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Kryptopterus bicirrhis & K. minor
Glass Catfish, Ghost Catfish, Ghost Fish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Glass Catfish - Kryptopterus bicirrhis & K. minor

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Kryptopterus_minor_1.jpg (29kb)
Photo Credit: Blair Cockburn

This fascinating fish is almost totally transparent, revealing the skeleton in finest detail. Internal organs are clustered in a dark area behind the head. There are two long barbels or whiskers on the upper jaw. Despite its appearance, this is a hardy fish and easy to keep. Best in a shoal in a well-planted tank with enough free space. It is peaceable and mixes well with other small, tolerant species. Lives in the middle water, adopting an oblique, head-up position with tail constantly moving.

Contributed by Steve Flynn

These fish are some of the most enjoyable fish I have ever known. They have a very peaceful nature and are quite durable if kept under proper conditions. If lighting is not very strong they will be quite active. People say they are hard to feed, but I found after watching them (a lot) that mine just like to eat at dusk and no other time. People say that they are micropredators, but mine will not touch the live black worms I feed my knife fish and clown loaches. Good fish if taken care of. Keep in groups.

Contributed by Jon Kueny

I started with five Asian glass cats with the intent to add more for a more robust school. I used a huge mother guppy as a 'dither' fish originally to make them feel more comfortable and it didn't take long for them to follow her all over the place, (she loved to hang with them when not wandering) even down to eat the food for the cory cats! I have two outside filters, one bio wheel, at each end to keep the water extra clean. One filter has a sponge to gentle the water flow at the outlet, and a non current area at the middle and lower levels, so they can rest if they so desire.

This tank has smaller branchy driftwood, with two types of Anubias placed in between the wood. I have 7 albino cories, and later added 9 black neons. Now they no longer just hang in the filter outflow, but to my surprise swim all over with the neons, which are a loosely schooling fish. I feed them flake, greens, live brine shrimp, Hakari (triple sterilized) frozen blood worms so on. I do twice weekly partial (vacuum gravel) smaller water changes, which I and fish prefer to larger less frequent changes (due to lousy water in my area, water is pre-filtered and aged). They are considered 'delicate' and need clean water.

So, my experience as been that they school with schooling fish unlike their own, and get along with other non aggressive fish, so would be a good community fish with the right type of companions, as well as beautiful in a larger school of their own kind, singularly. With the proper lighting they flash iridescent colors, and a dappled lighting (light through the plants) helps to create these color ‘flashes’. A truly delicate and beautifully hued fish, at once transparent, then a glean of peacock colors. A good fish, but not for the beginner with little to no experience, due to their more delicate nature, and exacting water conditions. I find them a great fish and would love someday to have a bigger, longer tank with much larger school as found in nature.

Contributed by Sherry

These are my favorite Catfish and once they've been in the aquarium for about 3 months they really begin to harden up and become great fish for established tanks. Although they become hardy fish, they still need to be in groups of at least 5. Another cool thing about these great fish is that after being fed, their stomach (which you can see) turns the color of their food!

Contributed by Josh White

I had two glass catfish in my aquarium and found them to be a lot of fun to watch. They were a little difficult to feed at first, until I found a method that worked for them. They would not compete with the other fish for food, so I had to stick some food down in their corner of the tank, and that kept them happy. Unfortunately, these guys are apparently rather sensitive to certain medications, which I was not aware of. One of my fish had a slight fungal infection, so I decided to use a typical green-dye medication. Both of my ghost cats were dead less than 24 hours later. Don't make the same mistake!

Contributed by Christine

I've had my ghost cat for almost three months now. Unfortunately, after another fish (a male dalmation molly) got a little carried away, the others I had in the tank with him (a female molly, albino pleco, and a few ghost shrimp) were killed when baby mollies had been born. The male molly was separated after getting sick and died on his own. Tango, the ghost cat, however, has survived and strived all on his (I of course don't actually KNOW if Tango is a he) own. He definitely prefers to hang in the aerator bubbles, and on the occasion they are not running, stays near the filter current. Once in a while he takes off for a few laps around the entire tank, but isn't much of an adventurer otherwise. I know he's naturally a schooling fish, but I'm nervous about the shock of introducing other fish after having been solitary for such an extensive period now. I haven't had any problems with feeding him. Due to my own habits he normally eats at night, but I've never had a problem with him eating earlier in the day. He doesn't *seem* to have a lighting preference, so I alternate it daily (off completely or lit on one side).

Contributed by Jennette

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