Aquarium Fish

Silver Hatchet

posted: 05/15/12
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Silver Hatchet
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Silver Hatchet, also known as the Common Hatchetfish, is among the more uniquely shaped species of fish. Hatchetfish have a slender body with a deep "belly" and pectoral fins that are set high on the body. They have upturned mouths characteristic of true surface dwellers.

Gasteropelecus sternicla prefers a planted aquarium with a few floating plants. A schooling fish, the Silver Hatchet is best kept in a group of six or more. A hood on the aquarium is necessary, as this fish likes to jump. Excellent water quality must be maintained to keep this fish at its best.

Unfortunately, the Silver Hatchet's breeding habits have not been documented. It is thought that this fish may breed in soft water and a low pH. A good diet of fresh mosquito larvae and fruit flies may trigger spawning and the depositing of eggs on floating plants.

A carnivore, the Silver Hatchet will eat floating foods, such as freeze-dried bloodworms and tubifex, high-quality flake food, mosquito larvae, small flies, and some meaty live or frozen foods.

Ideal tank mates include: Discus, Angelfish, Tetras, Danios, Rasboras, Mollies, Swordtails, Loaches, Plecos and Catfish.

Fish Facts

Name: Silver Hatchet (Gasteropelecus sternicla)

Family: Gasteropelecidae

Range: Brazil

Size: Up to 3 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Freshwater: Plants

Tank Conditions: 73-79°F; pH 6.0-7.0; dH 8-12

Minimum Tank Capacity: 20 gallons

Light: Medium

Temperament: Peaceful

Swimming Level: No specific level

Care Level: Difficult

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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