Glass Catfish

The Glass Catfish or Ghost Fish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis), is a transparent freshwater aquarium fish. Native to Southeast Asia, these catfish prefer tanks with open swimming areas with a moderate current, and planted areas to provide shelter.

Body lengths can range up to 6 inches in nature, but are usually less in aquarium specimens and can grow to be 4-5 inches. Timid fish, they should always be kept as a group of at least 5, and can be kept with other fish species of similar size and temperament. Glass catfish are highly sensitive to changes in water quality and pH. The pH should be between 6.5 and 7.5.

These fish have a reputation for being finicky eaters. They prefer live food such as mosquito larvae, but can be weaned to flake food with time. They are different from other catfish because they live in the mid – upper region of the body of water. They are transparent and most of their gut is located near the head. They are transparent because, like all catfish they do not have scales and they also don’t have body pigment. The glass catfish turns milky white when dead, suggesting it does something during its life to keep it transparent.

When the light strikes the fish just right, it can make the fish an iridescent rainbow color. If you look at a live glass catfish with a magnifying glass you can see its heart beating.

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