The Care, Feeding, and Breeding of Silver Hatchetfish

Silver hatchetfish may refer to:
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The Common Hatchetfish are prone to developing ick (ichthyobodo infection). This is especially true when they are first introduced to an new aquarium. Newly acquired specimens should be kept in a quarantine tank before they are introduced into a community. Even so, they will still be susceptible to ick if their tank water is not kept soft and acidic.As with most fish, these freshwater hatchetfish are prone to skin flukes, parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.), bacterial infections (general), and bacterial disease. They are extremely hardy and disease is not usually a problem in a well-maintained aquarium. That being said, there is no guarantee that you won't have to deal with health problems or disease. Remember that anything you add to your tank can introduce disease. Not only other fish but plants, substrate, and decorations can harbor bacteria. Take great care and make sure to properly clean or quarantine anything that you add to an established tank so as not to upset the balance.A good thing about the Common Hatchetfish is that due to their resilience, an outbreak of disease can often be limited to just one or a few fishes if dealt with at an early stage. When keeping more sensitive types of fish, it is common for all fishes to be infected even before the first warning signs can be noticed. The best way to proactively prevent disease is to give your Common Hatchetfish the proper environment and a well-balanced diet.The more closely their environment resembles their natural habitat, the less stress these fish will have, making them healthier and happier. Stressed fish are more likely to acquire disease. Aquarists should read up on common tank diseases. Knowing the signs and catching and treating them early makes a huge difference. For information about freshwater fish diseases and illnesses, see .
"silver hatchetfish."  A Dictionary of Zoology. .  (July 7, 2017).
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These wonderful fish were a staple in my aquarium; they wore quietly attractive coats of silvery-bronze. The hatchets were of a very hardy constitution, and their odd shape—a body that dips deeply, like a pelican’s throat pouch or the keel of a ship—is uniquely attractive. Thus, hatchetfish can be a very singular addition to the community tank. Let’s take a closer look at these demure little oddities, and perhaps you too will discover, as I did so many years ago, that a hatchetfish is just right for your own freshwater community aquarium. Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus levis)
Photo provided by FlickrMost tropical fish keeping shops routinely sell the Common Hatchetfish as the Silver Hatchetfish.
Photo provided by FlickrSilver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus levis)
Photo provided by Flickr
Perhaps the most conspicuous feature of the hatchetfishes, as taken from the water, is that their entire bodies are glistening silvery. On some specimens the silver is underlaid with velvet black over the trunk as a whole; on others the black under pigment is confined to a marginal band, broader or narrower. The luminescent spots are pale yellow or white.The Silver Hatchetfish originates in still water fromBrazil to Argentina. The term silver hatchet refers to a number ofhatchetfish, including Thoracocharaxstellatus (the Spotfin Hatchet) and Gasteropelecus sternicla (the River Hatchet,pictured above). They havean extended lower body with a shape reminiscent of a pelican. Thisextended area has large silver scales. The pectoral fins are very long andthe dorsal area is flat, which helps them skim the surface of the water. The back is olive brown.Common Name(s): Silver Hatchet, Common Hatchet

Family:Gasteropelecidae

Order:Characins

Class: Actinopterygii

Maximum size: 6 cm / 2.5 inches. A tank of at least 20 gallons is preferred because of their size. They will stay at the top to medium level in your aquarium. So the bigger surface area the better.

Environment: Freshwater

Origin: The Amazon River Basin, the Guianas and Venezuela.

Temperament: Peaceful

Company: The Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus Sternicla) is suitable for community aquariums with other peaceful species. They are also schooling fish and will be much happier in a group of 6 or more. The large group will keep them less stressed, therefore less likely to get a disease.

Water parameters:Temperature 24-27°C / 74-81°F, pH 6.0 – 7.0

Sexing: Not easy, females slightly plumper.

Breeding: Never been recorded in captivity.The spotted hatchetfish, , is one of the biggest species and can reach up to 9cm/3.5" in length. Again, it is a silvery fish, though perhaps ashade more brilliant than the silver hatchet, and it is immediatelyrecognisable thanks to the pattern of small blue-grey spots on the backhalf of the body. Given its size and shape, this fish can be veryimpressive when kept in a decent sized group, and while not as commonlytraded as marble and silver hatchets, it is not too difficult toobtain. This species looks superb kept with things like angelfish anddiscus, but it could equally easily be kept with peaceful gouramis,climbing perch such as , clown loaches, orany other non-aggressive tankmate of suitable size. The spottedhatchetfish needs fairly soft, slightly acidic to neutral waterconditions and plenty of oxygen. It is a bit less forgiving than thesilver hatchetfish, and good filtration and plenty of water changesseem to be essential to long-term success with this species. A superbfish, to be sure, but one best suited to the more experiencedaquarist.