freshwater community4


Black-winged Hatchetfish

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Scientific Name:   Carnegiella marthae      
Min. Tank Size:   20 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful      
Temperature:   75-84°F      
pH:   5.5-6.5/1-8°dGH      
Size:   1.5"      
Diet:   Carnivore      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Best kept in groups with 6 or more of its own species; can also be kept with small Characins, Rasboras, Pencilfish, Dwarf Cichlids and bottom feeders such as Loaches and Catfish.

Black-winged Hatchetfish

Native to South America, the Black-Winged Hatchetfish can typically be found in the Orinoco and Negro river basins. These fish tend to inhabit calm streams and pools where the water is shallow and shaded. During the wet season, these fish can also be found in flooded forest areas. This species is named for its axe-like shape and wing-like pectoral fins that may extend as long as half their body length. The Black-Winged Hatchetfish may also exhibit a gold stripe running horizontally along the body from its gills to the base of the caudal fin.

Tank Set-up

Black-Winged Hatchetfish are a peaceful species that will get along well with many other community species such as Catfish and Tetras. These fish are best kept in groups with six or more of their own kind. These fish prefer planted tanks with minimal water flow and plenty of open tank space for swimming. Because in the wild this species captures insects by jumping out of the water, Black-Winged Hatchetfish must be kept in tanks with tight-fitting lids.


Black-Winged Hatchetfish are insectivorous by nature, typically feeding on insects and insect larvae on the surface of the water.They tend to inhabit the upper levels of the aquarium and may accept a variety of flake foods and live insects. Offer these fish a staple diet of high-quality flakes or pellets supplemented with live and frozen foods, particularly insects like bloodworms. Floating foods are best since Hatchetfish typically feed from the surface of the water and will not dive very deep to retrieve food.


This species is a type of egg-layer and it is considered difficult to breed. To encourage spawning, condition an adult pair of fishes in separate tanks with soft, peat filtered water for several weeks. After introducing the two fish, if spawning occurs, the female will deposit her eggs among the plants in the breeding tank and the eggs will hatch between 24 and 48 hours later.


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