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Maximum size : 10 cm

African Glass Catfish - Pareutropius debauwi : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Prepare to be captivated by the graceful African Glass Catfish (Pareutropius debauwi). These small yet enchanting catfish exhibit a shy and active nature, thriving in the company of their own kind in small groups of at least 5 or 6 individuals. In a harmonious community aquarium, they coexist harmoniously with other small to medium-sized, peaceful species, such as African Tetras and Loaches, bringing a dynamic energy to the aquatic ensemble. However, ensuring that they are not paired with larger or more aggressive species is crucial, as their gentle disposition makes them susceptible to intimidation.

Rarely encountered in the aquarium trade, the African Glass Catfish adds a touch of exclusivity to any aquatic setup. To create a haven that mimics their natural habitat, an aquarium of at least 200 litres with dense vegetation and a dark sand or fine gravel substrate provides the ideal setting. Smooth rocks and carefully placed driftwood or bogwood pieces offer shelter and a sense of security for these delicate creatures. Consider embracing the allure of a West African biotope aquarium, where these catfish can truly thrive.

Ensuring ample swimming space and incorporating floating plants to diffuse lighting gently are essential aspects of providing an optimal environment for the African Glass Catfish. These elegant creatures have a keen sensitivity to bright lighting and water quality, necessitating a reliable filtration system and a small powerhead to maintain moderate water movement. Regular fortnightly water changes are strongly recommended to maintain pristine conditions for their well-being.

Admire the slender and ethereal beauty of the African Glass Catfish as they gracefully glide through the water. Their silvery-white bodies are adorned with a single black mid-lateral stripe, evoking a sense of understated elegance. A faint stripe traces the lower part of their body from head to caudal fin, while their forked caudal fin and the striking black leading edge of the adipose fin add a touch of contrast. Delight in the pointed lobes of their caudal fin, a testament to their exquisite form.

With the African Glass Catfish, you invite an exquisite and rare species into your aquatic realm, creating a captivating display highlighting their unique traits and the delicate balance of their aquatic world.

African Glass Catfish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

Distinguishing between the male and female African Glass Catfish presents a formidable challenge, as their physical attributes bear a striking resemblance. Yet, a discerning eye may discern subtle distinctions between the two sexes. Females tend to possess slightly more robust bodies, particularly when filled with the precious cargo of developing eggs. This subtle disparity in body thickness serves as a fleeting indicator of their respective genders.

Quick Facts

Scientific NamePareutropius debauwi
Year Described1900
Other NamesDebauwi Catfish, Dwarf Pangasius, Striped African Glass Catfish
OriginsAngola Gabon Democratic Republic of the Congo
Max Size10 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 6+
LifespanUp to 8 Years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH5 - 15
73 - 82
22 - 27

Natural Habitat

In the heart of Africa, the African Glass Catfish gracefully navigates the pristine waters of the Rembo Ngoveriver, Nyanga River, Ogooué River, Kouilou River, and Chiloango River. These magnificent catfish call the vibrant landscapes of Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and Angola their home. As inhabitants of moderately flowing streams and rivers, as well as the bountiful flood plains, they embody the captivating spirit of Africa's aquatic realms.


To unlock the mysteries of breeding the African Glass Catfish within the confines of an aquarium environment, we delve into a realm where successful reports are yet to surface, but possibilities remain untapped. These elusive catfish are known as egg scatterers, delicately depositing their eggs amidst the embrace of fine-leaved aquatic plants during the lush rainy seasons of their natural habitat. For those with an unwavering commitment to breeding this species, a separate breeding tank emerges as necessary, teeming with dense clusters of java moss or other meticulously chosen fine-leaved plants.

Creating the ideal conditions within the breeding tank serves as the key to awakening the reproductive instincts of the African Glass Catfish. A pH level hovering around 6.5 to 7.0 and a water temperature of approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit sets the stage for the intricate dance of procreation. Prior to embarking on this journey, meticulous conditioning of the fish through a rich diet of live or frozen foods becomes an essential precursor. From this carefully curated selection, the two most robust females and the most exemplary male are chosen to embark on the breeding endeavour.

With the stage set, the ballet of spawning unfolds, typically taking place during the early hours of the morning. The female African Glass Catfish gracefully bestows upon the java moss an abundance of up to 100 pristine white eggs, a testament to the cycle of life. Swift action is required as the eggs must be promptly removed from the breeding tank to safeguard their precious existence, for in the absence of intervention, the well-intentioned parents may succumb to the primal urge to consume their own progeny. Within a span of approximately 72 hours, the miracle of life unfolds as the eggs metamorphose into vibrant fry.

In the initial stages of their development, the fledgling African Glass Catfish rely upon the sustenance provided by the yolk sacs that nurture their fragile existence. As the growth journey commences, the time arrives to introduce nourishment in the form of microworms or newly hatched brine shrimp, catering to their evolving needs. With careful observation and a tender touch, the legacy of this captivating species perpetuates, fostering a renewed sense of wonder and accomplishment within aquaculture.

Diet & feeding

African Glass Catfish exhibit a commendable versatility in their dietary preferences. Although they are naturally inclined towards an insect-based diet in their native habitat, these catfish demonstrate an accommodating appetite within the confines of an aquarium setting. They readily accept a wide range of sustenance, including high-quality dried foods such as flakes, granules, and pellets. Furthermore, their culinary repertoire extends to include frozen and live offerings such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and tubifex. Therefore, maintaining a diverse and balanced diet is paramount to ensure optimal health and vitality in these captivating creatures.

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