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The Humphead Glassfish – Parambassis pulcinella – Species Profile

Craig here. Parambassis pulcinella. What a name. It kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? Well… as cool as the name sounds, the Humphead Glassfish is even cooler looking! If you have ever wanted a fish that has a bit of size and a lot of character for your freshwater community aquarium, this just might be the fish for you!

A relative newcomer to the aquarium scene, the Humphead glassfish was not scientifically described until 2003. Parambassis pulcinella hails from Myanmar, in South East Asia. With changing political climates, many fish have just recently become known to science from this region. Myanmar is a country that has nearly half of its land covered in dense forests. Within these forests are countless streams. It is in these fast flowing streams that the Humphead Glassfish can be found.

The Humphead Glassfish is a schooling fish that benefits from being kept with members of it’s own kind. It has a spine from the dorsal (supraoccipital) area of it’s skull that is extended. This extension is what gives this fish it’s bizarre shape and name. The pH should range from neutral to slightly alkaline. It is not a particularly picky eater. The small group that is kept here will ravenously feed on pelleted foods and thawed frozen foods. It seems that the only things that the Humphead Glassfish are particular about is the need for excellent filtration, higher levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, and room to swim! Other than these requirements, you will find that these curious fish are very sturdy and make wonderful additions to your tank. They will not eat plants, so keeping them in a larger planted aquarium is acceptable provided that your CO2 levels do not rise to a dangerous level. Even though these fish are relatively peaceful and can be kept with smaller community fish, beware keeping them with fish like neon or cardinal tetras. If a tiny tetra will fit in their mouths… it will surely be lunch!

So, if you want something different, something rare, something new… take a look at the odd Humphead Glassfish. When available, these fish are certainly well worth the price. You will have something that many people have never even seen before, as well as a fish that is one of the most interesting and coolest additions to the aquarium trade in years.