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FAQs on Silurid Cats

Related Articles: Silurid Catfishes

Related Catfish FAQs:  Identification, Behavior, Compatibility, Selection, Systems, Feeding, Disease, Reproduction

Injured/damaged Ghost Glass Cats     1/8/17
To whom this may concern
We have a 55g tank. In this tank we have 2 bigger Angel fish, with one smaller/ younger one. Including 3 ghost glass catfish. One of the catfish appears to be missing the lower lip now. With a cotton white puffy area in place. We think the bigger Angel fish might have attacked him.
<It's possible... or the fish may have "bumped" into something hard>
Not sure what we can do. Any suggestions would help. Don't want to loose the fish.
<Ghost Glass Catfish are generally very tough, capable of recovery on their own given time, good circumstances (propitious water quality and nutrition). Unless you see the Angels harassing them, I'd leave all as is in this setting. Bob Fenner>
re: To whom this may concern     1/8/17

We lost the fish shortly after sending the email. Thank you for your time
<Thank you for this update. This IS Kryptopterus correct? There are other species of Siluriform fishes with this common name. Again; I've handled thousands of these over the years, had friends who used the species for
research (they can detect the planet's dipole moment)... Best to keep in a small school; if few specimens, an odd number... 3, 5, 7.
I would not be discouraged by the anomalous loss of one specimen. Bob Fenner>

Harlequin Rasbora / Glass Catfish Breeding      4/29/14
Hi, I wanted to ask you what would you recommend for breeding this species. They are considered difficult to breed, but they have been breed in captivity in regularly sized home aquariums. The question here is what can trigger the spawning?
<Rasbora heteromorpha have been produced commercially for decades... Not difficult to get to spawn; but taking care in water quality assurance, foods/feeding are key elements>
I have 11 Harlequins (probably 4 females, 7 males) and 5 Gcatfish. In forums, it is said that the "rainy season" is the trigger in nature for both species, that's why they won't breed in a tank.
<These conditions can be simulated... with a pump, plumbing... new water (rain or otherwise) of slightly reduced temperature>
This is the reason why whenever Rasboras lay eggs, its generally after big or regular water changes. What do you think about this?
<Sounds reasonable>
Do you have any method that could help me breed them? (Perhaps something that worked on other species?)
<Mmm; there are sections of books I have on hand... I've spawned other not-distantly related Cyprinids... I would have you search with the terms "Rasbora spawning", accumulating your own notes>
About the glass cats, few cases of reproduction have been reported, and generally the owner finds the fry accidentally. But this only means it CAN be done right?
<It has been done; yes. Do you have time to do a bit of searching at a local college? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm>
PS: The fish are healthy, mature and some of the female Rasboras have eggs, but they aren't spawning. Thanks a lot
<An exciting time here! Apply your interest, enthusiasm to investigating what you're about. Bob Fenner>
Re: Harlequin Rasbora / Glass Catfish Breeding      4/30/14

All right, what would you consider optimal feeding? What has worked for you?
I think Im getting close with the Rasboras, some females are swollen, and I saw males harassing them and even trying to get them inverted. I think some more water changes will do the trick. About the books, what books where you talking about? I searched the web but there's a lot of random information, and I'm talking especially about the Glass Cats.
<Step-by-step breeding of Harlequin Rasboras can be found in any book about breeding fish; for example, I'd recommend "Fish Breeding" by Chris Andrews. It's inexpensive, widely sold, and contains a couple pages on breeding all the popular fish. Breeding Kryptopterus is very much hit and miss. It's been done a handful of times, and there's no step-by-step recipe yet. A big school of them (20 or more, probably) in a large aquarium with soft, acidic water and very dim lighting would be the obvious way to get them settled and happy. Like a lot of catfish they probably lay eggs more often than we think, but do so when we aren't watching, at night, and other fish eat those eggs. Websites such as PlanetCatfish will be the place to ask others who've tried. Cheers, Neale.>

Glass cat companions    1/5/12
Hello:
<Hi,>
I was wondering if it is possible to keep a male Betta in a 20 gallon long with six glass catfish?
<Possibly, but Glass Cats prefer a steady, reasonably strong water current, while Bettas hate water current. It's hard to imagine a 20 gallon tank offering both still and flowing water regions in the one tank.>
The catfish are in water that is a little hard due to marine salt,
<What on Earth for? They certainly won't appreciate this, and long term, it'll do harm.>
with a temp of 78F. Would the Betta chase and stress them. The Betta is used to a little marine salt also, about a tsp/five gallon.
<Oh boy. Do please read about the use of salt in freshwater aquaria. It's old school, unscientific thinking.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/SaltUseFWArtNeale.htm
There's NO good reason to add salt to a freshwater aquarium in the long term.>
I have been reading that the companions you can keep with glass catfish are schooling fish like small tetras, and in a 20 gallon it would soon be overpopulated. Do glow light tetras hate any marine salt???
<Yes, but so do Bettas and Glass Catfish, so that's not really an issue here. There freshwater fish are called freshwater fish because they come from freshwater habitats. Fish from places where there's salt in the water are called brackish water fish or marine fish, depending on the amount of salt.>
Thank you!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Glass cat bloated?  12/10/11
WWM, thank you in advance for reading this. I have very bad experience with fish as they keep dying, but I have had my 20 gallon aquarium for about a year or so.
<Mmm, something toxic... poisoning your fishes here>
 Currently I have one baby guppy, five adult guppies (1 M, 4 F), one neon tetra, a small Pleco, a handful of snails, one glass cat
<A social species... Read here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/siluridfaqs.htm
(officially one year in this aquarium! :D), and recently rescued two mollies from Wal-Mart (I hate how bad they treat fish so I couldn't resist leaving without them). One of them had ick but I quickly treated it with QuICK Cure
<Yeeikes... VERY toxic... copper and formalin... kills all, including your essential biological filtration bacteria>
in the main 20 gallon (I don't have a quarantine aquarium). The other one is a silver balloon molly with flecks of white embedded in its tail (doesn't really bulge out, it kind of seems like scar tissue on humans) so I'm not sure if it is ick or not. I started the treatment for about 6 days already and the first molly is healed. Should I continue treatment just in case the silver molly still has ick?
<... You should become familiar w/ our search tool, and indices if "that much into the hobby"... I would use salt and heat... READ here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwichremedyyes.htm
and the linked files above...
I haven't done any water changes for the month yet.
>NO3 conc.?<
Today I noticed my glass cat looking uncomfortable and find that its stomach looks twice its regular size and the color is a pale white and a bit dark on the top. It usually is a dark color and I recall him not eating for the past three days. Is it because of the ick medicine?
<Quite likely... scale-less fishes are more susceptible to poisoning by...
 He is at a diagonal right now, head towards top and tails toward bottom. I put him in with my baby guppy in the little breeding tank in my aquarium. As I check up on him from time to time, I sometimes see him laying on the floor on his side just breathing. I'm not sure if this is caused by bloating. All my other fish are fine but my mollies got a bit fat (maybe because Wal-Mart didn't feed them enough) and a few weeks ago two of my guppies were constipated. I also noticed a lot of long stringy white and yellow poop floating around the first day I had the mollies (seems to be from the silver one). My water is fine, I just checked. My nitrate is between 40 to 80 ppm
<Toxic as well... as hinted above>
but it was lower since last month. I have been trying to lower it but nothing really works. Also, I took the carbon out since the ick treatment. Any suggestions? Thank you guys so much!
<Read and get back w/ us/me if you still aren't clear in your understanding of the iatrogenic issues here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Glass cat bloated?   12/11/11

Thank you for replying so soon! Currently his condition has worsened. He is laying on his side/back upside down and barely breathing. His body is starting to turn white even though he's still breathing. I don't think he will be able to recover but I really hope he does! :(
<... did you fix the causes?>
When I first started my aquarium, the conditions were all decent, but my guppies keep dying.
<Same>
I know guppies are hardy fish but the males usually die first, then the pregnant females. I used to have 2 glass cats (I know that they should be in a school of 5 but that would mean overcrowding the aquarium) and one died less than 6 months ago. Right now with the sick glass cat, can there be any reason why its belly is swollen and weird colored? The temperature is about 78 degrees F and I have stopped using the ick medicine. I'm putting the carbon back in the filter to see if it can do any good for the glass cat. Also, about the silver molly, are the white flecks in the tail abnormal/ick? Or is it tissue?
Thanks again, Bob!
-Michelle
<Hon... read where you were referred. BobF>

Scary glass cats.  3/2/08 Hi guys, not really sure if i should be concerned, but today I bought 6 glass catfish (Kryptopterus minor) that the other fish in my tank seem to HATE! I have a fully planted 55 gallon aquarium with 6 black phantom tetras, and 8 Neons, along with a beta, 3 Otos, and a couple dozen cherry shrimp. Today i bought a small shoal of glass cats and the minute i released them into the tank, everyone else became completely stressed out! The glass cats are swimming around, exploring the tank, riding the current of the filter, and for the most part minding their own business. My black phantom tetras have all gone in defense mode and the whole school has retreated to a cave for the whole day. I've never seen them act so upset. they will not even eat food which makes me worried. My neon tetras are schooling tightly again and avoid the glass cats at all costs, hiding in the Hairgrass, something ive never seen! I've been watching them very closely, and the glass cats have been behaving, but all the other fish stay on the opposite end of the tank. Everything ive read says that they are community tank fish, so i don't understand what is stressing the tank out. Any insight would be appreciated thanks so much, peter <Hello Peter. I wouldn't worry about this. Sounds as if the fish are alarmed that things have changed, that's all. As you rightly say, Kryptopterus minor are good community fish and unlikely to harm their tankmates. Give it a few days before panicking too much. Sometimes turning out the lights when introducing fish helps a lot, and another useful tip is to feed the fish after you add the new fish. This gets the fish thinking with their stomachs instead of their little fishy brains! Cheers, Neale.>

Glass Catfish Picture   4/27/07 Hi, <Hello Matt> A while back I got this picture of one of my glass cats (Kryptopterus bicirrhis).  It's probably the best picture of a fish I've taken as it came out so incredibly clear.  I was wondering if you wanted it for use on the site.  If so, you're welcome to use it where ever you wish. <Thank you. Will post with credit to you>   The one I've attached here is a cut down low quality version for the purposes of file size.  If you want the original (it's a couple of Mb) just let me know an email address I can send it to and I'll be happy to forward it.  Alternatively I can put it on my web space for you to save. <This will be fine> <Again, thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Ghost Glass Cattish  9/6/06 Hello. I am having trouble feeding my ghost catfish. I understand that they sense food with their feelers because they're pretty much blind. The thing is I can't seem to get the food to touch their feelers or have them sense the presence of food. I have tried live blackworms and flake foods. Once in a while if I get lucky the food lands on their feelers and they'll eat. Majority of the time they are hiding behind some plants at the bottom of my aquarium. I currently have 3 of them but I plan to buy 2 more. Is there any method to feed them? I hate having to pollute the water with too much food trying to get them to eat. These have to be one of the hardest fish to feed and care for. Even my black ghost knife takes flakes happily because it smells or sense food with its electricity. Thanks in advance. Tommy < They basically wait in a slow moving area against the current and wait for food to hit their mouths before they eat. Prepare some food in a small dish or glass . Mix with a little water. Suck it up in a turkey baster or syringe and squirt the food water mixture towards the waiting mouths of the glass catfish. Eventually they will fatten up and learn to get floating foods.-Chuck>

FW restart: Tankmates for glass cats, etc   8/12/06 Hey guys and gals, Due to me being a bad human, <But looking to improve...> I'm going to be restarting my tank. I have a 29 gallon freshwater that I've let get pretty nasty. It's currently stocked with two male Golden Wonder killifish, two Australian Rainbows (probably splendida australis), a 10" pleco, <Yikes... I'd trade in for a smaller model, species> and a glass catfish. The pleco will soon, with luck, be going to a new home that recently lost one, as I know he's now way too big for this aquarium. <Oh! Good> Of the killies and the rainbows, one of each pair is definitely larger and more aggressive. I've never seen them after the catfish, but something has been - I found the second catfish dead this morning, and the remaining one has very little left of his tail fins. I've noted tail damage on them both lately, but I'm moving in too late for the one :( Any idea who is more likely to be the culprit? <Mmm, about even twixt these species... would have to catch someone "in the act"> My current plan is this: I'm going to move the catfish to a 1-gallon tank by itself. I'll start up my 10-gallon backup tank and cycle it. When it's done, I'll overhaul the 29-gallon and start it cycling to bring it back up to full use. I understand that the glass catfish are often very sensitive to changes in water quality, <Yes> which is one reason I figured to keep it off by itself, along with the mysterious attacker problem. I know now (I didn't research before I got them) that they are schooling fish. Should I go ahead and get one or two more for it to "room" with in the 1-gallon during all this, to save stress from being alone, or would the crowding be worse stress? <Mmm, for this species, another "toss up" proposition... One gallon period is too small to keep stable... but this catfish can be crowded with its own kind> I know the killies are good for cycling. Are the rainbows sturdy enough to use for cycling or are they best kept in the old tank till the cycling is complete in the new? <Both are tough here, but I'd use only one species> Are two killies, or two killies and two rainbows, going to be enough to cycle each tank? <Just two of either will be... though I would not use fish for establishing cycling. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> Once it's all back and in control, I'd really like to focus more on the peaceful community types. The glass catfish have me charmed. Focusing on the cats, the 29 gallon aquarium, and my own lack of experience, what would you suggest as far as the best types of tankmates, and population sizes? <Mmm... small barbs, danios, rasboras, platies, Corydoras...> I'd like to have at least one type of top feeder, one type of bottom feeder, and perhaps some sort of algae eater. I really prefer not to have them chasing each other around, however, and I'd also like to get all of a type as far as preferences for water circulation (less than I currently have) and quality go. <You are wise here> Am I hoping for too much? *grin* I had run across a site at some point that listed good tankmates for each species listing, but I've forgotten what it was. I'd also like to avoid snails, because they managed to breed in my Biowheel filters and clogged the whole thing up with baby snails. Ugh. Also, one more question. I typically go to PetSmart (a bad habit, probably) for supplies. <Not so bad if you know what you want> I've bought plants there... they come in a rubber-banded bundle, also banded with some sort of metal strip that is amazingly flexible. Any idea what this strip is; <Lead, Pb> or more importantly, whether it's safe to keep the plants bundled with it to make them easier to plant in the gravel? <Can be done, though I prefer to undo such "bunch/ed plants" and either plant the stems individually or allow (most species) to float at the surface> I had a horrible time with bottom-rooting plants, because they simply kept coming out of the gravel. I think I've exhausted my questions for now. Maybe in five minutes I'll have more... <Heeee! Thank you for writing so well, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: FW restart: Tankmates for glass cats, etc  - 08/12/06 Thank you, Bob! It sounds like my starting over will be whole... education and stock as well as the tank itself. I had been told that old, old advice about actually using the fish for cycling. Now, maybe I know better. If I aim for a tank with cherry barbs, glass cats, and a smaller species of the Corydoras, what population numbers would you recommend for a 29 gallon? <Mmm... five each of the barbs, glass cats... and five or so Corydoras... leaving room for a "show" animal down the line...> I never have figured out how to squish fish into a cubic inch... I understand that the Corydoras and glass cats are shoalers, but I've seen differing opinions on cherry barbs. <They are as well...> Thank you again, you saved me and the fish a whole lot of stress. -Me <Glad to offer my help. BobF> Cubic Inches Of Fish - 11/06/2005 Great website! I'm hoping I searched enough, and am not missing something horribly obvious somewhere. I'm rather deficient in figuring out how to translate fish to cubic inches (without a Bass-o-matic), and a bit worried about overloading my tank. <Yeah, pretty tough to reconstitute the fish after Bass-o-maticking them.> I've got a 29-gallon rectangular tank, a hunk of (probably synthetic?) driftwood that's hollowed out with caves, some plastic plants, gravel media, a heater and a Biowheel filter. I've recently added some live plants, and planning to eventually replace all the plastic ones. The fish are as follows: 1 male betta, 5 Golden Wonder killies (2 males, 3 females), a pleco, 2 "Australian Rainbowfish" (I think they are M. lacustris), and two glass catfish. <The Plec will outgrow the tank; might consider one of the smaller Ancistrus species plecs.... the 'Bushynoses'.> I'd brought home the rainbows and one of the glass cats without doing my homework, and then found out how much the cats prefer their own kind. Two days later I brought home the other glass cat the store had. I'd originally planned to have more rainbows, but the cats are fascinating, and apparently more dependent on that schooling factor. So, I'm looking to fill the rest of my "quota" with more glass cats, but I'm just very uncertain how many I can add without pushing my system too much. <I think you could get by with six or seven glass cats pretty confidently.> While the killies are happily trying to populate the tank all by themselves, I don't think many, if any fry will survive the attentions of so many live-eaters (right?); <Correct.> and while I know the pleco will grow, at some point I can always find him a new home and replace him with a junior. <Mm, I like to recommend planning for the entire life of your animals.... after all, they are lives that are now in your care, under your influence.... I would look to replacing this animal with an Ancistrus sp. Plec as above.> So what limit should I place on my little buying frenzy? <As above, I'd aim for six or seven glass cats, and see how things go for a while. They reach 15cm, but are relatively slow growers in my experience. I think you'd do well at this number.> Thanks so *incredibly* much, -Kathy <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Cubic Inches Of Fish - II - 11/06/2005 Attn: Sabrina <Sabrina here, trying her best to pay attention....> No need for posting or answer - <Mm, everything gets posted.... unless you specifically request that it not be posted.... and everything gets answered, to the best of our abilities.> thank you! <Any time. glad to be of service.> Since the pleco, for good or ill, is already under my care, I'll do what I can for him, for as long as I can... when time comes to replace him, I'll have this suggestion of yours to keep from having another pass-along fish. <Sounds excellent.> By that time, I may be able to look into a tank just for the pleco, as well, since I'm pretty soft-hearted. <A great thing to consider. Should you choose to do so, that would then give you more tank space to play with, too - a bigger tank for the Plec means a bigger tank in general - which means more or bigger fish! Uhh, this hobby's too addictive.> Thanks again! <You bet. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Dead Ghost Catfish 8/19/05 Mr. Fenner- <Sean> Just over a week ago I added a Ghost Cat to my tank (also just after I did a full water replacement and tank clean) <Mmm, better to never entirely clean a going system out...> and just this morning the Ghost Cat was resting peacefully  on the bottom.  The night before he was happy and eating, nothing appeared wrong with him at all. I found him cloudy white (barely transparent), but other than that he looked fine no damage as far as I could tell and there was a black AND red stripe down the middle of him.  <Ah, yes> Me not knowing what a dead Ghost cat looks like I'm not sure if that's a bad sign or not. If you can shed some light on this, thanks. -Sean B-R <Is a bad sign... know that catfishes actually are "scale-less"... some are naked, like your cat, and others are armored... the close exposure to their liquid environment can spell trouble if this is toxic, variable... the water change here is very likely what is at fault... take care to make only frequent, partial water changes. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bettas, Snails, and Glass Cats - 08/04/2005 Hello, WWM Crew!! :) <Hello, Stella and Jared!> First off, thanks so much for all the work you put into getting this info. out there! I spend *way* too much time reading things on this webpage. <And thank you very much for your kind words; this is much appreciated.> Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find answers to everything I was wondering-- maybe I just didn't look hard enough. <No worries.> Currently, my husband and I have two tanks set up.  One is the Eclipse 3-gallon and it houses a happy, fat Betta fish, 3 Ghost Shrimp and various live plants.   <Sounds perfect.> I was thinking about adding some Java Fern and getting a Golden or Black Mystery Snail for this tank. The shrimp do a fine job cleaning up, but I think I'd like a snail, too. Would that overload this tank? And how can I make sure that the snail won't come with a bunch of baby snails? (I suppose I could get a male...?) <Mm, honestly, I would not add a mystery snail to this small system.  Too much potential for pushing out more biological waste than the tank can easily support.  Do-able, though, if you are very meticulous about testing and changing water.  Do please take a look at http://www.applesnail.net , though, for lots of snaily information.> The other is an Eclipse Hex 7, which has... one Glass Catfish and various live plants. (The other Glass Cat we bought died the morning after it was brought home.)  Normally, there is a Betta in this tank too; unfortunately, he seems to be sick.  I pulled him out, placed him in a vase (I don't have an "official" QT tank yet), tried to get the water temperature a bit warmer than his water (82F) and a little extra salt. I also added a half dose of CopperSafe. The sick Betta has feathery stuff flaking off of him, almost from beneath his scales.  He seems to be doing much better, blowing bubbles and swimming around happily. Maybe he prefers having no tankmates... He's been quarantined for 2 days now-- how much longer should I keep him out of the 7 gallon? 3 weeks? <A week or two after he has regained health completely is probably sufficient.  A side note - DO NOT add CopperSafe (or ANY other copper-based medication) to aquaria with invertebrates, as it is highly toxic to them.> As for our lonely Glass Cat (who still won't eat much!!), <Try offering frozen meaty foods, such as frozen bloodworms, or live foods like mosquito larvae, just after lights-out on the tank.> how many more Glass Cats can we put in the 7 gallon tank without overloading it? I know they do much better in a shoal/school, but I'd really rather not make them all miserable in a small space. <This animal is easily capable of reaching six inches in length....  In all honesty, I would plan on a larger tank (20 gallons or more) and aim for at *least* three of these fish; shy schoolers like this really seem to be more "at ease" in numbers.  Please consider the 7g tank a very temporary home.> By the by, I was also considering getting a Black or Golden Mystery Snail for this particular tank. Would having snails mean less gravel-vaccing? <No.  Snails, like other animals, produce waste; you'll still need to do the same regular maintenance.  I see no problem adding a snail or two to this tank.> We're still set on having 10-15% water changes/testings once a week, but we're afraid too much gravel vacuuming is bad for the plants... <Well, yes, there *is* a happy medium.  Try not to vacuum too much at the plants' roots, but in areas absent of plants, vacuum all the more.> Lastly (I'm sorry! So many questions...!!), <Really, no worries!  I'm glad you're asking, rather than not!> since we have smaller fish, what size tank would be adequate for a QT? <As above, I would like to encourage you to think about a much larger tank for the glass cat(s)....  They might be "smaller fish" right now, but they won't stay so.  Ahh, in fact, here's the fishbase entry on 'em:  http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=10920&genusname=Kryptopterus&speciesname=bicirrhis .  If you do a much larger system, the 7 would make a fine QT, or a cheap 10g setup would serve just as well.> It's been difficult finding a heater that works well for such small size tanks. <A small, 25w heater would be fine for the 7.  I even use a 25w in my own 3g eclipse; works great.> Thankfully, we live in San Diego, so the temperature of the tank water rarely drops below 77. <Ahh, very good indeed.> Thank you so much in advance! Look eagerly forward to a reply :) --Stella&Jared <Thank you again for your kind words!  Wishing you and your fishes (and future snails?) well,  -Sabrina> Ghost Catfish and Bettas health/feeding and compatibility I currently Have 3 Ghost catfish a female Betta and 2 Dwarf frogs in a 10 gallon tank. I have had some problems with the ghostfish staying alive. I was wondering if the Betta was a bad idea to put with the ghostfish? <These fishes should get along well enough together... the catfish are pretty quick to avoid periodic aggression in your size system... One thing they do need is occasional meaty food... and a lack of metal objects in their water. We have some scant coverage here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/silurids.htm Do check out your water quality to assure it is within their natural range (see WWM and fishbase.org re the species) and add some meaty foods daily to their diet. Bob Fenner> 

Scary glass cats.  3/2/08 Hi guys, not really sure if i should be concerned, but today I bought 6 glass catfish (Kryptopterus minor) that the other fish in my tank seem to HATE! I have a fully planted 55 gallon aquarium with 6 black phantom tetras, and 8 Neons, along with a beta, 3 Otos, and a couple dozen cherry shrimp. Today i bought a small shoal of glass cats and the minute i released them into the tank, everyone else became completely stressed out! The glass cats are swimming around, exploring the tank, riding the current of the filter, and for the most part minding their own business. My black phantom tetras have all gone in defense mode and the whole school has retreated to a cave for the whole day. I've never seen them act so upset. they will not even eat food which makes me worried. My neon tetras are schooling tightly again and avoid the glass cats at all costs, hiding in the Hairgrass, something ive never seen! I've been watching them very closely, and the glass cats have been behaving, but all the other fish stay on the opposite end of the tank. Everything ive read says that they are community tank fish, so i don't understand what is stressing the tank out. Any insight would be appreciated thanks so much, peter <Hello Peter. I wouldn't worry about this. Sounds as if the fish are alarmed that things have changed, that's all. As you rightly say, Kryptopterus minor are good community fish and unlikely to harm their tankmates. Give it a few days before panicking too much. Sometimes turning out the lights when introducing fish helps a lot, and another useful tip is to feed the fish after you add the new fish. This gets the fish thinking with their stomachs instead of their little fishy brains! Cheers, Neale.>

Glass Catfish Picture   4/27/07 Hi, <Hello Matt> A while back I got this picture of one of my glass cats (Kryptopterus bicirrhis).  It's probably the best picture of a fish I've taken as it came out so incredibly clear.  I was wondering if you wanted it for use on the site.  If so, you're welcome to use it where ever you wish. <Thank you. Will post with credit to you>   The one I've attached here is a cut down low quality version for the purposes of file size.  If you want the original (it's a couple of Mb) just let me know an email address I can send it to and I'll be happy to forward it.  Alternatively I can put it on my web space for you to save. <This will be fine> <Again, thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Ghost Glass Cattish  9/6/06 Hello. I am having trouble feeding my ghost catfish. I understand that they sense food with their feelers because they're pretty much blind. The thing is I can't seem to get the food to touch their feelers or have them sense the presence of food. I have tried live blackworms and flake foods. Once in a while if I get lucky the food lands on their feelers and they'll eat. Majority of the time they are hiding behind some plants at the bottom of my aquarium. I currently have 3 of them but I plan to buy 2 more. Is there any method to feed them? I hate having to pollute the water with too much food trying to get them to eat. These have to be one of the hardest fish to feed and care for. Even my black ghost knife takes flakes happily because it smells or sense food with its electricity. Thanks in advance. Tommy < They basically wait in a slow moving area against the current and wait for food to hit their mouths before they eat. Prepare some food in a small dish or glass . Mix with a little water. Suck it up in a turkey baster or syringe and squirt the food water mixture towards the waiting mouths of the glass catfish. Eventually they will fatten up and learn to get floating foods.-Chuck>

FW restart: Tankmates for glass cats, etc   8/12/06 Hey guys and gals, Due to me being a bad human, <But looking to improve...> I'm going to be restarting my tank. I have a 29 gallon freshwater that I've let get pretty nasty. It's currently stocked with two male Golden Wonder killifish, two Australian Rainbows (probably splendida australis), a 10" pleco, <Yikes... I'd trade in for a smaller model, species> and a glass catfish. The pleco will soon, with luck, be going to a new home that recently lost one, as I know he's now way too big for this aquarium. <Oh! Good> Of the killies and the rainbows, one of each pair is definitely larger and more aggressive. I've never seen them after the catfish, but something has been - I found the second catfish dead this morning, and the remaining one has very little left of his tail fins. I've noted tail damage on them both lately, but I'm moving in too late for the one :( Any idea who is more likely to be the culprit? <Mmm, about even twixt these species... would have to catch someone "in the act"> My current plan is this: I'm going to move the catfish to a 1-gallon tank by itself. I'll start up my 10-gallon backup tank and cycle it. When it's done, I'll overhaul the 29-gallon and start it cycling to bring it back up to full use. I understand that the glass catfish are often very sensitive to changes in water quality, <Yes> which is one reason I figured to keep it off by itself, along with the mysterious attacker problem. I know now (I didn't research before I got them) that they are schooling fish. Should I go ahead and get one or two more for it to "room" with in the 1-gallon during all this, to save stress from being alone, or would the crowding be worse stress? <Mmm, for this species, another "toss up" proposition... One gallon period is too small to keep stable... but this catfish can be crowded with its own kind> I know the killies are good for cycling. Are the rainbows sturdy enough to use for cycling or are they best kept in the old tank till the cycling is complete in the new? <Both are tough here, but I'd use only one species> Are two killies, or two killies and two rainbows, going to be enough to cycle each tank? <Just two of either will be... though I would not use fish for establishing cycling. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwestcycling.htm> Once it's all back and in control, I'd really like to focus more on the peaceful community types. The glass catfish have me charmed. Focusing on the cats, the 29 gallon aquarium, and my own lack of experience, what would you suggest as far as the best types of tankmates, and population sizes? <Mmm... small barbs, danios, rasboras, platies, Corydoras...> I'd like to have at least one type of top feeder, one type of bottom feeder, and perhaps some sort of algae eater. I really prefer not to have them chasing each other around, however, and I'd also like to get all of a type as far as preferences for water circulation (less than I currently have) and quality go. <You are wise here> Am I hoping for too much? *grin* I had run across a site at some point that listed good tankmates for each species listing, but I've forgotten what it was. I'd also like to avoid snails, because they managed to breed in my Biowheel filters and clogged the whole thing up with baby snails. Ugh. Also, one more question. I typically go to PetSmart (a bad habit, probably) for supplies. <Not so bad if you know what you want> I've bought plants there... they come in a rubber-banded bundle, also banded with some sort of metal strip that is amazingly flexible. Any idea what this strip is; <Lead, Pb> or more importantly, whether it's safe to keep the plants bundled with it to make them easier to plant in the gravel? <Can be done, though I prefer to undo such "bunch/ed plants" and either plant the stems individually or allow (most species) to float at the surface> I had a horrible time with bottom-rooting plants, because they simply kept coming out of the gravel. I think I've exhausted my questions for now. Maybe in five minutes I'll have more... <Heeee! Thank you for writing so well, sharing. Bob Fenner>

Re: FW restart: Tankmates for glass cats, etc  - 08/12/06 Thank you, Bob! It sounds like my starting over will be whole... education and stock as well as the tank itself. I had been told that old, old advice about actually using the fish for cycling. Now, maybe I know better. If I aim for a tank with cherry barbs, glass cats, and a smaller species of the Corydoras, what population numbers would you recommend for a 29 gallon? <Mmm... five each of the barbs, glass cats... and five or so Corydoras... leaving room for a "show" animal down the line...> I never have figured out how to squish fish into a cubic inch... I understand that the Corydoras and glass cats are shoalers, but I've seen differing opinions on cherry barbs. <They are as well...> Thank you again, you saved me and the fish a whole lot of stress. -Me <Glad to offer my help. BobF> Cubic Inches Of Fish - 11/06/2005 Great website! I'm hoping I searched enough, and am not missing something horribly obvious somewhere. I'm rather deficient in figuring out how to translate fish to cubic inches (without a Bass-o-matic), and a bit worried about overloading my tank. <Yeah, pretty tough to reconstitute the fish after Bass-o-maticking them.> I've got a 29-gallon rectangular tank, a hunk of (probably synthetic?) driftwood that's hollowed out with caves, some plastic plants, gravel media, a heater and a Biowheel filter. I've recently added some live plants, and planning to eventually replace all the plastic ones. The fish are as follows: 1 male betta, 5 Golden Wonder killies (2 males, 3 females), a pleco, 2 "Australian Rainbowfish" (I think they are M. lacustris), and two glass catfish. <The Plec will outgrow the tank; might consider one of the smaller Ancistrus species plecs.... the 'Bushynoses'.> I'd brought home the rainbows and one of the glass cats without doing my homework, and then found out how much the cats prefer their own kind. Two days later I brought home the other glass cat the store had. I'd originally planned to have more rainbows, but the cats are fascinating, and apparently more dependent on that schooling factor. So, I'm looking to fill the rest of my "quota" with more glass cats, but I'm just very uncertain how many I can add without pushing my system too much. <I think you could get by with six or seven glass cats pretty confidently.> While the killies are happily trying to populate the tank all by themselves, I don't think many, if any fry will survive the attentions of so many live-eaters (right?); <Correct.> and while I know the pleco will grow, at some point I can always find him a new home and replace him with a junior. <Mm, I like to recommend planning for the entire life of your animals.... after all, they are lives that are now in your care, under your influence.... I would look to replacing this animal with an Ancistrus sp. Plec as above.> So what limit should I place on my little buying frenzy? <As above, I'd aim for six or seven glass cats, and see how things go for a while. They reach 15cm, but are relatively slow growers in my experience. I think you'd do well at this number.> Thanks so *incredibly* much, -Kathy <Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Cubic Inches Of Fish - II - 11/06/2005 Attn: Sabrina <Sabrina here, trying her best to pay attention....> No need for posting or answer - <Mm, everything gets posted.... unless you specifically request that it not be posted.... and everything gets answered, to the best of our abilities.> thank you! <Any time. glad to be of service.> Since the pleco, for good or ill, is already under my care, I'll do what I can for him, for as long as I can... when time comes to replace him, I'll have this suggestion of yours to keep from having another pass-along fish. <Sounds excellent.> By that time, I may be able to look into a tank just for the pleco, as well, since I'm pretty soft-hearted. <A great thing to consider. Should you choose to do so, that would then give you more tank space to play with, too - a bigger tank for the Plec means a bigger tank in general - which means more or bigger fish! Uhh, this hobby's too addictive.> Thanks again! <You bet. Wishing you well, -Sabrina>

Dead Ghost Catfish 8/19/05 Mr. Fenner- <Sean> Just over a week ago I added a Ghost Cat to my tank (also just after I did a full water replacement and tank clean) <Mmm, better to never entirely clean a going system out...> and just this morning the Ghost Cat was resting peacefully  on the bottom.  The night before he was happy and eating, nothing appeared wrong with him at all. I found him cloudy white (barely transparent), but other than that he looked fine no damage as far as I could tell and there was a black AND red stripe down the middle of him.  <Ah, yes> Me not knowing what a dead Ghost cat looks like I'm not sure if that's a bad sign or not. If you can shed some light on this, thanks. -Sean B-R <Is a bad sign... know that catfishes actually are "scale-less"... some are naked, like your cat, and others are armored... the close exposure to their liquid environment can spell trouble if this is toxic, variable... the water change here is very likely what is at fault... take care to make only frequent, partial water changes. Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwh2ochgs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Bettas, Snails, and Glass Cats - 08/04/2005 Hello, WWM Crew!! :) <Hello, Stella and Jared!> First off, thanks so much for all the work you put into getting this info. out there! I spend *way* too much time reading things on this webpage. <And thank you very much for your kind words; this is much appreciated.> Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find answers to everything I was wondering-- maybe I just didn't look hard enough. <No worries.> Currently, my husband and I have two tanks set up.  One is the Eclipse 3-gallon and it houses a happy, fat Betta fish, 3 Ghost Shrimp and various live plants.   <Sounds perfect.> I was thinking about adding some Java Fern and getting a Golden or Black Mystery Snail for this tank. The shrimp do a fine job cleaning up, but I think I'd like a snail, too. Would that overload this tank? And how can I make sure that the snail won't come with a bunch of baby snails? (I suppose I could get a male...?) <Mm, honestly, I would not add a mystery snail to this small system.  Too much potential for pushing out more biological waste than the tank can easily support.  Do-able, though, if you are very meticulous about testing and changing water.  Do please take a look at http://www.applesnail.net , though, for lots of snaily information.> The other is an Eclipse Hex 7, which has... one Glass Catfish and various live plants. (The other Glass Cat we bought died the morning after it was brought home.)  Normally, there is a Betta in this tank too; unfortunately, he seems to be sick.  I pulled him out, placed him in a vase (I don't have an "official" QT tank yet), tried to get the water temperature a bit warmer than his water (82F) and a little extra salt. I also added a half dose of CopperSafe. The sick Betta has feathery stuff flaking off of him, almost from beneath his scales.  He seems to be doing much better, blowing bubbles and swimming around happily. Maybe he prefers having no tankmates... He's been quarantined for 2 days now-- how much longer should I keep him out of the 7 gallon? 3 weeks? <A week or two after he has regained health completely is probably sufficient.  A side note - DO NOT add CopperSafe (or ANY other copper-based medication) to aquaria with invertebrates, as it is highly toxic to them.> As for our lonely Glass Cat (who still won't eat much!!), <Try offering frozen meaty foods, such as frozen bloodworms, or live foods like mosquito larvae, just after lights-out on the tank.> how many more Glass Cats can we put in the 7 gallon tank without overloading it? I know they do much better in a shoal/school, but I'd really rather not make them all miserable in a small space. <This animal is easily capable of reaching six inches in length....  In all honesty, I would plan on a larger tank (20 gallons or more) and aim for at *least* three of these fish; shy schoolers like this really seem to be more "at ease" in numbers.  Please consider the 7g tank a very temporary home.> By the by, I was also considering getting a Black or Golden Mystery Snail for this particular tank. Would having snails mean less gravel-vaccing? <No.  Snails, like other animals, produce waste; you'll still need to do the same regular maintenance.  I see no problem adding a snail or two to this tank.> We're still set on having 10-15% water changes/testings once a week, but we're afraid too much gravel vacuuming is bad for the plants... <Well, yes, there *is* a happy medium.  Try not to vacuum too much at the plants' roots, but in areas absent of plants, vacuum all the more.> Lastly (I'm sorry! So many questions...!!), <Really, no worries!  I'm glad you're asking, rather than not!> since we have smaller fish, what size tank would be adequate for a QT? <As above, I would like to encourage you to think about a much larger tank for the glass cat(s)....  They might be "smaller fish" right now, but they won't stay so.  Ahh, in fact, here's the fishbase entry on 'em:  http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=10920&genusname=Kryptopterus&speciesname=bicirrhis .  If you do a much larger system, the 7 would make a fine QT, or a cheap 10g setup would serve just as well.> It's been difficult finding a heater that works well for such small size tanks. <A small, 25w heater would be fine for the 7.  I even use a 25w in my own 3g eclipse; works great.> Thankfully, we live in San Diego, so the temperature of the tank water rarely drops below 77. <Ahh, very good indeed.> Thank you so much in advance! Look eagerly forward to a reply :) --Stella&Jared <Thank you again for your kind words!  Wishing you and your fishes (and future snails?) well,  -Sabrina> Ghost Catfish and Bettas health/feeding and compatibility I currently Have 3 Ghost catfish a female Betta and 2 Dwarf frogs in a 10 gallon tank. I have had some problems with the ghostfish staying alive. I was wondering if the Betta was a bad idea to put with the ghostfish? <These fishes should get along well enough together... the catfish are pretty quick to avoid periodic aggression in your size system... One thing they do need is occasional meaty food... and a lack of metal objects in their water. We have some scant coverage here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/silurids.htm Do check out your water quality to assure it is within their natural range (see WWM and fishbase.org re the species) and add some meaty foods daily to their diet. Bob Fenner> 



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