Glass fish, also known as Parambassis ranga or Indian Glassfish, has been rightfully named for its transparent body. It belongs to the Ambassidae family and is generally found in standing water.

The Parambassis ranga lives in freshwater and dammed streams (impoundments). If you’d like to keep these unique-looking species in your aquarium, remember that they are schooling fish. It means that these glassy fish thrive in groups of 5 or more.

Indian Glassfish Stats to Keep in Mind

Here we discuss some basic statistical information about Parambassis ranga. You need to keep these facts in mind. A good understanding of these transparent freshwater fish’ essential characteristics will help you create an appropriate aquarium environment for them.

The following table contains the basic statistical information you need to know.

Size 3 inches
Tank capacity 30 gallons
Water temperature 68°F-86°F
Hardiness of water 7-19 dGH
pH 6.5-7.5
Level of care Moderate
Aquarium strata Middle to bottom

Biological Specifications

Scientific name Parambassis ranga
Common names Glass Fish, Siamese Glassfish, Glass Perch, Indian Glass Fish
Origin South Asia (between Pakistan and Malaysia)
Lifespan 3-4 years
Diet tubifex worms, mosquito larvae, blood worms (either fresh or frozen)
Genus Parambassis
Family Ambassidae
Species Parambassis ranga

General Facts

Parambassis ranga is an excellent addition to your aquarium. Their transparent bodies reveal their bones and internal organs. So, they are indeed a sight to behold when kept in an aquarium.

Let us check out some general facts about the Indian glassy fish.

  • Speaking about their origin, these fish are originally from Southern Asia. To be specific, they were initially found in areas between Pakistan and Malaysia.
  • The transparent fish species are found in dammed rivers and other standing water bodies. They thrive in freshwater. There is a common misconception wherein people believe that they need brackish water to survive. They are not commonly found in estuaries and other brackish water bodies.
  • This fish has a shy, pleasant temperament. It reveals its bold and energetic demeanor when kept in groups of 5 or more. That is why it’s called a schooling fish. The best thing is that they do not get aggressive when kept in larger groups.
  • Unfortunately, many of these fish get injected with artificial dyes that produce neon stripes or spots on their bodies. However, the fish who survive this procedure are prone to developing infections. So, do not purchase these fish labeled “disco fish” and “dyed glassfish.”
  • This Ambassidae family member is inherently small and grows up to a maximum of 3 inches.
  • To differentiate between the male and female fish, look for a black tinge on these fish’ dorsal fin. The male fish often develop this black tinge.

Indian Glassfish Care Guide

General set-up

When it comes to setting up the aquarium for your glassfish, it is essential to have a set-up that suits your fish. Try to create an environment close to the natural habitat where this fish species thrives.

The tank size is critical. Although these fish are small in size, they like big tanks. They can freely swim around in an aquarium with a high tank capacity. Do not keep them in an aquarium that can accommodate only 10-20 gallons of water. Go for a tank capacity of 30 gallons or higher.

Water temperature is another important aspect of caring for these glassy pets. They thrive in an environment where the temperature is between 68°-86°F. Also, these fish are a schooling variety. They like living in groups of 5 and more. They enjoy swimming around together. Keeping them in these groups reveals their energetic yet peaceful demeanor.

The pH value of the water in the tank is also essential. Since the Parambassis ranga are freshwater fish, they thrive in an environment with a pH value of 6.5-7.5. The hardiness of the water should be soft to moderate. The hardiness value should be between 7-19 dGH.

It is best to have a dark substrate lining the bottom of the aquarium. The darkness will highlight the unique aesthetic appeal of these fish. Make sure to add a lot of plants to your aquarium. Your fish will get to swim around and hide behind these plants. Add driftwood and rocks as well.

Diet

  • These transparent aquarium fish have a primarily carnivorous diet.
  • You can feed them either frozen or fresh food.
  • You can feed them tubifex worms, blood worms, and mosquito larvae- either frozen or fresh.
  • The only thing to keep in mind is that you should not feed them dried food and flakes. These fish do not have an appetite for flakes or other dried food options.

Common diseases

With its unique appearance, this particular fish species often gets injected with fluorescent dyes. A lot of these fish don’t even survive this process. The fish that do survive may look unique with neon stripes and dots on their bodies. But they are prone to a host of infections.

These painted fish are likely to suffer from ich and fin rotting. They even develop infections like Lymphocystis. Lymphocystis is a viral infection. Fish with lymphocystis develop white cysts on their fins and bodies. This has no cure.

Try to buy only fish that has a completely transparent body. Fish that have not been painted are hardy.

Breeding

  • It is best to keep this fish species in groups of 5 or more. They are shoaling fish. It is best to keep them in these groups for multiple reasons. They display their energetic side when in a group.
  • Moreover, it also becomes easier to breed them when they are in a group.
  • Do not try to breed the fry. It is challenging to get the new-born fish of this species to mate.
  • This fish species mate during the monsoon season in the wild. Monsoon is their preferred season for spawning. The rainwater reduces the hardness of the water. Also, the temperature of the water rises during the monsoon season.
  • As an aquarist, you have to mimic the conditions above to induce spawning. Firstly, ensure that the temperature of the water is higher than average (around 70-75°F).
  • Keep the tank in a place that receives direct sunlight during the day.
  • Make sure that your aquarium is planted with dense plants to provide an ideal environment for spawning.
  • Provide your fish with a protein-rich diet.
  • The female amongst each pair of fish will lay around 200 eggs. This is where the aquarium’s vegetation plays an important role—the eggs land on the vegetation.

Tank mates

One of the best things about the freshwater glass fish is its pleasant and shy temperament. These transparent fish feel their best and display their energetic nature when kept in groups of 5 and more.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind regarding tank mates for this fish species:

  • Owing to their shy and calm temperament, these glassy pets won’t be safe if you keep aggressive fish species in the same tank.
  • Several fish species are predators by nature. Some become incredibly aggressive during mating season. Do not keep any fish species that can attack and eat your transparent fish friends.
  • This Asian variety of fish are playful and are excellent swimmers. Therefore, when choosing tank mates, opt for fish that thrive in slightly brackish water or freshwater.
  • Go for small and medium-sized fish that are not aggressive. A few good choices for aquarium companions are small tetras, guppies, white cloud mountain minnows.
  • If you’re keeping your fish in a slightly brackish water aquarium, bumblebee gobies, chromides, and mollies are good companions.

Conclusion

Now you know all the essential facts about the diet, breeding, overall care, tank conditions, and much more about the tropical glass fish.

Let’s quickly go over the crucial points mentioned in this article:

  • Only buy these fish if they have a transparent body with no fluorescent dye marks.
  • The painted fish of this species are at high risk for developing bacterial and viral infections.
  • These fish have a shy and pleasant temperament and survive best in groups of 5 and more.
  • These are freshwater fish that can also survive in slightly brackish waters.
  • They are primarily carnivorous and should be fed fresh or frozen food like blood worms, mosquito larvae, and tubifex worms.
  • Water temperature of about 68°-86°F is ideal for these fish.
  • Water pH should be 6.5-7.5 (neutral to alkaline).
  • A dark substrate with heavy vegetation is perfect for these glassy fish.
  • Do not keep aggressive, large-sized fish with this particular species of fish. Small tetras, guppies, white cloud mountain minnows are great companions.

The Parambassis ranga is an excellent addition to any aquarium. They do not require a lot of upkeep either.

So, go ahead and add these lovely fish to your aquarium! Just remember to keep the facts above in mind.

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