Does the Glassfish, Parambassis ranga, need salt?

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Is Parambassis ranga a freshwater or brackish species, and how do you keep it? Heiko Bleher advises.

Parambassis ranga was originally described in 1822 by Hamilton as Chanda ranga, saying: “This is a beautiful little fish, about an inch and a half long, and it is found in the fresh waters of all parts of the Gangetic provinces.”

This indicates clearly that it is a freshwater fish and I’ve never found it in any brackish habitat. In February 2009 I collected it again near the Brahmaputra river in Assam near Tezpur, India, in a freshwater lake. Water parameters were pH 7.5, conductivity 96 µS/cm and temperature 28.9°C/84°F.

It is very easy to keep this fish, providing it comes from a good source, is healthy and well acclimatised. It can be sensitive when first introduced to the aquarium, so quarantine for 14-21 days. Keep it in a group of three to five, preferably more.

Give them a planted aquarium with Colisa lalia, nemacheiline loaches, some Botia, (B. dario, Yasuhikotakia almorhae), Badis or Dario species, Danio (formerly Brachydanio) and Devario species, Hara or Erethistes catfishes and similar smaller fishes from India, Myanmar or Thailand. Try to buy all from one single supplier/source.

This item was first published in the December 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping. It may not be reproduced without written permission.