Common Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla)
The Common Hatchetfish is a small, intriguing freshwater fish known for its unique, hatchet-shaped body and calm, peaceful demeanor. With a predominantly silver coloration and a dark horizontal stripe running from the gill cover to the base of the tail, these attractive fish are eye-catching additions to a community tank.
They grow up to 2 inches in length and should be kept in groups of at least 6-8 to feel secure and exhibit natural schooling behavior.
Many slow-swimming, mid-level community fish can coexist harmoniously with the shy Common Hatchetfish. Ideal tank companions include Cherry Barbs, Dwarf Gouramis, Neon Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Pencilfish, and Kuhli Loach. To prevent stress and competition for food, it's crucial to steer clear of swifter swimmers like Danios or Barbs when selecting tank mates, as they may outcompete the Common Hatchetfish for food and cause unnecessary stress.
In the wild, Common Hatchetfish are insectivores, feeding on insects and their larvae. In the aquarium, they will thrive on a diet of small insects, larvae, and other invertebrates, as well as high-quality flakes or micro-pellets.
To create a comfortable environment for Common Hatchetfish, it is essential to have a well-planted tank with floating plants that offer shelter and create a dimly lit atmosphere. By covering a significant portion of the water surface with floating plants, you can help this skittish species feel more at ease. Notably, Common Hatchetfish, unlike their Carnegiella counterparts, are more likely to venture away from the surface to interact with their own kind, feed, or simply remain still.
A minimum aquarium size of 20 gallons is recommended, with a larger community tank of 30-40 gallons being ideal for a mixed species setup. They prefer a water temperature between 72-81°F (22-27°C), pH levels of 6.0-7.5, and a water hardness of 5-19 dGH.
Make sure the tank cover is very tightly fitting, as it is capable of clearing several meters in a single jump.
To learn more about this fish, be sure to check out the Additional Information tab.