A Transparent Fish
"Phantom Glass Catfish" is often identified as "Kryptopterus
bicirrhis", but the ones offered for sale are more likely to be "Kryptopterus
minor", a similar but rather smaller species. Kryptopterus
bicirrhis will grow to about 10 inches (25cm) long while Kryptopterus
minor only grows to about 3 inches (8cm). The Phantom Glass
Catfish is sometimes called the "Glass Catfish", "Ghost
Catfish", or the "Asian Catfish." There is a further possible
confusion with the African Glass Catfish, Parailia pellucida, sometimes
being sold as the "Glass Catfish".
The Phantom Glass Catfish comes from South East Asia including Thailand,
Malaysia and Indonesia. It comes from streams with sluggish currents,
often with areas of still water.
In the wild the water this fish often lives in is cloudy with suspended sediments. In these conditions this transparent fish is very difficult to see; fish's transparency acts as an excellent camouflage. This is not a condition normally aimed for in a home aquarium.
In an aquarium they will take neutral water (7). A temperature of 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) is suitable. We have no trouble with the moderate hardness of our Adelaide Hills water with this fish.
The tank should be heavily planted.
This fish is a predator. It will eat other fish up to the size of a newly
born Guppy. More normal foods for it include mosquito larvae and
Daphnia. I find that they will eat a normal, good quality fish flake
without any trouble but I have seen reports of them being difficult to feed.
The Phantom Glass Catfish is much more comfortable in a school of at least 5.
Although the Phantom Glass Catfish is a predator, it is peaceful to other fish as long as is cannot swallow them with its quite small mouth. They will eat baby fish, but all reasonable sized adult fish, even small Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras and Green Neon Tetras are safe.
Other suitable companions include Diamond Tetras, Splashing Tetras, White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Cherry Barbs, Penguin Tetras, Pristella Tetras, Glowlight Tetras, Red EyeTetras, Silvertip Tetras, Gold Barbs, Rummy Nose Tetras , Scissortail Rasboras, Lemon Tetras, Emperor Tetras, Head and Tail Light Tetras, Glass Bloodfin Tetras, Swordtails, Platies, Mollies, Zebra Danios, Black Widow Tetras, Rosy Barbs, Tiger Barbs, Paraguay Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras and Colombian Tetras. They are also OK with Siamese Fighting Fish, Guppies and Endlers Guppies.
It is claimed that in Asia techniques have been worked out for breeding the
Phantom Glass Catfish. If this is so, I have been unable to find out the
method. Possibly the commercial people who do this prefer not to tell
possible competitors about their methods.
There have been rare reports of the breeding of this fish and these suggestions are based on these reports.
Feed well before hand with live food such as mosquito larvae. Simulate
the start of the rainy season by daily partial water changes using soft
water. Lower the water level and lower the temperature by about 2 degrees
C (3 degrees F).
The eggs, in the unlikely event that you succeed in getting any, are laid on plants, perhaps a couple of hundred from each female.
The parents should be removed and the fry fed on small live food.
One Of our customers has had these fish breeding in his aquarium and believes that the main important requirement in cloudy water.
The Phantom Glass Catfish is a major ingredient of some of the salty fish sauces used in Asian cooking.
Unlike the great majority of the fish we sell, at least some of our Phantom Glass Catfish are caught in the wild. This fish is very common in some places and is not threatened.
Do not release any pet fish into the wild, or keep them where they can escape.
Scotcat Red Orbit, Planetcatfish, CentralPets.com and Munga Bay.com