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7 Great Tank Mates for Glass Catfish: Compatibility Guide 2023

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

glass catfish in aquarium

Glass catfish, or ghost catfish, are stunning editions to any home setup, permitting that you provide them with the right environment. These catfish come by their name honestly and are completely transparent with a black stripe down their side.

They look like glass figurines. 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.

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The 7 Great Tank Mates for Glass Catfish

1. Mollies (Poecilia sphenops)

Image Credit: Eldergeek_Pixabay
Size 4–4.5 inches
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Mollies are common among aquarists because they get along with several species. 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 other fish.

Mollies are incredibly easy to keep, so they are ideal for beginners and seasoned aquarists. They aren’t demanding or susceptible to illness like some species on our list. So,  all in all, we think mollies are probably the best pairs for glass catfish.

There are several 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, and you can get several to accompany your glass catfish.

2. Guppies (Poecilia reticulata) – Best for Small Tanks

Image Credit: Piqsels
Size 0.6–2.4 inches (1.5–6 cm)
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 5 gallons
Care Level Beginner
Temperament Peaceful

Guppies, otherwise known as the millionfish or rainbow fish, 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 as long as there is enough room. There are well over 300 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. If you want colorful little swimmers, guppies come in various colors. 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)

neon tetra fish
Image Credit: Kristiana Berzina, Shutterstock
Size 2.5 inches
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 20 gallons
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

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 kind and live peacefully alongside other fish. Tetras do best in dark tanks, so adding floating plants to your setup will keep the fish happy and healthy.

Here are a few types of tetras:

Tetras come in all sorts of shapes and colors to enjoy. So, have fun shopping around.

4. Swordtails (Xiphophorus helleri)

swordtail fish in aquarium
Image Credit: slowmotiongli_Shutterstock
Size 5.5 inches
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 15 gallons
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Swordtails are fascinating little fish with a name that matches their physical makeup—at least partially. The males have an elongated caudal appendage, while females lack this classic characteristic.

Their dimorphism helps you separate the males from females upon purchase, which is helpful if you want a specific sex. 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)

Two Celestial pearl danio
Image Credit: Bos11, Shutterstock
Size 1 inch
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care Level Moderate
Temperament Peaceful

 The celestial pearl danios is a flashy little cyprinid with 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 they are tiny, they add color to any setup. You can get a handful of these fish to keep them in a small community. They are peaceful enough to get along with virtually any fish with the same tank requirements.

However, they are pretty small and could fall victim to bigger fish if you aren’t careful.

6. Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)

Kuhli Loach in aquarium
Image Credit: Roberto Dani, Shutterstock
Size 2.75 inches
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 15 gallons
Care Level Moderate
Temperament Peaceful

The Kuhli Loach, also called 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. They are slender, and their fins are very tiny.

Loaches come in various colors, and you can add to the vibrant beauty of your tank. Though some can be completely black, they can vary from soft pink to brassy colors with dark stripes. Most carry a tiger-like pattern.

Kuhli loaches are a bit difficult to maintain. If you’re a novice aquarist, you may want to get experience under your belt before taking on the challenge. Water quality and temperature are very important since loaches are especially susceptible to ich (which is highly contagious for all fish).

7. Cory Catfish (Corydoras)

Corydoras Catfish
Image Credit: Rethinktwice, Pixabay
Size 1-4 inches
Diet Omnivores
Minimum tank size 10 gallons
Care Level Easy
Temperament Peaceful

Cory catfish are attractive bottom feeders that are very peaceful and shy. These easy keepers take up minimal space but are more active if they have other cory friends to keep them company.

Even though cory catfish rest during the day, you can still catch them out and about occasionally. They are relatively quick breeders, which can be a fun experience for onlookers.

Here are a few 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.

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What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Glass Catfish?

Glass catfish can live harmoniously with several kinds of fish. Since they 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.

A school of glass catfish_Gustavo MS
Image Credit: Photography,Shutterstock

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.

  • Water Parameters: In nature, glass catfish are found in rivers and streams of Thailand, so they much prefer moving water. Glass catfish prefer slightly acidic waters with a pH of around 7.5.
  • Size: Glass catfish get up to 4-6 inches as adults.
  • Aggressive Behaviors: Glass catfish are generally very peaceful, non-aggressive fish. If you pair them with more aggressive fish, the catfish might get bullied. So, it is crucial to ensure they have ideal tank mates who equally love peaceful living.

Top 3 Benefits of Having Tank Mates for Glass Catfish in Your Aquarium

As we mentioned, 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.

1. Aesthetics

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 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.

The Asian glass catfish
Image Credit: Andrej Jakubik,Shutterstock

3. Ups Your Aquarist Experience

Getting an exciting series of fish will give you a challenge. After all, each fish requires different types of care. If you get several compatible fish, you’ll have to learn how to care for each species. It will benefit you later, especially if you want to keep more challenging fish eventually.

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Final Thoughts

Glass catfish are amazing fish that deserve to have tank mates. 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 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

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