How to Care for Glass Catfish

Written by alane michaelson
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How to Care for Glass Catfish
In nature, glass catfish live and travel in schools. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Glass catfish are freshwater fish native to the tropical rivers of Southeast Asia. The most striking characteristic of the glass catfish is their transparent body which allows their bones and other internal structures to be visible. They can grown up to 3 1/2 inches long. Glass catfish are easy to find, and are available at many pet stores and online pet suppliers. Efforts to breed glass catfish in captivity have not been successful, so all glass catfish sold as pets were captured in the wild. Keeping them healthy and happy will require a little extra effort.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Aquarium
  • pH testing strips
  • Aquarium thermometer
  • Aquatic plants
  • Brine shrimp

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  1. 1

    Buy a minimum of four glass catfish. Glass catfish are shoaling fish by nature, and need to be part of a group. Ideally, you should purchase a large enough group so that if a few don't survive, one won't be left alone.

  2. 2

    Check the condition of the water in your aquarium using the pH strips and thermometer. Glass catfish do best in a freshwater environment with a neutral or slightly acidic pH and a temperature between 21.1 and 26.1 degrees Celsius.

  3. 3

    Put plants in the aquarium. Glass catfish like to group together around plants. They are especially fond of Java lance ferns, which are native to the same region as the glass catfish. Jave lance ferns also have a beneficial effect on the water in the tank.

  4. 4

    Feed the glass catfish live food. Glass catfish will eat flake food, but their diets should be supplemented with live food such as brine shrimp or insect larvae. In the wild, glass catfish eat small insects and worms. When fed these foods in captivity they will live longer, healthier lives.

Tips and warnings

  • Glass catfish are very fragile and sometimes do not survive being transported.
  • If a glass catfish is white or milky rather than transparent, it is a sign that the fish is not healthy. Check the condition of the water and examine the fish for signs of parasites or disease.

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