Their clear bodies have been catching the attention of aquarists and is suitable for intermediate (or advanced beginners) aquarists with some experience with maintaining water parameters. Peaceful and timid suitable for most community tanks. Adult size: up to 12 cm.
Thailand Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus vitreolus) also known as ghost catfish or phantom catfish isn’t a true catfish in the sense of a bottom feeder, but is a species of skeleton catfish. Catfish, because of the whiskers or barbels which are used heavily as the water visibility tends to be low. Without these sensory organs it would be much harder for these fish to survive in this environment. It’s endemic to Thailand, and found in rivers south of the Isthmus of Kra that drain into the Gulf of Thailand and river basins in the Cardamom Mountains.
Due to their timid and non-aggressive nature, they should always be kept in a group of at least five and hey will school together. They are peaceful by nature and extremely timid, especially when they are first introduced into your tank. Glass Cats are different from most other catfish because they are free-swimming and live in the mid to upper region of the water. Glass catfish commonly favor dark places to being out in the open light. A small school of them may hide under elevated rocks, logs, or the shadow of plants. Sometimes, however, one or two may venture out into the open and swim in the upper level of the water.
They can be enticed to do this more often if the flow of water in the tank is arranged so that their favorite hiding spots are sheltered, while a gentle current flows in the open areas. Thus, they will move in the open especially at feeding time, as they like to go after food drifting in the current.
Glass catfish prefer tanks with open swimming areas with a moderate current and planted areas that provide shelter. A generous growth of aquatic plants is necessary for their well-being, and floating plants can filter bright light, which they seem to find unpleasant.
They can be kept with other fish species of similar size and temperament. Fish such as Swordtails, Mollies and Danios are perfect tank makes for Glass Catfish. They are all peaceful and will not bother or out compete you catfish.
They have a reputation for being finicky eaters; they prefer live food such as mosquito (Culicidae) larvae, bloodworms (Chironomidae larvae) and brine shrimp (Artemia). But they will eat a wide range of food that includes frozen, freeze-dried, pellets or flakes.
Some fish of other species, even if peaceful, will be more active in getting food and can scare your Glass Catfish. Once you find out which fish are more active when feeding, you can then feed your fish methodically to make sure all fish have food. Try feeding one side of the tank that has the fish which are more active before adding food on the other side.
Glass catfish are highly sensitive to changes in water quality and pH. The biggest problem when caring for these fish is changes in the water conditions. The main reason these fish are not the easiest to keep is because of how hard it can be for people to maintain the strict water parameters.
As for diseases, there is nothing special that they can be infected with. All you must look out for are the general sicknesses that aquariums can be impacted with with such as:
- Ich: White grainy sand like substance on their skin, will also be seen gasping at the surface of the water.
- Dropsy: Bloating and protruding scales.
- Fungus: Gray/white growth on the fins.
- Lice: Restless fish, will usually rub themselves on surfaces to try and remove lice.
As long as you keep your water parameters within the levels mentioned about, carry out regular water changes and don’t overfeed them, it’s unlikely they will be exposed to any of these illnesses.
Click for Fish Disease Diagnosis and Treatment at Rebel Pets.
|Adult Size:||12 cm|
|Aquarist Experience Level:||Intermediate|
|Minimum Tank Size:||120 litres, +20 litres/add. fish|
|Temperament:||Calm, good community fish|
|Tank Level:||Mid to upper levels|
|Diet:||Omnivore, can be finicky eaters|
|Aquarium Hardiness:||Hardy but sensitive to water conditions|
|Lifespan:||7 – 8 Years|
|Temperature:||24 to 27°C|
|pH:||6.5 – 7.0|
|Hardness:||8 -12 dGH (soft)|