As you may have suspected, these are not the natural colors of the Indian
Often sold as the Indian glassfish, you can probably guess
where these guys originally came from.
They flourish in estuaries where freshwater mixes with sea water.
Most now come from the orient where they inject them with
fluorescent dyes -- orange and black on Halloween, green and red on
Painted glassfish cost three times as much as the now hard to find
Appeal: Painted glass
fish appeal to newer hobbyists because of their flamboyant colors.
They lose these bright colors within six months -- usually sooner.
Unpainted glass fish catch your eye because you can see their bones
thru their transparent skin. Their
bones last longer than the dyes. The
long fins and reflective colors also look good.
Size: At their two-inch
adult size, glassfish fit into your average community aquarium.
Chanda ranga, the jewel glass fish, looks prettier and more delicate than
Chanda rangas come in at 0.5 inch and are darn hard to keep alive.
Housing: Indian glassfish fit fine in a 10-gallon tank.
In the wild, these guys run in shoals (large schools).
So the bigger the group you keep them in, the better they like it.
Water: Indian glassfish
prefer moderately hard water with a pH above neutral – just like our Des Moines
water. Considered a
“brackish water fish,” Indian
glassfish prefer salt in
their water (one teaspoon per gallon minimum or even more).
If yours start acting a bit off their feed, add salt until they
snap out of it.
Foods: Indian glassfish
ignore most flake and pelleted foods. They prefer live or frozen foods.
If you decide to breed them, condition them with live or frozen
Temperature: Keep your
Indian glassfish at tropical temperatures – 75o to 80o.
They will adjust to cooler or warmer temperatures.
Breeding: Males sport
longer finnage and slightly brighter colors.
However, to assure success, you need to separate each breeder into
its own tank for a week or two. This
helps them concentrate on strengthening their breeding desires.
You’ll get bigger glassfish spawns on your schedule – not theirs.
Decor: You can aquascape
their regular quarters just like any other community fish.
glassfish neither knock things about nor dig holes.
In their breeding tank, add plenty of bushy plants to catch their
slightly adhesive eggs.
Breeding: Put your
breeders together the night before and flip off the lights.
Most tetra-like fish will breed at “first light.”
(Lots of people consider glassfish tetras.
They’re not related.)
Egg Incubation: Glassfish eggs hatch fast -- in 24 hours.
Fry Care: Glassfish larvae
live off their egg yolks for two days.
Once they start swimming, start the fry on infusoria.
Bump them up two newly
hatched live brine shrimp after one week.
Bumpy growths often occur on glassfish where the dye went in.
The “Bumpy Disease:” Indian glassfish are injected with dye – like a tattoo only not as long
lasting. Some (maybe 5%)
will grow whitish bumps from these injection sites.
We’ve found no cure for these non-contagious bumps. Scrape
them off with your thumbnail or ignore them. We see much less of the
stuff these days.
Glass catfish mix well with glassfish.
Still, when we see them in mass quantities, we gotta like painted
Last Word: Want a fish
you can see thru? You’ll
like the Indian glassfish. Remember
that they are picky eaters. LA.
of Sixth & Euclid Avenues
Moines, IA 50313