Common hatchetfish Information & Care

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Fish Type Egg-laying
Fish Family Characins
Common Name Common hatchetfish
Scientific Name Gasteropelecus sternicla

The Common Hatchetfish or River Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) is a tropical fish belonging to the Freshwater Hatchetfish family (Gasteropelecidae). Originating in the South America in the Peruvian and middle Amazon, the Guianas and Venezuela, it grows to about 2.5 inches (6.5 cm). The fish gets its name from its relatively large protruding belly which resembles a hatchet.

The River Hatchetfish is a schooling species best kept in groups of five or more that spends most of its time in the top-level of the water where it searches for food. The fish can be peaceful or aggressive. Its typical lifespan in captivity is around five years.

These Hatchetfish natively live in streams in a tropical climate and prefer water with a 6.0 - 7.0 pH, a water hardness of up to 15.0 dGH, and an ideal temperature range of 73 - 81 °F (23 - 27 °C).

A carnivore, their diet consists of worms, insects, and crustaceans. The fish will often jump out of the water to catch small aerial insects. Because of this behavior, they may jump out of aquarium tanks.