lives next to 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. At the moment you fall asleep it is placed in a diagonal position next to a branch or a plant, in that way its spine is confused with its environment. Being his method of defense the camouflage to be transparent and thus go unnoticed when he wishes.

Aquariums for crystal catfish

The crystal catfish does not adapt to being alone in an aquarium, so you should have a minimum of 8 to 10 specimens together. Bearing in mind that it is prone to bacterial infections, its habitat must have filtered water every day. It is important to note that when living in the lower and middle part of the fish tank, they should be kept in a clean environment and have no presence of bacteria or fungi.

Kryptopterus bicirrhis

Fish tank for crystal catfish

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

Within the surface plants you can use the riccia, salvinia, azolla, lemna, among others. Likewise, their lighting should be very good, although they acclimatize to a low. Several trunks and plants that are floating can be included in order to provide them with greater decoration.

Aquarium elements

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

Heater: an element that is immersed inside the aquarium and has the function of being able to keep the water at a temperature between 20ºC to 25ºC.

Thermometer: ideal so that the temperature of the water can be verified and thus be able to modify 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 stuck on the outside of the glass.

Glass catfish

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

Diseases of glass catfish

Crystal catfish are specimens that can present diseases which damage their health over time. Being a species that is very sensitive to temperature changes and can not live alone, because it can die when it is accustomed to living in company. For that reason it is important that they can know the causes of the diseases they may have inside the aquarium and prevent them.

Diseases of the crystal catfish (video included)

It should be known that the crystal catfish can suffer from diseases by not having an aquarium in good condition, which are described below:

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

Mycosis disease: it is an infection that is caused by the presence of aquatic fungi,mainly the Saprolegniales, because it is one of the most common among ornamental fish and are responsible for infecting the fish in their tissues, having open wounds. As 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 your health

For the crystal catfish to have good health it is important that it is provided with a clean and hygienic habitat. Despite being a species that lives at the bottom of the fish tank, you should not stop cleaning to keep it in perfect condition. That way you can count on a survival of 5 to 7 years and a healthy life, providing a balanced diet that can help your growth and development within the fish tank. Therefore, both food and cleaning is important to not present diseases.

Baby crystal catfish

The reproduction of crystal catfish in captivity is not defined, because it has a small amount of accurate information regarding their reproductive habits. However, when in a wild habitat, reports have been known when building nests inside sea leaves and then providing paternal care to the eggs. Achieving in this way that you can have offspring with good health and thus preserve your species.

Glass catfish

Reproduction of the crystal catfish

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

For the reproduction of the cat crystal fish the pareja must be isolated in another pond with 25 liters of water,with abundant planting and a series of vegetables that are floating. The temperature should 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 in the next 24 hours the fry will be born.

Tips for breeding

When the young of the crystal catfish have been born they should be fed with an abundant amount of infusoria. When three to four days after birth it is important that they are administered to them nauplius of artemia in a large quantity, as well as put a diffuser so that in this way the current can be responsible for dragging the food and can be embedded in the mouth of the small specimens. It is essential that you have a directed superfeeding through a series of air diffusers and so that the offspring can survive over time.

Feeding the crystal catfish

It is important to know that the feeding of crystal catfish is very varied, so their care is very easy. But not for that reason we should not stop giving importance to the different habits they may have, such as the inclusion of a balanced diet. That way, you can provide a series of options within the pond, making them live in optimal conditions for a long time.

What Crystal Catfish Eat

The issue of feeding is important, this is because it is the source of energy you have so that you can have a long life inside the pond. Emphasizing that catfish are what parasitise other fish, by means of lepidophagia or by hematophagia, that is why special care must be taken with those who live with them and thus not cause disease or death.

  • Artemías.
  • Herbal porridge.
  • Food in flakes.
  • Frozen food.
  • Small live prey

How to feed them

At first the crystal catfish may be a little shy when receiving the food that is being provided, but with the passage of time it will acclimatize to the feeding schedules that have been established and to the food that is given. This type of fish are the first to go up at the time they are fed, being very fast so on several occasions when going at a high speed they fail to take their food.

Being a type of fish that are kept in a group of not less than 8 specimens, it should be monitored to give enough food so that they do not have problems of malnutrition. The schedule so that they can feed must be established punctually 2 times during the day, that way you can count on a healthy life and they will be able to reproduce and have more offspring. The crystal catfish being a species that lives at the bottom of the aquarium will collect the leftovers that have not been reached, but not for that reason the fish tank should not be cleaned frequently.

Care of crystal catfish

The crystal 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 must be compatible with the right fish tank. In the same way, it should be borne in mind that it manages to reach within a habitat in captivity a growth of no more than 7 to 10 cm.

Basic care

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

Water pH: It is important that crystal catfish are at a pH of 6.5 to 7.5.

Hardness: The hardness of the water should be 10dGH.

Feeding: 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 crystal catfish

Being in captivity, the crystal catfish, needs a series of logs and accessories that provide security and a place to hide at the time you want, adapting to places with low light. As we have already mentioned, their diet can be varied,including frozen food, flakes or herbs. So it is advisable that during the week you can count on a balanced diet and thus take care of your presence inside the aquarium for a long time.

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