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Maximum size : 8 cm

Indian Glass Fish - Parambassis ranga : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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Indian Glass Fish (Parambassis ranga) have long been popular in the aquarium trade, but they have a reputation for being fragile and challenging to care for. However, these fish are surprisingly tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. While they are peaceful and shy, they do not do well when housed with robust or aggressive species. To keep Indian Glass Fish healthy and happy, it is best to keep them in groups of six or more individuals. They are shoaling species and will not thrive if kept alone or in pairs. These fish have a distinct body shape that is deep and laterally compressed, with long and rounded fins except for two separate, pointed dorsal fins. Their caudal fin is relatively long and forked, and their forehead is slightly indented, with large eyes and a small, dorsally located mouth. Their transparent body has a remarkable silvery appearance with a pale amber to green iridescence, which reveals their bones and internal organs. Unfortunately, Indian Glass Fish are sometimes sold to unsuspecting hobbyists after being painted or injected with coloured dye to make them more visually appealing. However, this process is not harmless and can cause trauma and make the fish more susceptible to diseases like fin rot, lymphocystis, and velvet disease. Fortunately, the campaign has led to the banning of dyed fish in the UK, but they are still available in other countries.

Indian Glass Fish Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively straightforward to differentiate between male and female Indian Glass Fish. Males have a deeper yellow hue on their bodies and display a dark blue border along their anal and dorsal fins. These colour differences become more apparent during breeding as the colours intensify. Additionally, males have a pointed back edge on their visible swim bladder, which is absent in females. \r\n

Quick Facts

Scientific NameParambassis ranga
Year Described1822
Other NamesIndian Glassy Fish, Indian X-ray Fish Indian Glassy perch, Disco Fish, Painted Glass Fish
OriginsIndia Pakistan Nepal Bangladesh Myanmar Thailand Malaysia Cambodia
Max Size8 cm
Aquarium LevelBottom - Middle
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 6+
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH6.5 - 7.5
GH8 - 20
68 - 86
20 - 30

Natural Habitat

Indian Glass Fish are a fascinating fish species found in a range of habitats throughout South Asia. From the mangrove swamps of India and Pakistan to the freshwater marshes of Cambodia and Burma, these fish are incredibly adaptable to their environment. They have even been introduced to Japan in recent years, where they have become a popular addition to the aquarium trade. Indian Glass Fish prefer slow-moving or still water, which can be either freshwater or brackish. Therefore, they can be found in various bodies of water, including estuaries, marshes, lakes, rivers, and streams. In these environments, they tend to inhabit the more confined areas that are heavily vegetated. The vegetation provides them with cover, protection from predators and a food source in the form of small insects and other invertebrates.


Breeding Indian Glass Fish can be a rewarding experience for aquarists; however, it requires some attention to detail. To start, placing 6 to 8 adult fish in a densely planted aquarium that receives direct morning sunlight is recommended. Feeding them a high-quality, varied diet and maintaining the tank at a neutral pH and a temperature between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is essential. When the fish are in breeding condition, you will notice the male's colours intensifying and the female's stomachs becoming rounder. Perform a significant water change with slightly warmer water in the evening to encourage spawning, which usually occurs the next morning. Each pair of Indian Glass Fish can lay up to 200 eggs, which are typically found stuck to plant leaves and stems. Once the eggs are laid, it is best to remove the adult fish to prevent them from eating the eggs. In addition, the eggs are susceptible to fungus, so treating the tank with methylene blue is recommended. After 24 hours, the eggs will hatch, and the fry will be hanging from the plants. They will become free-swimming after 3 to 4 days, and feeding them baby brine shrimp is crucial as they do not actively seek food. To ensure optimal growth, create a slow current in the tank and perform regular small water changes to maintain perfect water conditions.

Diet & feeding

The Indian Glass Fish is a versatile species regarding food choices and will readily accept various live, frozen, and dried foods. In the aquarium, it is recommended to provide a mix of live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, cyclops, tubifex, brine shrimp, daphnia, Mysis shrimp, and white mosquito larvae to ensure a balanced diet. While high-quality flake foods and micro pellets are also readily accepted, it is important not to rely solely on these types of foods for optimal nutrition. It would be more beneficial for your fish if you fed them in small amounts once or twice a day.

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