To see these ephemeral creatures in an aquarium is not easy, but when seen, they cause a lot of positive emotions – from surprise to delight. Once marked glass catfish remain in the memory of the observer for a long time, and the desire to start this interesting fish increases with every minute.
It is important to remember that this living being is in fact very gentle and demanding, and it is important to create suitable conditions for its living.
Glass catfish, or catfish ghost (lat. Kryptopterus vitreolus, eng.
Glass Catfish) – one of the most unusual representatives of the catfish family, endemic to the coastal rivers of Thailand.
Until 2013, they were classified as Indian glass catfishes (lat. Kryptopterus bicirrhis), from which they differ not only in locality, but also in size and degree of transparency – K. Vitreolus is almost completely transparent and somewhat smaller, while K. Bicirrhis has milky -white color and reaches a length of 12-15 cm.
Due to the strong anthropogenic impact on the natural habitat of the glass catfish and excessive fishing for trade, the population of this amazing fish has rapidly declined. Glass catfish do not multiply in captivity, which further aggravates the situation, therefore, at present, wild populations are under vigilant observation.
What is this fish so attracted the attention of aquarists? The fact is that its tissues are practically transparent, with the exception of only the spine, head and internal organs.
In nature, this transparency serves as an ideal disguise, allowing you to hide a flock of catfish in the water.
The transparency of the ghost catfish is his big mystery. There is no definite answer as to why this fish is so transparent that its circulatory and nervous systems are not visible.
If you look closely, you can see how a tiny heart beats next to the silver belly. One theory says that the fish itself is so thin that its body is very weakly refracted in the water column.
In addition, glass catfish has a specific structure of cells and tissues, in which the pigment is completely absent.
In general, the fish looks very impressive, and will not leave fans of unusual aquarium inhabitants indifferent. Glass catfish grows up to 5-8 cm, its body is oblong and very thin. The dorsal fin is very small and almost imperceptible, consists of several rays and is located near the head.
The anal fin is long and wide and stretches with a border to the caudal fin. The body is transparent, through it the spine, ribs and internal organs of the fish are visible. Gill covers and belly silver.
On the head there are two long, thin tendrils.
In an aquarium, a school of fish chooses a suitable place and practically freezes on it, changing position only during a search for food.
Sometimes the rays of light fall at a particular angle, giving the catfish a transparent rainbow shine.
Unfortunately, this amazing fish can not be called a suitable pet for beginners. Glass catfish badly tolerate sharp fluctuations in water parameters, and because of their shy nature, they are rather shy and often under stress. To get such an unusual inhabitant, you need to create the following conditions for his residence:
- One of the main factors that should be taken into account is the stinginess of ghost catfish. It is recommended to contain from 6-10 individuals. In the team, fish feel more confident, less amenable to stress, which affects their longevity.
- For the maintenance of a large group of fish will need a large aquarium – from 100 liters.
- Somiki prefer weak current.
- In an aquarium, there must be thickets of living plants in which shy fish will be able to hide.
- Since ghost catfish are very sensitive to sharp fluctuations in water parameters, it is not recommended to start them in newly launched and biologically immature aquariums.
- All commercially available fish are caught in the wild and can be carriers of diseases that are dangerous to other inhabitants. For this reason, it is not recommended to immediately release purchased fish in a common aquarium; it is better to overdo them in quarantine for 2 weeks.
- Glass catfish prefer dim lighting, which can be achieved with the help of floating vegetation.
- In addition to natural plants, an aquarium with glass catfish can be decorated with submerged alder cones and dried leaves of oak, birch, beech, and almond. Such decorations will not only give the situation a more natural look, but also make the water softer and more acidic, enrich it with tannins, useful for fish immunity.
- It is not recommended to overpopulate the aquarium, otherwise the water will be intensively contaminated with organic matter, which cannot be effectively removed by substitution.
Recommended water parameters:
- temperature: 20-26 ° C;
- acidity: 4.0-7.0 pH;
- hardness: 1-10 ° dH;
- filtration and aeration are required;
- water change should be weekly, but not too massive – about 20%.
As can be seen from the above, for a comfortable living fish, you must create conditions as close as possible to the natural. Glass catfish poorly tolerate deviations from the norms, as they are caught from the wild environment and they have not developed the endurance and flexibility inherent in fish that are bred in captivity.
In nature, glass catfish predominantly leads to a predatory lifestyle, eating small invertebrates and zooplankton.
In captivity, it actively eats live food:
Over time, glass catfish can be accustomed to defrosting or dry food.
It is important to remember that shy fish rarely rise to the surface, and it is necessary to give them sinking food, at the same time distracting nimble neighbors with food at the surface.
All individuals represented on the market were obtained from the natural environment. Successful breeding cases in the aquarium are not documented, and sexual dimorphism is not pronounced.
Glass catfish – non-aggressive, shy fish, and their neighbors should choose the appropriate. Ideal candidates are haracin.
They, like ghost catfish, love old soft water, are completely non-aggressive. A variety of tetras and neons get along well with this wonderful fish.
In addition, possible joint content with small carp – danios, cherry barbs and rasborami.
A ghost cat is not a fish that will eat up the remnants of food and generally serve as an aquarium attendant, so this role should be chosen by peaceful, less fastidious catfish, for example, corridors.
Somiki are indifferent to peaceful small prawns, so non-aggressive species can be safely settled with them.
Caution should be taken in the neighborhood of the petsilium, as the latter prefer hard water to which the glass catfish cannot adapt and die, and vice versa, in soft water, live beetles will be sick.
Neighborhood with aggressive, predatory and territorial fish is not recommended, as peaceful catfish will not be able to fight off their attacks, and they will even be eaten.