fish Demanding level

Hyalobagrus flavus Ng & Kottelat 1998

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Shadow ornate catfish, Pygmy Malaya glass catfish

Hyalobagrus flavus is a species from a Bagrid family catfish, the name hyalo translated from greek meaning glass and bagrus is the family where the fish belongs, the fish also known in aquaria trade as Shadow ornate catfish or Pygmy Malaya glass catfish.

Distribution: Sumatra and southern Borneo.

Submitted by
Andre Chandra


Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Black water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
25 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Standard length
4.5 cm
Water volume (min. aquarium)
60 l
Social behaviour
Group fish
Behaviour description

In the wild this catfish can be seen swimming in a group usually of 10-15 fish. Like most catfish they are bottom dwellers and searching food under the debris of woods, leafs and aquatic plants, they are peaceful fish in aquarium and appears to have less aggression towards each others.


Aggression grade
Night active
Sexual dimorphism

When gravid the green eggs of females of Hyalobagrus flavus are clearly visible through the virtually transparent body. Males have a small genital papilla just in front of their anal fin and are generally less round in the belly than females.

Nutrition in Nature

Feeds mostly on small crustaceans, worms and zooplankton.


Breeding tank set-up

Soft acidic water is prefered although the species can also thrive at PH of 7, best kept in group of minimum 5-7 individuals. It’s is preferred to keep them in dense planted tank or a biotope tank with lots of leaf litters and shelters (wood, branches and aquatic plants) since they will prefer dimmer areas.

Nutrition parents

Hyalobagrus flavus can be fed with blood worm, daphnia or sinking foods.

Mating type
Spawning behaviour

There has been no record of the fish spawning behaviour, but it is believed to be egg scattering.

Breeding habits
Egg scatterer
Hatching period
Number of eggs in average
Parental care
Fry number
Nutrition fry

Small frozen and live foods: bloodworm, brineshrimp, daphnia and others.

Notes on reproduction


  • Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters v. 9 (no. 4): 335-346. - Hyalobagrus, a new genus of miniature bagrid catfish from southeast Asia (Teleostei: Siluriformes). by Ng H. H. & Kottelat M.


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