/Glass Catfish– A Comprehensive Care Guide, Lifespan ,Tank

Glass Catfish– A Comprehensive Care Guide, Lifespan ,Tank

glass catfish

Have you ever looked at an aquarium tank and a transparent fish caught your attention? Did you wonder which fish that was? The active quirky transparent fish in an aquarium tank is none other than the glass catfish.

Originally belonging from the South East Asian region, these fish are now a popular choice amongst tank keepers due to their transparent bodies. They are peaceful and easy to care for, therefore even beginner level tank keepers can easily opt to add them to their tanks.

What Is The Glass Catfish?


The glass catfish, phantom catfish, and even ghost catfish belong to the catfish specie of fish. They are known as glass fish because of their transparent bodies. Just like glass, these fish are see-through. Therefore, upon setting eyes on them, one can easily see all of their bones and internal organs. This may not sound pleasing but in reality, it is surely an interesting sight to see.

By nature, the cat ghost fish tends to be very timid and shy. They love swimming in the tank therefore they are highly active. They like to live in groups therefore it is recommended that these fish are schooled together. But since they have a peaceful temperament, they can easily become a part of any community tank.

The glass catfish school is not that demanding in terms of requirements therefore it is fairly easier to care for. When setting up a tank for the glass catfish, make sure there are ample plants as they serve as a hiding spot for these fish and make them feel secure and safe.

What Does The Glass Catfish Look Like?

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As the name indicates, the most prominent feature of the African glass catfish is its transparent body. From afar, it looks as if a skeleton has been left to roam around in your tank. They are literally like a piece of glass as one can see directly through their clear bodies.

The clear body makes its skeleton easily visible. The back part of their body is slightly raised which is the indication of the presence of the dorsal fin. The other fins of the fish are clear as well and are barely visible. But these fins can be seen doing their job of helping the fish swim around.

The transparent look of the glass catfish not only adds to its aesthetics and makes it attractive, but it is also a means of protection for the fish. Due to its see-through body, it can barely be seen by predators which makes it hard to hunt.

On average, they tend to grow to around five inches in length. They are known as catfish as there is the appearance of whiskers just like that of a cat. These serve as sensors and help the fish in finding its way around the tank. These whiskers are extremely sensitive and can even detect electromagnetic waves.

What Are The Perfect Tank Conditions?

Tank conditions

The natural habitat of the glass catfish is rivers and streams. Their country of origin is Thailand and there are plenty of rivers and streams in that region that host the glass catfish. Their favorite part of the water body in the middle section which keeps them afloat yet brings them near to the safety of the waterbed. Therefore, it is natural for the tank owners to find glass catfish lying on the bottom of the tank. When preparing a tank for them, it is recommended that you try to replicate their natural habitat as best as possible.

By nature, the glass catfish tends to be very fragile therefore they don’t do well if the tank conditions fluctuate a lot. The ideal temperature range for these fish lies within the range of seventy-five to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. The water hardness should be maintained between eight to twelve and moderate water flow is needed. They tend to do well as long as the pH level stays between six points five to seven.

Since these fish like to swim around in the tank, they need a tank that is at least thirty gallons or more in size. Adding plants to the tank is also recommended as it gives the fish plenty of room to hide. Also, make sure that their tank is cleaned on a regular basis as glass catfish blackish water can cause serious health damage.

Because they like to stay close to the water bed, a softer and gentler substrate should be used. The substrate that is too harsh can cause injuries and damage their bodies.

Which Fish Can Be Kept With Glass Catfish?

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Glass catfish are peaceful fish, therefore they are a great choice for community tanks that have a combination of different fish species. They can be kept with any fish as long as it is peaceful and will not cause any harm to the glass catfish. With the guppies, they are a popular combination since both of these fish species like to mind their own businesses and never cause havoc in the tank.

Keeping glass catfish with large-sized fish that are aggressive in nature. These fish are more than likely to attack the glass catfish and prey on them. Cichlids, Tiger Barbs, Sharks, and Oscars are a big no when considering tank mates for glass catfish.

In their natural habitat, they are always found in a group. Therefore, keeping them in a school is a good idea. The glass catfish interact with one another and form social bonds. Having a group of six catfish is ideal. When kept all by itself, the glass catfish tends to feel lonely and stressed. This can also lead to their death.


All in all, the glass catfish is a great addition to any community tank. These fish are active and aesthetic and become the center of attention in any tank. They have a moderate care level and their peaceful temperament makes them a great choice for community tanks.

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