Kryptopterus minor

Common Names: Ghost catfish, glass catfish, transparent catfish, X-ray fish

Type Locality: Mainstream of Sungai Pinoh at Nanga Saian, 45 km south of Nangapinoh, Borneo, Indonesia

Range: Asia: western Borneo

Taxonomic Troubles: For years this fish was known in the hobby as Kryptopterus bicirrhis, a very similar but larger species, but it has now been correctly identified as K. minor. This is a large genus, and other species, along with species in the similar genera, may be impor

Size: 7 cm (3 inches).

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical freshwater.

Difficulty: Though not suitable for beginners, this unusual and delicate catfish can be cared for by hobbyists with basic fishkeeping skills. Especially important are high water quality and adequate diet. Lots of water changes and live or frozen foods will help ensur

Tank Setup: A heavily planted tank with peaceful tankmates that are much smaller than the catfish is ideal. Glass catfish are unable to deal with aggression, and they cannot compete well for food. Small tetras and rasboras are perfect tankmates. The more cover (plant

Feeding: Frequent feedings of small live invertebrates are the best diet for these fish. They will also take frozen foods and will learn to accept high-quality flakes and tiny pellets. Although they have tiny mouths and require food in very small pieces, they are

Breeding: Aquarium breeding has not been documented.

Fish Description

Truly a transparent fish, this animal’s bones and internal organs are all visible—even its beating heart! When light hits at the right angle, the fish displays an iridescence.


This is a most unusual catfish. It is a diurnal, shy, transparent fish that dwells in midwater and is an obligate schooler. A heavily planted tank with some open space will bring out the best of these animals. They may hide for several days when first introduced, and they are quick to dive into the thickets when disturbed. They can become quite bold, however, at feeding time. It is very common to find the entire school identically aligned, heading into currents, shimmying to stay in place. Often purchased as a novelty, this fascinating fish holds your interest with its interesting behaviors.