Glass catfish, or ghost catfish, are absolutely stunning editions to any home setup, permitting that you provide them with the right environment. These catfish come by their name honestly, being completely transparent with a black stripe down their side.
They do, in fact, look like glass figurines—but you can enjoy watching these gorgeous specimens swim around freely in your aquarium. So, what other fish can add to the beauty? Here are seven compatible companions.
Table of contents
- 7 Best Tank Mates for Glass Catfish in 2021
- What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Glass Catfish?
- Where Do Glass Catfish Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?
- 3 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Glass Catfish in Your Aquarium
7 Best Tank Mates for Glass Catfish in 2021
1. Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)
|Minimum tank size||10 gallons|
Mollies are common among aquarists because these little tropical fish get along so well in tons of setups. They are mid-dwellers with unique appearances that catch the eyes of onlookers.
Mollies are livebearers, which means they give birth to young instead of laying eggs. They are relatively easy to breed, and they get along well with each other and others.
Mollies are incredibly easy to keep, so they are ideal for beginners and seasoned aquarists alike. They aren’t demanding or susceptible to illness like some species on our list. So, we think, all in all, mollies are probably the best pairs for glass catfish.
The good thing is there are tons of different mollies to choose from such as:
- Black mollies
- Orange mollies
- White mollies
- Red mollies
- Dalmatian mollies
- Balloon mollies
- Sailfin mollies
- Lyretail mollies
Each is beautiful in its own right. Mollies do very well in groups, so you can get several at a time.
2. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) – Best for Small Tanks
|Size||0.6-2.4 inches (1.5-6 cm)|
|Minimum tank size||5 gallons|
Guppies, otherwise known as the millionfish or rainbow fish, are easy little keepers that are ideal for small setups. Guppies are a perfect choice if you don’t have a lot of extra space and need a little fish who will adapt to the environment.
Guppies are very hardy and peaceful little fish that can coexist nicely in a tank with glass catfish. You can keep a pair, or several, in one aquarium, permitting there is enough room. There are well over 300 different types of guppies, so you get a vast selection.
Guppies exhibit sexual dimorphism—females are solid gray, whereas males have stripes and spots. Females are also a little larger than their male counterparts by roughly an inch or so.
If you want colorful little swimmers, guppies come in a variety of different looks. They also have lots of tailfin types as well. Here are a few you might find:
- Fin tail guppies
- Delta tail guppies
- Veil tail guppies
- Flagtail guppies
- Lyre tail guppies
- Spade tail guppies
- Halfmoon tail guppies
- Top swordtail guppies
- Round tail guppies
All these tail variations can come in a rainbow of colors.
3. Tetras (Hyphessobrycon anisitsi)
|Minimum tank size||20 gallons|
Tetra fish are interesting little fish that linger in the middle of the aquarium. They are perfect at catching eyes with their vibrant coloring and zippy movements. Tetras do best with at least 10 of their own kind and live peacefully alongside other fish.
Tetras do best in dark tanks, so adding floating plants to your setup will keep these fish happy and healthy.
Here are a few types of tetras:
- Diamond tetras
- Gold tetras
- Mexican tetras
- Long-fin tetras
- Bleeding heart tetras
- Bloodfin tetras
- Dawn tetras
- Ember tetras
- Neon tetras
- Serpae tetras
- Congo tetras
Tetras come in all sorts of shapes and colors to enjoy. So, have fun shopping around.
4. Swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri)
|Minimum tank size||15 gallons|
Swordtails are fascinating little fish with a name that matches their physical makeup—well, at least partially. The males have an elongated caudal appendage, while females lack this classic characteristic.
Their dimorphism helps you decipher males from females upon purchase, which is helpful if you want to separate the genders.
There are several color variations in this little fish, such as:
- Black swordtail
- Golden swordtail
- Red velvet swordtail
- Yellow tuxedo swordtail
- Red tuxedo swordtail
- Wagtail swordtail
- Green swordtail
- Pineapple swordtail
- Kohaku swordtail
- Showa swordtail
- Pineapple wagtail swordtail
- Koi swordtail
- Painted swordtail
- Neon swordtail
- Yellow comet swordtail
So, you can add a little color variety to spruce up the look of your tank.
Related Read: 10 Best Tank Mates for Swordtail
5. Celestial Pearl Danios (Danio margaritatus)
|Minimum tank size||10 gallons|
The celestial pearl danios is a very flashy little cyprinid that goes by many interesting names. You might also know it as the danio margaritatus, galaxy rasbora, and simply ‘galaxy.’
These little freshwater fish are relatively new to aquarium hobbyists, gaining public traction since 2006.
Even though these cuties are tiny, they add tons of color to any setup. You can get a handful of these fish to keep them in a small community of their kind. They are peaceful enough to get along with virtually any fish permitting they have the same tank requirements.
However, they are quite small and could fall victim to bigger fish if you aren’t careful.
6. Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)
|Minimum tank size||15 gallons|
The Kuhli Loach, also referred to as the coolie loach, is a visually impressive specimen that will work alongside your glass catfish swimmingly. They might be the coolest looking fish that made the list, but they come with their own special challenges.
These highly sought-after little fish are attractive because of their long, eel-like bodies and colorful patterns. These fish are slender, thin and their fins are very tiny.
Loaches come in a variety of colors, so you can really add to the vibrant beauty of your tank. They can vary from a soft pink to brassy colors with dark stripes—although some can be completely black. Most carry a tiger-like pattern.
Kuhli loaches are a bit difficult to maintain. So, if you’re a novice aquarist, you may want to get some experience under your belt before taking on the challenge.
Water quality and temperature are very important—they are especially susceptible to ich (which is highly contagious for all fish).
7. Cory Catfish (Corydoras)
|Minimum tank size||10 gallons|
Cory catfish are attractive bottom feeders that are very peaceful and even shy. These easy keepers take up minimal space, but they are a bit more active if they have other cory friends to keep them company.
Even though these fish rest during the day, you can still catch them out and about occasionally. Cory catfish are relatively quick breeders, which can be a fun experience for onlookers.
Here are a few different types of cory catfish:
- Green cory catfish
- Panda cory catfish
- Peppered cory catfish
- Pygmy cory catfish
- Julii cory catfish
- Sterbai cory catfish
- Emerald cory catfish
Cory catfish are designed to adapt to low oxygen levels in their environment, so you might see them surface for air.
What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Glass Catfish?
Glass catfish can live harmoniously with several different kinds of fish. Since these fish are non-aggressive, they can live happily amongst other fish who share their love for a laidback home.
What is most important for the glass catfish is socialization. They thrive on companionship with similar fish and become very stressed and depressed if they are alone.
Where Do Glass Catfish Prefer to Live in the Aquarium?
Glass catfish are free swimmers, which means they really explore the space. They get along well with other fish, no matter their preferred dwelling spots. Because they swim freely where they want, they can make friends with all species in the tank.
3 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Glass Catfish in Your Aquarium
As we mentioned before, other glass catfish are the primary fish you should have in your tank to help them thrive. However, there are certain perks of adding tank mates to the mix.
The more variety you have in your tank, the more eye-catching your setup will be. If you have a drab, boring set of fish, onlookers may quickly pass over it.
Of course, you put a lot of work and effort into your setup, and you want it to have the appreciation it deserves, both for you and others.
2. Roles in Tank
Different types of fish behave in unique ways. Some are bottom feeders, others prefer the middle, and some love hiding or exploring the space.
If you have multiple types of fish, you can make sure your whole tank is teeming with life, each serving a different role. This helps your tank look full, vibrant, and active.
3. Ups Your Aquarist Experience
Getting an exciting series of fish will give you a challenge. After all, each fish requires different terms of care.
If you get several compatible fish, you’ll have to learn how to care for each species. It will only benefit you later, especially if you want to keep more challenging fish eventually.
Glass catfish are amazing spectacles that deserve to have tank mates both of their own and other species. Luckily, there are many gorgeous fish that can share the space with these lovely creatures.
You can try one or more of these seven delightful fish. Just remember to get the ones that are within your experience level, so you don’t get in over your head. Some fish may be more challenging to keep for beginners—so choose accordingly.
Featured Image Credit: Grigorev Mikhail, Shutterstock