Gasteropelecus sternicla



    Just like the Marbled hatchet no other fish 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.

Quick stats:

Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: 2 1/2 inches (6.5 cm)
Tank: 24 inches
Strata: Top
PH: 5.5 to 7.5
Hardness: Soft to medium dH range 5-15
Temperature: 75 to 82°F (24-28°;C)


Order: Cypriniformes
Suborder: Characoidei
Family: Gasteropelecidae
Genera: Sternicla

Common name:

Silver Hatchet

    , Common Hatchetfish


    Widely found throughout Amazon River basin, Peruvian Amazon, middle Amazon, the Guianas and Venezuela.

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.


    Not one of the most colorful fish, the base color of the fish is Silver with hints of Yellow or Green. Starting near the gills there is a long stripe that extends to the base of the tail fin, it is also yellow or green in 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. 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!


    Heavy vegetated, shaded, slow moving streams or still water swamps


    No external differences between the sexes are apparent, although the females are larger and generally more rounded in the body and sometimes the eggs can be seen in the body cavity. They have been reports of breeding in the home aquarium. 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.


5/5 - (17 votes)


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