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The Indian Glass Fish
The Indian Glass Fish, Parambassis ranga, is a peaceful little community fish.  It is sometimes known as The Indian Glassy Fish.
This fish is native to India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.  It is found in still or slow moving water bodies, including artificial ones like rice paddies, and reservoirs.  These countries are basically tropical, but some are very mountainous, and some populations of the Indian Glass Fish come from cooler areas in these countries.
Most of its habitats have soft, slightly acidic freshwater.  However, some populations are found in brackish water. 
Water Conditions
This fish can tolerate slightly acidic and slightly alkaline conditions, and a pH of between 6.5 and 7.5 is suggested.  They can be acclimatised to brackish water, but fresh water is probably better.  A hardness of up to 20 is well accepted by this fish.  They certainly accept a temperature of between 20 and 30 degrees C (between 68 and 86 degrees F), but some reports suggest that their cold tolerance is better than this range indicates.  It may depend on what population the ancestors of your fish came from.
In the wild the Indian Glass Fish eats mainly things like small crustaceans, insect larvae and small worms.  It is predominantly carnivorous, and although most of these fish will eat some normal fish food like flakes and granules, these are not sufficient for their nutrition.  You need to give them live or frozen foods like mosquito larvae, blood worms, daphnia and brine shrimp as a major supplement to good quality dry food.
The Indian Glass Fish is mostly transparent.  There is a little bit of black on it, and the male in breeding condition gets a bit of colour as described under “sexing”.  If you see Indian Glass Fish with other colours, they have been artificially coloured by being injected with a dye.  For an animal this small an injection like that is a major trauma and many of them die soon afterwards.  The ones that survive long enough to get to a retail shop are still seriously weakened by their ordeal and are much more susceptible to a wide range of diseases.  Few of them will live very long.  If they do survive the colour will fade.
These dyed fish are sometimes sold as being natural.  This is not necessarily dishonesty by the shop keeper.  He may have bought the fish in good faith from the evil monster who mistreated them, or from an unwitting wholesaler who had been deceived.  Aquarium shop owners and workers vary in their knowledge of fish.
The Indian Glass Fish is a small and peaceful fish which is an excellent companion for other small and peaceful fish.  It goes well with the smaller and more peaceful tetras, rasboras and live bearers as well as peaceful catfish like the Bronze Catfish.  Avoid aggressive or extremely boisterous fish.
Males in breeding condition have a small bit of blue edging on the anal and dorsal fins; they are a slightly deeper yellow on the body. The swim bladder has a pointed back edge in the males.


The Indian Glass fish spawns readily as long as it is well fed with rich animal based food.  It appears to be stimulated to spawn by both an increase in temperature and the addition of fresh water.  This is simulating the condition at the beginning of the wet season when the streams and rivers spread out over the flood plains.  Plants are needed for the spawning.  They are most likely to spawn in the early morning.

Different sources of information are contradictory on the question of whether or not the parents care for the eggs and young.

Raising the Babies

The babies of the Indian Glass Fish can be hard to raise.  Apart from being small, they do not actively pursue food.  It needs to be right in front of them before they will eat it.  In the wild they would be eating the copious amounts of microscopic and near microscopic living things that grow in the wet season when the water is flooding over the land.  In an aquarium they need infusoria followed by slightly larger live food as the babies grow.

Not Threatened

The UICN Redlist has not evaluated the likelihood of the immediate extinction of this fish, but from other information it is still very widespread and is not in danger.

Pest Fish

Although I am not aware of this fish being a pest in any ecosystem it has been introduced to, you should prevent any pet getting into ecosystem they are not native to.

Common Names

This fish has many common names.  Here are a few of them listed by language:


“Indian Glass Fish”, “Indian Glassy Fish”, “Glass Perchlet”, “Indian Glass Perch”, “Chanda Ranga” and “Siamese Glass Fish”.


“Ranga-chanda”, “Ranga Chanda”, “Chanda” and “চানদা”.


“Sonnel”, “Kannadimeen”, “Kaka-semmel” and “கண்ணாடி மீன்”.

Scientific Names

I grew up with the idea that this fish is called “Chanda ranga”, (Hamilton, 1822) but the accepted name now is “Parambassis ranga” (Hamilton, 1822). Other scientific names that have been used include: “Pseudambassis ranga” (Hamilton, 1822), “Ambassis ranga” (Hamilton, 1822), “Ambassis alta” Cuvier, 1828, “Ambassis barlovi” Sykes, 1839, “Ambassis notatus” Blyth, 1860 and “Pseudambassis notatus” (Blyth, 1860).