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Silver Hatchet

(Gasteropelecus sternicla)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Maximum Size: 3"
• Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons   • Water Conditions: 74-80° F, KH 8-12, pH 6.0-7.0
• Diet: Carnivore   • Origin: Brazil, Amazon River   • Family: Gasteropelecidae
• Species: Hatchets   • Aquarium Type: Community

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Species Information

Silver Hatchet native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

Silver Hatchet are found throughout the Amazon river and its many tributaries, where it typically is found near well vegetated areas near shore. However, very large schools of Silver Hatchet will often move out into deeper water as they feel more protected in large groups. Their upturn mouths clearly show that they spend most of their time near the waters surface as their bodies are designed for feeding from the surface of the water.

In the aquarium this species makes an excellent addition to any community aquarium where they will happily form schools and actively swim at or near the surface of the aquarium. When startled the Silver Hatchet is known for being a jumper, thus aquariums housing this species should have covers to prevent them from jumping out.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Silver Hatchet in the home aquarium.

Silver Hatchets do best in community aquariums that contain plenty of live plants or artificial plants and medium to low water currents along the waters surface. Ideally they should be kept in groups of 6 or more individuals depending on the size of the aquarium. They are a very peaceful species that will get along well with others of their own kind and other community species of any size. In the wild they use their wing like pectoral fins and streamlined body to leap into the air to avoid predators, so they should be kept in well covered aquariums to avoid them jumping out of the tank if startled.

Lastly, the Silver Hatchet comes from areas of the Amazon that have immense water volume and are used to very high quality water and stable water conditions. Therefore, it is best to keep this species in an established aquarium with strong biological and chemical filtration.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to properly feed Silver Hatchet and provide a healthy diet.

Silver Hatchet consist of a diet that is primarily made up of small insects and insect larvae in the wild. They feed almost exclusively off the surface of the water, thus are well suited for accepting flake foods in the aquarium environment. They will readily take to a variety of meaty flake and freeze-dried foods in the aquarium like staple flake foods and freeze-dried tubifex and blood worms.

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