Glass Catfish ( Ghost Catfish or Phantom Catfish ) is the right choice to add variety to your fish tank.

Ghost Catfish is a fish that most pet fish enthusiasts would love.

I think you have a curiosity about why call them Glass Catfish. As mentioned in the name, These catfish look like glass.

They have transparent bodies like Ghost Shrimp. You can see through their bodies.

For this reason, You can see the bones inside Glass Catfish’s body.

If you have a good sense of Glass Catfish care, they are not a tough fish for care.

At the end of this article, you can get the best idea about glass catfish care and more.

Here the topics we are discussing.

Who is this Glass Catfish?

There are two types of glass catfish, and they are Kryptopterus vitreolus and Kryptopterus Bichirris.

The main difference between these two types is the size. Bichirris can reach around 6.5 – 7 inch and vitreolus are about 2.5 inches long.

Glass catfish is a freshwater fish native to Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

They live in rivers that have average water speed and also like dark clean water.

The main thing noteworthy is that, unlike other Catfish, they do not live in the bottom. Glass Catfish prefer to swim in the middle of the water.

These are the ideal fish for you if you want to get some skittish fish to the tank because they are very active fish.

As a successful fish keeper, you can collect Ghost Catfish to your fish school.


They have a completely translucent body( you can see bones and organs inside).

The reason for this type of body is to survive (hard to find) from predator fish.

Like other Catfish, Glass catfish likewise have the barbels on their head, that extended past their faces out from their nose. These barbels help them to get a sense of the surrounding environment.

They prefer to live in a company. So it is best if you can put at least five fish together in your tank.

How big do you think they are?

Typically glass catfish are small than other Catfish.

They have long and slim bodies.

An adult one reaches a limit of around 5 inches length in aquariums.

But in the wild, they show a growth of around 6.5-7.5 inches.

Do you know how long they Live?

In right tank conditions, glass catfish can live around 6.5-8 years.

I think you have enough time to spend an enjoyable period and bond with these fish.

Important Tip: If you failed to provide correct tank requirements for these guys, they can’t live even 2-3 years.

Tank requirements for Glass Catfish

You need to provide them with a natural environment because they live in slow flow streams and rivers.

Keeping a Ghost Catfish aquarium can be fun, but if you want to keep your little Catfish healthy, specific parameters need to be met.

Tank Size

The minimum tank size for a collage of 5 glass catfish is 30 gallons.

If you think to add more fish to your home aquarium, you should increase 5 gallons for an extra fish.

Preparation of your tank

When setting up a tank, the most important thing to consider is to have enough room for the fish to swim in the tank.

I have seen most fish keepers fill a large number of decorative ornaments, and due to that, fish haven’t sufficient space to swim.

Since they are very fond of aquatic plants, you should be sure to provide a similar environment with aquatic plants in your tank.

You can use fish-friendly aquatics plants like Java moss, Java fern, Peat moss, Hornworts, etc. They can use it as hiding places.

Important Tip – One of the essential things in a tank for these Catfish is an aquarium cover, as they try to escape their sometimes.

Things to consider for choosing a substrate

You have to be very careful when applying a substrate.

Because if you used Sharpe things like stone pieces, your glass catfish get harm.

You can use soft materials for the tank substrate like sands, small quartz stone, and substrate plants.

Important Tip: If you buy substrate from a pet shop you should rinse it before adding your tank

Water Parameters

In the Glass Catfish care, especially, you should take care about water parameters. You can easily maintain these parameters.

Their pH can be variable from 6.5 – 7.0

Ideal water temperature for Glass Catfish is 75°F to 80°F range (24°C-26.5°C). 78°F is the best water temperature level for them.

Also, you have to consider nitrate and ammonia level. Keep both levels in 0.

You can keep water hardness 8-10 dGH.

Extra Tip: You can check the levels with a test kit.

Important Tip: If you can’t maintain the correct water temperature, Glass Catfish are more capable of having the disease.

Equipment needed for the tank 


If you want a clean and clear tank with healthy fish, Filters are very critical things for it.

Having a good filter in your tank will provide both biological and chemical filtration.

Typically glass catfish like to moderated water flow. Therefore, you should care for choosing a filter that fits them.

If you set a power filter for your home aquarium, it gives more pressure. Because of that, your phantom fish can be stressful.

An average pressure in a good quality filter is an excellent choice for your fish.

A canister filter is most appropriate for your fish tank. You can also use an extra sponge filter in the tank.


Water temperature is a crucial fact in glass catfish care Because they are compassionate to water temperature.

You can use a 150W heater for your 30-gallon tank.

Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a heater.

  • Waterproof With Double Insulation
  • Top Quality Heating Element With Superior Insulation
  • Heat Distribution
  • heavy-duty and shock-resistant glass

Important Tip: If you haven’t an idea to set a heater for all time at least They can quickly get sick if they don’t meet the proper water parameters and tank conditions.add it in the winter.


They like to live in an environment that gives some light.

You can set a white color LED light system for your aquarium. But keep in mind to maintain a suitable Intensity of lights.

What kind of food should you feed your Glass Catfish?

When keeping pet fish, you should take care of their food.

Like in the natural environment, they can’t find the food they want in your tank.

In your home aquarium, you can imitate their food what they eat in the wild.

They’re going to eat what you give them.

Zooplankton and other little worms or spineless creatures are their favorite foods in the wild.

I can recommend pellets or flakes food for Glass Catfish’s starting meal for the day.

You can add foods that contain a lot of protein in their diet.

The best high protein foods for you Glass Catfish are brine shrimp, daphnia and bloodworms(dried or frozen). You can easily find these foods in your nearest aquarium.

It is not necessary to provide these high protein foods daily. Giving several times a week is good enough.

They also like to eat mosquito larva and small fish like baby guppies, baby platies. If you want to give live foods for your Catfish no matter, you can try these foods.

Important Tip: If you give a balanced meal for your fish, it helps their health and immune system.

Feeding cycle of your Glass Catfish

  • Remember to serve meals only two times per day.
  • Keep eyes on your fish for if they have enough food (Please do not overfeed your fish).

Important Tip: Provide enough food to finish the meal in about 4 minutes.

Who are the best tank mates for them?

Are Glass Catfish Aggressive?

Not at all.they are very peaceful freshwater fish.

Glass catfish are good community fish for your tank. Because of that, there are so many types of fish you can co-exist with them.

Some Best peaceful fish for Glass Catfish’s tank mates are,

These are just a few examples. You can find more suitable tank mates.

Essential facts to remember about glass catfish’s tank mates

  • Do not add aggressive fish like Jack Dempsey, Oscar Or other monster fish.
  • In the early days of introducing tankmates, you need to pay some attention (some fish can damage their fins).

What are the sicknesses they are prone to? 

They can quickly get sick if they don’t meet the proper water parameters and tank conditions.

When talking about sickness, there are no specific diseases. They are vulnerable to the same illnesses that other fish face.

Here are some common diseases 

  • Dropsy
  • Fungus
  • Ich
  • Lice

Extra Tip: A high-quality, balanced diet lowers the risk of developing sickness.

Breeding Your Glass Catfish

It isn’t easy to breed them in a tank. Many have tried it, but it still has not been successful.

If you can imitate natural conditions for your aquarium, you have some hopes for breeding.

Breeding of this species begins during the monsoon season.

So you have to make changes for your tank that you can see in the environment during that time.

Identifying males and females

It’s challenging to tell what is the difference between male and female glass catfish.

Near the breed, the female’s abdomen has a slight swell.

It’s the only way to identify their males and females.

Steps you should follow

  • First, add a couple of mature fish to the breeding tank.
  • After that, you need to lower the temperature of the tank to some extent. (Around 23°C or 73°F)
  • Then add some fresh water to your tank daily. (Adding about 1/5 of the total volume is sufficient).By doing so, the fish can be convinced that the rainy season has arrived.
  • Feed them with High-quality live foods (Like mosquito larva or Brine Shrimp).

Important Tip: Place Enough aquarium plants at the bottom of the breeding tank. It helps female fish to spread eggs.

If you meet all these requirements, your fish will be ready for the breeding process.

Then you can observe some changes in the behavior of the pair of glass catfish.

The main difference that can be seen is that the fish pair are getting face to face each other. It gives you a good signal. They ready for starting breeding.

After that, you can see female one spread eggs on to aquarium plants.

These eggs are taking 4-5 days to hatch.

It would be best if you fed your little Glass Catfish with high protein food. Baby brine shrimp is an ideal food for them.

Are Glass Catfish Right For Your Home Aquarium?

  • They require a little more attention than other fish.
  • Please keep Their tank conditions and water parameters in recommend levels.
  • They are very sensitive to water changes.
  • Best community fish for your home aquarium

Glass catfish are not too difficult to care if you can manage all these challenges.

This physical nature of theirs has created a good market value for them.

I think these fantastic fish are an excellent choice for your opinion is you should take this challenge.


We firmly believe that now you have a comprehensive idea regarding Glass Catfish by going through the above guide. Stay tuned with us for more fish stories in the future!

If you have any problem with these guys, you can comment here and also you can share your knowledge about them.

Feel Free to contact me via email.

If you are already the proud owner of a glass catfish group, why did you choose them, and if there are any other challenges you have faced, please comment below.

Photo credit: brian.gratwicke on / CC BY


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