• African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)
  • African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)
  • African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)
  • African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)
  • African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)
  • African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)

African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida)

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The African Glass Catfish is a very unusual and graceful schooling fish that is a fascinating standout for the peaceful mid- to large-sized planted aquarium!


The African Glass Catfish (Parailia pellucida) is an unusual and elegantly attractive fish for the medium to large community planted aquarium. It is known for its unique appearance and its graceful schooling behavior. Unlike many catfish species, this fish is often very active during dailight hours  Most of its body is transparent, making its skeleton and internal organs visible.This fish inhabits many of the waterways of Western Africa as well as other regions of the continent. Though it looks similar, it is not the same species as the Asian Ghost Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus bicirrhis).


The African Glass Catfish, like most catfish, is a predator, but it has a relatively small mouth. It is not compatible with dwarf shrimp and extremely small fish (such as Boraras microrasboras). It will eat any animals that will fit in its mouth, but is otherwise completely peaceful with all other tankmates. This fish is very timid and must be kept in schools of 6 or more, though a much larger school is ideal. It is not a picky eater overall, but it can sometimes be a bit stubborn in accepting dry foods after initial introduction to the aquarium. During this time, it can be fed a variety of meaty frozen and live foods of appropriate size. It typically will accept dry foods after it becomes acclimated to its environment, but should still be fed a variety of frozen and/or live foods.


A well-established, heavily planted aquarium is the ideal setting for the African Glass Catfish. It is sensitive to sudden changes in water parameters so regular maintenance is a must. It is also easily injured due to its thin body profile, so it must never be kept with aggressive or overly boistrous tankmates. Once established, it is usually a relatively resilient fish. Successful spawning in the aquarium has not yet been widely achieved or reported.  


What We Like About This Fish:
  • Highly unusual, mostly clear body
  • Peaceful disposition with any tankmates too large to be swallowed
  • Elegant schooling behavior
  • Regularly occupies the middle and upper level of the aquarium, unlike most catfish
  • Perfect for the planted aquarium
  • Temperature:  77° - 82.4° F (25° - 28° C)
  • pH:  6.4 - 7.2
  • KH:  8 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  55 gallons for a school of adult specimens
  • Diet:  Carnivorous.  High-quality flake foods, sinking pellets, freeze-dried or frozen meaty foods will be readily accepted once acclimated, but live and/or frozen foods may be the only foods accepted initially.
  • Social behavior:  Peaceful with any animals too large to be swallowed. Must be kept in schools of six or more, though larger schools are more ideal. 
  • Origin:  Western Africa
  • Average adult size:  4.7 - 5.9 inches (12 - 15 cm), though usually much smaller in the aquarium
  • Average purchase size:  2 inches (5 cm)


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