Max Size: up to 15 cm

Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus vitreolus)

Glass Catfish is a freshwater ray-finned fish of the catfish family. They get their name from their translucent body that lets you see their organs and bones.

Unlike other typical catfish that you see sucking on rocks, tank sides and feeding on the bottom, this species although they do have barbels have chosen the free-swimming lifestyle instead.

The Glass catfish is a very peaceful and timid fish that keeps to themselves, only going for cover when disturbed, therefore, making a great addition to a community tank.

Quick Facts
Scientific NameKryptopterus vitreolus
Other NamesGhost Catfish, Phantom Catfish
Aquarium LevelMiddle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan6 - 8 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
Temperature75 - 81 ℉ (23.9 - 27.2 ℃)
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH1 - 12
KH8 - 12
Glass Catfish
Glass Catfish Shoal
Glass Catfish Shoaling
Glass Catfish
Glass Catfish
Glass Catfish


Glass Catfish inhabit moderate moving waters with plenty of plant coverage for shelter. They are found in river basins in the Cardamom Mountains and in rivers south of the Isthmus of Kra that drain into the Gulf of Thailand.

They mostly stay in the middle of the water column and rarely stray too far from the safety of the river bed.

Other Catfish of interest

Common Otocinclus(Otocinclus vittatus)
Cuckoo Catfish(Synodontis multipunctatus)
Marble Sturisoma Whiptail Catfish(Sturisoma aureum)
Spotted Hoplo Catfish(Megalechis thoracata)
Tiger Otocinclus(Otocinclus cocama)

Diet & Feeding

Glass Catfish will eat a wide range of food that includes flakes, granules or pellets as long as they are small enough for their tiny mouths.

They do, however, prefer to eat live foods such as tubifex, bloodworm, and white worms, and frozen foods such as Brine shrimp, Mysis and Daphnia.

Sexual Dimorphism

Unfortunately, there is no possible way to differentiate a male from a female.


There is very little information on how to breed Glass catfish, and there have only been whispers of success in some far East farms.

In this species natural habitat they breed in the rainy season so one could simulate this in the home aquarium to motivate a female to breed. You will also need to feed them plenty of live foods to encourage the females to scatter her eggs on the plants provided in the tank, and once successful The eggs will hatch after 3-4 days.

You may enjoy the following profiles

X Ray Tetra(Pristella Maxillaris)
Kuhli Loach(Pangio kuhlii)
Narayan Barb(Pethia setnai, Pethia narayani)
Redfin Dwarf Rainbowfish(Melanotaenia maccullochi)
Black Ruby Barb(Pethia nigrofasciata)
Snowball Plecostomus L102(Hypancistrus Inspector)
View More Species
Date Added: 04/08/2020 - Updated: 04/08/2020 10:57:04