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Glass Fish (Parambassis ranga)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Glass Fish, a unique and fascinating species in the aquatic world. This article aims to provide you with detailed information about Glass Fish, covering various aspects from their profile to care tips.

Glass Fish Facts

Fact Category Description
Scientific Name Parambassis ranga
Common Names Glass Fish, Indian Glassy Fish, Indian X-Ray Fish
Origin South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar)
Size 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm)
Lifespan 5-6 years
Water Temperature 20-30°C (68-86°F)
pH Level 6.5 – 7.5
Diet Omnivorous (Flake food, brine shrimp, daphnia)
Behavior Peaceful, Schooling Fish
Aquarium Setup Planted tank with hiding spots, gentle filtration
Breeding Egg layer, requires optimal conditions for spawning
Compatibility Compatible with non-aggressive, similarly-sized fish

Glass Fish Profile

Glass Fish, scientifically known as Parambassis ranga, are small, translucent freshwater fish native to South Asia. They are known for their almost completely transparent bodies, through which you can see their bones and internal organs. This unique feature makes them a captivating addition to any aquarium. Typically, Glass Fish grow to about 2-3 inches in length and have a lifespan of 5-6 years with proper care.

Glass Fish Coloring

One of the most striking features of Glass Fish is their transparent coloring. Their body, devoid of typical fish scales, allows a clear view of their internal anatomy, including the spine and swim bladder. In certain light conditions, they may exhibit a slight iridescent hue, adding to their visual appeal. Some aquarists use colored aquarium lighting to enhance this natural iridescence.

Glass Fish Habitat

The Glass Fish, native to South and Southeast Asia, predominantly inhabits slow-moving rivers, streams, and lakes. These environments are characterized by soft, slightly acidic water with abundant vegetation. The dense plant life provides shelter and abundant food sources, creating an ideal ecosystem for these transparent fish to thrive. Their natural habitat plays a crucial role in their unique body structure and behavior.

Glass Fish Aquarium Setup

Creating an ideal environment for Glass Fish  is key to their health and well-being. This section details the essential aspects of setting up a suitable aquarium for Glass Fish.

  • Tank Size and Type

Start with a tank size of at least 30 gallons for a small group of Glass Fish. Larger tanks are better for maintaining stable water conditions and providing ample swimming space. A rectangular tank is preferred as it offers more surface area for oxygen exchange.

  • Water Quality and Parameters

Maintain water temperature between 22-28°C (72-82°F) and a pH level of 6.5-7.5. Regular water changes are crucial to keep ammonia and nitrite levels at zero. Use a good filtration system to keep the water clean and clear, but ensure the current is not too strong as Glass Fish prefer calm waters.

  • Lighting and Decoration

Install moderate lighting to mimic their natural habitat. Too much light can cause stress and algae growth. Decorate the tank with live plants, driftwood, and rocks to provide hiding places and maintain a natural environment. Plants like Java Fern and Anubias are good choices as they require minimal light and maintenance.

  • Substrate

A dark substrate can help highlight the Siamese glassfish’s transparent body. Sand or fine gravel is suitable, ensuring it’s free of sharp edges that could harm the fish. The substrate also supports beneficial bacteria, aiding in the nitrogen cycle.

  • Water Circulation and Filtration

A gentle filtration system is necessary to keep the water clean without creating a strong current. Glass Fish are sensitive to water quality, so a filter that provides biological, chemical, and mechanical filtration is recommended. Avoid strong water flows as they can stress these delicate fish.

Glass Fish Breeding

Breeding Indian X-ray fish requires attention to specific environmental conditions and an understanding of their spawning process. This section provides a comprehensive guide to successfully breed glass fish in an aquarium setting.

Breeding Environment

To encourage breeding, create a dedicated breeding tank with conditions similar to their natural habitat. The breeding tank should be about 10-15 gallons and have soft, slightly acidic water with a pH of around 6.8-7.0. The temperature should be slightly higher than their regular tank, around 28-30°C (82-86°F). Dim lighting and plenty of fine-leaved plants or spawning mops will provide areas for the fish to lay their eggs. A sponge filter is recommended to keep the water clean without creating a strong current that could disrupt the eggs.

Conditioning for Breeding

Condition the breeding pair with high-quality foods, such as live or frozen brine shrimp and daphnia. This helps in improving their health and increasing their likelihood of spawning. Keep the breeding pair well-fed and in optimal health for a few weeks before introducing them to the breeding tank.

Spawning Process

Glass Fish typically spawn in the early morning hours. The female will scatter her eggs among the plants or on the substrate, and the male will follow to fertilize them. Indian glassy perch are not known for parental care, so the adult fish should be removed from the breeding tank after spawning to prevent them from eating the eggs. The eggs are small and slightly adhesive, attaching to plants or the tank bottom. They usually hatch within 24-36 hours. It’s important to maintain pristine water conditions during this time to prevent fungal growth on the eggs.

Caring for Fry

Once hatched, the fry will consume their yolk sacs and then require very fine food, such as infusoria or commercially available fry food. As they grow, they can be gradually introduced to larger foods like baby brine shrimp. Consistent water changes and careful monitoring are essential during this stage to ensure the healthy development of the fry.

Glass Fish Diet & Feeding

Glass Fish are omnivores and require a balanced diet of plant and animal matter. High-quality flake food, along with frozen or live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia, are excellent choices. It’s crucial to feed them small amounts several times a day instead of a large amount once a day. This feeding strategy helps maintain water quality and ensures all fish receive adequate nutrition.

Glass Fish Compatibility

Glass Fish are generally peaceful and do well in community tanks with other non-aggressive fish. They are schooling fish and prefer to be in groups of at least five or more. This social structure helps reduce stress and promotes natural behavior. Avoid housing them with large or aggressive species that may see them as prey. Ideal tank mates include mollies, guppies, corydoras, angelfish, small tetras and white cloud.

Glass Fish Common Diseases

Glass Fish are susceptible to typical freshwater fish diseases, primarily Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) and fungal infections. Ich presents as white spots on the body and fins, while fungal infections manifest as cotton-like growths. Poor water quality and stress are major contributing factors. Regular tank maintenance, proper diet, and prompt isolation and treatment of affected fish are key to preventing and managing these diseases.


In conclusion, Glass Fish are a fascinating and beautiful species to add to your aquarium. Their unique transparent bodies and peaceful nature make them a favorite among aquarists. By providing them with the right environment, diet, and care, you can enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of these fish for many years.