Glass Catfish Care Guide – Diet, Breeding & More

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The Glass Catfish makes for a fascinating addition to any aquarium. If you want to introduce a beautiful new fish to your tank, this one is worth learning more about. 

While these fish are fairly easy to care for, you’ll still need to learn the facts before making a final decision.

Glass Catfish Appearance

The very first thing that you will notice about this catfish is that it has a transparent body. You can even see this fish’s organs and skeleton. It has a tail fin that is very difficult to see due to its clear skin. This unique appearance is a huge advantage to this fish, as it helps them avoid detection from bigger fish in the wild.

Another defining physical characteristic of this fish is the barbells on its head, which are fairly common among this species. The whiskers on their face are how they earned the name “catfish” in the first place. Their whiskers allow them to sense even the most subtle changes in water pressure.


Catfish have a reputation for being very active and love to swim around much of the time. They tend to travel together in small schools of five of or six. They do, however, tend to spend most of their time at the bottom part of aquariums. You might notice yours hiding out sometimes, but it’s just because they need a break from all the excitement.

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Natural Habitat

These catfish are native to Thailand, inhabiting freshwater bodies like streams and rivers. They tend to be found in water that isn’t too fast or slow-moving, but somewhere in between.

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Glass Catfish Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

A glass catfish needs to be kept in a tank with a minimum 30 gallon capacity. A good rule of thumb is five gallons for each of these fish. As we mentioned above, these fish love to swim around, so they require a good size aquarium. 

You should also provide your fish with plants that will keep the water clean while providing them with a place to hide out. java moss and Hornwort are just two great plant options for this tank setup. Throw in a couple of caves as well so that they will have multiple shelter options.

When you are choosing a material for the substrate, you’ll want to avoid any sharp or coarse materials like gravel. Sand or small-grained gravel are both good choices.

2. Water Conditions

You will need to keep the temperature of your catfish’s water within a range of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The water should have a hardness rating of 8 to 12 KH, and a pH level of 6.5 to 7. Medium water flow is best for these fish, as it mimics their natural environment. This means that you should avoid using a very powerful filter.

3. Glass Catfish Tank Mates

The peaceful nature of these catfish means that they tend to get along well with others. There are, however, certain types of fish that are best for tank mates. The Celestial Pearl Danio, Mollies and swordtail are all good options. You want to focus on choosing fish that are also docile and not aggressive.

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4. Glass Catfish Food

It is important that you give your glass catfish a good amount of live or frozen food. Some of the best food for these fish includes moina, brine shrimp, and grindal worms. This will provide them with a good amount of protein, which they need to stay healthy as a whole.

You can also give these fish flakes or pellets on a daily basis. Make sure that you find a dry food that is specifically formulated for catfish so it meets their nutritional needs. These fish only need to eat 1-2 times daily. Putting too much food in the tank can cause excess algae formation, which may lead to your fish getting an infection of some kind.

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It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your fish so you know that they are actually eating all of the food you are giving them. You should be able to determine how much to put in their tank by doing this. You also want to make certain that no other fish in the tank are taking their food.

5. Common Health Problems

These catfish can develop fungus on their fins, which can become very serious if left untreated. dropsy is another common issue, which usually presents as bloating and protruding scales.

If you notice a sandy looking substance on your catfish’s skin, it could be ich. This is a parasitic infection that fish tend to get when there is excess algae growth in their tank.

Glass Catfish Breeding

Unfortunately, breeding glass catfish in captivity is incredibly difficult. The fact is that we don’t even know how much about how these fish breed in the wild. If you want to attempt this, you should keep the water temperature in the tank around 73 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also a good idea to put a little bit of water in the tank each day. By lowering the temperature of the water, you could trigger breeding.

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  • Glass catfish have transparent bodies, so you can see their organs and skeletal structure.
  • These fish also have barbells on their head as well as whiskers. Both of these physical characteristics are common among catfish.
  • A lot of people like to keep these fish because they are known for being very peaceful and active.
  • If you are going to keep these fish, you should have at least a 30-gallon tank.
  • Add five gallons for each of these fish you want to keep.
  • Make sure that you use a soft material like sand for the substrate.
  • The temperature of your fish’s water should be kept within a range of 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
  • These fish get along well with most species, including Swordtails and Mollies.
  • In addition to the dry food you give your catfish, you should also feed them live or frozen foods like grindal worms and brine shrimp.
  • Keeping your fish’s tank clean can help prevent parasitic and fungal infections like ich and dropsy.