The basic colour of pangasius is silvery pink, with a white belly. Its body is elongated and flattened on the sides. It has no scales.
Pangasius is not a fussy eater: it is equally happy to feed on algae, aquatic plants, plankton, molluscs, insects, small fish, crustaceans and even fruit.
One unusual feature of the pangasius is that, as well as gill breathing, it is able to take in air on the water's surface if the oxygen concentration of the surrounding water is too low.