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hatchetfish or Carnegiella
are a member of the
They are endemic to the Panama and most of
The hatchetfish derives its name from its peculiarly shaped body.
Hatchetfish have an enormously enlarged sternal region. They are a
smaller variety of fish reaching only about two inches long when fully
grown. They have an average life expectancy of five years.
Hatchetfish prefer subdued lighting. Hatchets are surface dwellers.
Most of their time is spent near the surface of the aquarium. They take
readily to a heavily planted terrain. They also have an affinity for
floating plants. Hornwort is a good choice if you intend to keep
Beware: hatchet fish are accomplished jumpers. In nature they often
jump out of the water to escape predators. They are generally
considered the only true flying-fish. Hatchets have extraordinarily
powerful pectoral fins. The muscles attached to these fins accounts for
¼ of their entire body weight. They actually flap their
to aid in their flight. The rapid beating of these fins allows them to
lift their bodies half way out of the water and glide along the
surface. There have been reported cases of them actually becoming
airborne for short distances. These
are one of the true "flying fish" found in nature.
Quite understandably, they should only be
kept in a lidded aquarium.
Hatchetfish have a docile nature. They are good community fish
provided they are surrounded by species of similar temperament. You
also want to avoid housing them with fish that are large enough to
consider them the perfect lunch.
Hatchets are shoaling fish. Nature didn’t intend for them to
solitary existence. It is not uncommon for them to parish without
another member of their own species. A group of 6 or 8 is ideal. Given
there size, this shouldn’t present a problem even for smaller
The Amazon River is slightly acidic. PH levels generally run
around 6.8. The river ranges in temperatures from 76-82 °F.
will thrive under these conditions.
Hatchetfish are omnivores. In nature their diet consists primarily
of small insects, insect larvae and plant matter. In captivity they are
not picky. A general purpose tropical fish food will suffice.
Males are more colorful than the females and typically have more
markings on their bodies.
layers. They will spawn in an aquarium
providing there are plenty of plants. Spawning usually occurs under the
camouflage of these plants.
Once released, the eggs will adhere to the plants. The fry will
hatch in about 24 hours. They will be free swimming in four to five
The fry are particularly small. They should be fed infusoria or a
similar liquid fry food formulated for egg laying fish. When they grow
a little larger their diet can be switched to newly hatched brine
shrimp. Or for the sake of convenience, they can be fed small amounts
of powdered eggs. In about a week you can start feeding them finely
crushed fish flakes.
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