Glass Catfish

From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Jump to: navigation , search
Kryptopterus minor - Roberts, 1989
Glass Catfish

Its internal anatomy on display, this unusual species is almost transparent, with feeler-like barbels.


The Glass Catfish is virtually transparent, and aquarium watchers delight in spotting a ghostly school of them weaving among the plantings extending their long, feeler-like barbels. The silvery pouch of internal organs and the fine skeletal bones are the most telltale signs that these fish are present. This is a graceful, retiring fish that will do best in a well-planted tank with no aggressive tankmates.

Family: Siluridae

Other common name(s):

  • Ghost Catfish
  • Asian Glass Catfish

Native range:

Habitat: The Glass Catfish is rather timid and needs lush clumps of plants to give it a sense of security. Good filtration and a slight amount of water movement is beneficial.

Maximum length: 7 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 76 L (20 gal)

Water: Freshwater 22 °C (72 °F) - 26 °C (79 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater and upper half.


Carnivore. The Glass Catfish can be coaxed to accept flake or other floating meaty foods if the foods are placed in the current. They will be best maintained on small- to medium-size live foods, such as Daphnia, Tubifex worms and glass worms. Feed first thing in the morning and just after the lights go out at night.

Aquarium Compatibility

This is a schooling species that should be kept in groups of at least four (preferably more) in a community tank with small, peaceful species.


It is known to be an open-water spawner that releases its eggs above plants. No instances reported in the aquarium.


The Glass or Ghost Catfish is frequently sold as Kryptopterus bicirrhis.

Reference: 101 Best Tropical Fishes
Image credit: JJ
Text credit: KW