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Silver Hatchetfish

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Silver Hatchetfish Gasteropelecus sternicla

The Silver Hatchetfish originates in still water from Brazil to Argentina. The term silver hatchet refers to a number of hatchetfish, including Thoracocharax stellatus (the Spotfin Hatchet) and Gasteropelecus sternicla (the River Hatchet, pictured above).   They have an extended lower body with a shape reminiscent of a pelican.  This extended area has large silver scales.  The pectoral fins are very long and the dorsal area is flat, which helps them skim the surface of the water.  The back is olive brown.

Silver Hatchets are one of the best jumpers in the tropical fish world.  In the wild they are able to catch flying insects.  You can hear them splashing in the water regularly.  If the tank is not covered, they will frequently jump out.  You also need to ensure they can't jump in to an external filter.  They are schooling fish and should be kept in groups.  Tank mates should be peaceful and occupy the lower levels of the aquarium.  Silver Hatchets will eat flake foods, blood worms and brine shrimp.

Females are larger than males.  They have not been bred successfully.  Silver Hatchets aren't recommended for beginners.

Silver Hatchetfish Gasteropelecus sternicla Silver Hatchetfish Gasteropelecus sternicla
Scientific Name: Thoracocharax stellatus
Family: Characin
Temperature: 24 - 30 C; 75 - 86 F
pH: 6.0 - 7.0
Size: 7 cm; 3 inches
Life Span: ? years
Breeding: Difficult, Egg Layer


Angelfish, Apistogramma, Corydoras, Discus, Tetras, Loricarids, small Doradids, Killifish, African tetras (Alestids)