Genus name: Gasteropelecus Sternicia
Also known as: Common Hatchetfish, Silver Hatchetfish
Distribution: South America: middle Amazon, Guyana
Length: up to 2.6″ (6.5cm)
Water Temperature: 73-86F (23-30C)
Diet: Worms, insects, crustaceans, dried food
Water: soft preferably
Lives: In the upper areas of the aquarium
Breeding: Lay eggs, but are not bred successfully in an aquarium
The Hatchetfish is a very tall, strongly compressed fish, which has an almost straight dorsal profile as far back as the dorsal fin, and the throat and abdomen are very convex. This peculiar make-up means that the Hatchetfish is very distinctive, and they almost look like they have wings. When seen from the front or top, these fish are very slim.
Not the most colourful of fish, the Hatchetfish is silver with hints of yellow and green. It also has a dark stripe extending from behind its gills to the base of the tail, and on either side of the dark band is a paler stripe in either green or yellow.
A very peaceful, active fish, the Hatchetfish is a hardy fish, and suitable for beginners. Hatchetfish do like to shoal together, so it is best to keep at least 6 in the aquarium at any time.
In the wild Hatchetfish jump out of the water, and can fly over the water for distances of up to 5 metres (16.5ft). In an aquarium they also have a tendency to jump, so a well-fitted aquarium lid is required to stop the Hatchetfish landing on the floor.