Success with Your New Glass Catfish       
Inside scoop from Aqualand on Kryptopterus bicirrhis

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Glass Catfish Factoids

Origin

Sumatra, Java, Borneo region

Temp

Tropical 

Attitude

Not shy when allowed to school

Schedule

Works the day shift

Security

Want security of their school

Foods

Small worms, brine shrimp, flake foods

Plants

Tend to gather around plants

Water

Keep them in clean water

Breeding

Unlikely


LA Pic
We can safely say glass catfish travel in schools.

Origin.  Glass catfish come from a warm region of the planet.  Many intriguing and popular fishes come from S.E. Asia.  So, you want to keep yours warm.

Latin Name.  Krypto means hidden pterus means fin (or wing).  Just try seeing that top fin.  It has only one ray.  And glass catfish usually hold it down.  It is well hidden most of the time.

LA Pic
No X-rays needed to view glass cat skeletons.

Popularity.  “You can see right through them!” exclaims every first time glass catfish viewer -- especially the kids.  Everyone loves looking at their bones.  And you can see the foods they eat (instead of just the ones they don’t eat).  You can see one little fatty in the picture before this one that pigged out on orange color flake foods.  The rest restrained their appetites and saved room for dessert.

 

LA Pic
Glass cats not looking quite as relaxed when kept with plastic plants.

Plants.  Oddly enough, glass catfish like to cluster in front of plants -- like they’re keeping an eye on you.  They do not like bare tanks.  They really love Java lance ferns in their tank.  Possibly because they come from the same area.  Or possibly because Java lance fern adds or subtracts something to or from their water.  Or maybe they’re just darker?  Java lance ferns have the same beneficent effect on the bettas (from the same region).  Java lance fern also seems to help clean their water.

LA Pic
Glass cats ignore the snail at work on the right.

Snails.  Because most people feed only flake foods, you need to add a couple large snails to your clean up crew.  They eat up the extra flakes uneaten by your glass catfish and convert them to harmless (but visible) wastes.

LA Pic
Glass cats are cool schoolers.

Schoolers.  If you get only one of these guys, he will never act right, eat right, or look right.  He may not even eat right.  Think of these guys not as individuals -- but as schools.  Do both of you a favor and do not buy just one glass catfish.  Get a group.

LA Pic
Glass catfish eat flakes better when kept in large groups.

Foods.  First, they will eat flake foods, but they sure prefer other foods and need more than flakes -- brine shrimp, blood worms, and California blackworms.  They act better, look better, and live longer when you give them more than flake foods.  Start with a flake feeding, then give them the other food(s) a little later.  This advice applies to most other fishes as well, but especially to glass catfish.  As great as flake foods are these days, the “extras” really help keep your fish in better condition.  

 

LA Pic
Do glass catfish eat or pester other fishes?  No way.

Good Mixers.  You can mix glass catfish with male guppies and feel secure about both species.  They’ll mix with most other community fishes.

LA Pic
African glass catfish look and cost about the same.  Bigger bodies.  Shorter whiskers.

LA Pic
African glass catfish -- very similar.  Gold glass cat upper right -- not quite as similar.

LA Pic
What the heck.  Here's a dbauwie catfish (another schooler) for comparison.

LA Pic
When glass catfish die (or get sick), they turn white.

LA Pic
Glass catfish -- intriguing fish for any community aquarium.

Last Word.  Keep your glass catfish water clean.  You do not want these guys catching a disease.  Many medications will severely stress or kill these cute little guys. LA

© 2003, © 2004, © 2005  LA Productions

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