• Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) - Tank-Raised!
  • Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) - Tank-Raised!
  • Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) - Tank-Raised!

Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) - Tank-Raised!

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* For the safety of our animals, we now ship live fish exclusively via UPS Next Day Air.  If your order contains this item, you will only see UPS Next Day Air as a shipping option during checkout *


The Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla), also known as the Common Hatchetfish, is a popular freshwater aquarium fish that is ideal for the planted aquarium.  This schooling fish occupies the surface of the aquarium almost exclusively.  Its abnormally deep abdomen resembles the head of a hatchet, hence its name.  It is peaceful and compatible with most tankmates, including peaceful invertebrates.  The Silver Hatchetfish is a micropredator, but due to its small adult size, small mouth, and surface-dwelling habits, it is only a threat to the smallest fish fry and shrimp fry.  All aquarium specimens were wild-caught until recently.  Thanks to our suppliers, we are very excited to offer some of the newly tank-raised specimens that are now available!
The upturned fins of the Silver Hatchetfish allow it to “fly” for up to several meters upon jumping from the water.  It must only be kept in an aquarium with a secure lid due to this remarkable ability, and floating vegetation is a definite plus in any aquarium that houses this fish.  The Silver Hatchetfish is otherwise a relatively undemanding fish.  In the wild, it feeds heavily on insects and their larvae.  In the home aquarium, it will readily accept most meaty frozen foods as well as gut-loaded live fruit flies near the water surface.  Nearly all specimens will quickly adapt and accept high quality flake food, but we highly recommend supplementing a dry food diet with bloodworms, Artemia, and other frozen foods.
The Silver Hatchetfish is a schooling fish that will typically only settle into an aquarium when it is in a school of at least 6 fish.  We offer several different quantity options for this fish, but we recommend the quantity of 3 only as an option for building an existing school of this fish in your aquarium.  Like most schooling fish, the Silver Hatchetfish will feel most secure and will display the most natural behavior in the largest school possible, so we are offering the deepest discounts for higher quantities.


What We Like About This Fish:
  • Excellent choice for a surface-dwelling species
  • Hardy and peaceful
  • Perfect for the planted aquarium
  • Beautiful silver coloration and unique appearance
  • Temperature:  68° - 82° F (20° - 27.7° C)
  • pH:  5.0 - 7.5 (softer water is often preferred)
  • KH:  8 - 12 dKH
  • Minimum tank size:  15 gallons
  • Diet:  Carnivorous. Should be fed high quality frozen foods such as bloodworms.  Live gut-loaded fruit flies are also ideal.  Most specimens will also eventually also accept high quality flake foods.
  • Social behavior:  Peaceful, schooling.  Must be kept in schools of 6 or more.
  • Origin:  Tank-raised, but indigenous to tropical South America’s Amazon basin.
  • Average adult size:  1.2 - 1.6 inches (3 - 4 cm)
  • Average purchase size:  1/2 - 1 inch (1.3 - 2.5 cm)

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