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Marbled Hatchetfish

(Carnegiella strigata)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 2"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 75-82° F, KH 10-18, pH 5.0-7.5
• Diet: Omnivore   • Origin: Colombia, Guyana, Peru and Brazil   • Family: Gasteropelecidae
• Species: Hatchets   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Marbled Hatchetfish native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Marbled Hatchetfish are found living in the streams and tributaries of South America. They prefer to live in areas of dense surface vegetation, where they can feed on small insect larvae and plant matter and stay safe from larger predatory fish species by hiding amongst the dense vegetation. The Marble Hatchetfish is specially designed for life at the waters surface, with powerful pectoral fins mounted high a top their body combined with a deep thin torso they are well suited to take flight from the water at a moments notice.

Their ability to fly or jump from the water benefits them both in feeding and in escaping predators. Marbled Hatchetfish will leap from the waters surface to catch small flying insects and to escape the gaping jaws of larger predatory fish species lurking beneath them.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Marbled Hatchetfish in the home aquarium.

It is important to provide the proper aquarium setup in order to successfully house Marbled Hatchetfish and allow them to thrive. Like most fish species, replicating their natural environment is the best way to create a habitat that the fish will adapt quickly to and thrive within. In terms of the Marble Hatchetfish the aquarium needs to have plenty of plants and floating vegetation, along with moderate to high water flow.

Marbled Hatchetfish should also be kept in groups of at least 6 or more individuals as they live in good sized groups in the wild and will often do poorly or perish when kept singularly. Another equally important factor in keeping Marbled Hatchetfish within the aquarium environment is to keep the tank fully covered as this species is highly prone to jumping from the water when startled or during aggressive feeding.

Tank mates should include other peaceful to semi-aggressive South American tropical community species. Being a top water to upper middle water species, the Marbled Hatchetfish tends no to compete with too many species for swimming space within the aquarium.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Marbled Hatchetfish and provide a healthy diet.

Marbled Hatchetfish are an omnivorous species that will consume insect, meaty and vegetable based foods. The bulk of their diet should consist of high quality frozen, freeze-dried or flake commercial foods. They should also be fed live, frozen or freeze-dried blood worms, daphnia or tubifex worms. They can initially be a little reluctant to feed, but in time will become very active feeders that will compete with the most boisterous tank mates for each morsel of food.

Breeding Information

How to successfully breed Marbled Hatchetfish in the aquarium environment.

While they are not easily bred within the aquarium environment, Marbled Hatchetfish have been bred in captivity. For any real chance at breeding this species, they will need to be kept in a separate aquarium that is specifically setup for this purpose. A small group of 4 to 6 individuals should be added to a 20 to 30 gallon aquarium filled with aged acidic water pH of 5.5 to 6.5, temperature of 76 to 79 °, plenty of floating vegetation, dim lighting and a thin layer of gravel substrate mixed with peat to help maintain water conditions.

The breeding group should be fed a quality diet of live insects and worms like fruit fly and blood worms or other highly nutritious small insects. Successful breeding will produce eggs that will be scattered both in the plant material and on the substrate of the aquarium. The parents need to be removed after successfully breeding as they will consume both the eggs and young fry. The fry will hatch within 36 hours and will become free swimming a day or two later. They should be fed micro foods like infusoria for the first 2 weeks, after which they will be large enough to accept baby brine shrimp or similar fare.

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