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One of my favorite fish. No other has quite the same look. Sometimes
racing around the aquarium and other times remaining motionless but
Always hanging around the surface, they will make a fine and interesting
addition to any community set up.
Listed tank sizes are the minimum
||1 1/2 inches (5 cm)
||5.5 to 7.5
||Soft tomedium dH range 5-18
||75 to 82°F (24-28°;C)
Found mostly in small forest streams in Guyana and the Amazon River
General Body Form:
Not your typical fish shape. The belly profile from the small ventral
fins to the start of the tail fin is almost a straight line. The Dorsal
profile is somewhat convex. The Dorsal fin itself is far back very close
to the tail. The Pectoral (side) fins are half as long as the body,
turned upward and face back which give them the look of wings. They
have no Adipose fins.
The base color of the fish is Silver with hints of Yellow, Green
and sometimes Purple. The belly area has three Black or Brown Jagged
Diagonal bars which really have no linear shape and can be broken
into spots. Near the back (top) a Pale longitudinal stripe runs from
the start of the tail to the edge of the gill covers. The back itself
is a dark Black or Brown color. The fins are transparent with a slight
Golden hue to them.
These Hatchets must be kept in schools of at least six or they seem
to decline and have a much shorter lifespan. They are excellent jumpers
so make sure you have a tight fitting cover with as few gaps as possible.
I have seen movies of whole schools jumping in unison over the surface
of the water. They will do well in a community aquarium that has good
filtration and a current that runs the length of the tank to simulate
a stream. Floating plants as well as driftwood and open areas for swimming
are needed. Their diet should ideally consist of live mosquito larvae
and fruit flies although the freeze dried kind are also taken. They
will also eat the standard flake food. Remember they jump!
Shaded, slow moving or still Black water in Northern South America.
No external differences between the sexes are apparent, although the
females are generally more rounded in the body and sometimes the eggs
can be seen in the body cavity. They have been bred in soft water of
about 5 ° and a pH. around 6.0. The prospective pair should
be well conditioned with a diet of Black mosquito larvae and other small
Crustaceans. They deposit their eggs on the floating plants and they
hatch in about thirty hours. The fry are very small and have to be feed
very fine foods like Infusoria, baby brine and crushed flakes.