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Glass Catfish – Kryptopterus bicirrhis

Glass Cat­fish – Kryp­topterus bicir­rhis is a peace­ful riv­er dwelling, school­ing fresh­wa­ter fish. It is a preda­to­ry fish that will eat a vari­ety of sink­ing foods. It has a body that is elon­gat­ed and lat­er­al­ly com­pressed. Glass Cat­fish are scale­less and they lack body pig­ment, which makes the body trans­par­ent in appear­ance. Inter­nal organs and back­bone are clear­ly vis­i­ble to the eye. In cer­tain angles in the light, their bod­ies can har­bor a beau­ti­ful, iri­des­cent rain­bow col­or. On the upper jaw is locat­ed a pair of large bar­bels. Their dor­sal fin is rather small, hav­ing only one ray, and the cau­dal fin is forked in shape.


Com­mon Name: Glass Cat­fish, Asian Glass Cat­fish, Ghost Cat­fish

Sci­en­tif­ic Name: Kryp­topterus bicir­rhis

Typ­i­cal Adult Fish Size: 5 inch­es  /  12 cm

Nat­ur­al Habi­tat: ‘Java, Indone­sia’. This species is found today through­out parts of South­east Asia includ­ing major riv­er sys­tems in Thai­land, Cam­bo­dia, Laos, Viet­nam and Penin­su­lar Malaysia and includ­ing the Greater Sun­da Islands of Suma­tra, Java and Bor­neo. It has been wide­ly record­ed among the Mekong, Chao Phraya, Batang Hari, Rajang and Kapuas rivers in addi­tion to small­er drainage water across these ranges.

Ide­al Tank Ecosys­tem: Décor is not nec­es­sary, how­ev­er decor is always high­ly rec­om­mend­ed by our fish spe­cial­ists. All fish should have some kind of plants, whether arti­fi­cial or live, or types of decor or rock to encour­age hid­ing cov­er. In turn, décor and plants help to reduce the stress lev­els in any fresh­wa­ter fish aquar­i­um and will reflect the health and envi­ron­ment of the fish. The clos­er you mim­ic their nat­ur­al habi­tat in the wild, the greater chance for suc­cess. Ensure that you are intro­duc­ing this glass cat­fish to an aquar­i­um that has been cycled. If you are adding any fish into a tank that is not cycled, refer to a TNT spe­cial­ist for fur­ther instruc­tion on how to safe­ly add them and what you will need in order to do so.

Rec­om­mend­ed Aquar­i­um Capac­i­ty: 55 gal­lon / 240 litre

Species Com­pat­i­bil­i­ty: Peace­ful fish. Will feed on small­er fish species. Can be timid around oth­er larg­er species of fresh­wa­ter fish. Tank mates are rel­a­tive­ly close sized loach­es, cyprinids and oth­er cat­fish types. The glass cat­fish likes to school in num­bers of 4 or greater.

Care Lev­el: Inter­me­di­ate+

Aquar­i­um Water Tem­per­a­ture: 69 – 82°F / 20 – 28°C

Aquar­i­um Water pH: Range pH 6.0 – 7.5

Feed­ing: Most­ly a preda­to­ry specie. Feeds on inver­te­brates, crus­taceans and small­er fish­es in the wild. Choose a com­plete, var­ied, diet includ­ing sink­ing dried foods, Tubifex (bot­tom dwelling worm), live and frozen blood­worms, etc., and you can also offer the occa­sion­al small sized Earth­worm. A vari­ety of foods is nec­es­sary for your Glass Cat­fish – Kryp­topterus bicir­rhis to thrive in cap­tiv­i­ty.

Sex­ing: Adult males usu­al­ly appear slim­mer than the females.

Breed­ing: Unknown.

Oth­er Con­sid­er­a­tions: This species is uncom­mon in the aquar­i­um trade. It’s name has been referred to as con­gener K. vit­re­o­lus in old­er lit­er­a­ture pieces. These two species are read­i­ly iden­ti­fied on their own since K. bichirris does not fea­ture a trans­par­ent body.

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