freshwater community4


Marbled Hatchetfish

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Scientific Name:   Carnegiella strigata      
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 their own species; can be kept with Tetras, Characins, Dwarf Cichlids, Loaches and Catfish.

Marbled Hatchetfish

Native to South America, the Marbled Hatchetfish can be found in Guyana, Columbia, Suriname, Brazil and Peru. These fish tend to inhabit forest streams and tributaries where there is an abundance of vegetation. Marbled Hatchetfish exhibit the typical hatchet shape and are named for the brown and cream marble-like pattern on their bodies. These fish also have a gold line extending horizontally along the body from the eye to the base of the caudal fin. The coloration and patterning of these fishes may vary slightly according to the locality.

Tank Set-up

Marbled Hatchetfish spend most of their time along the surface of the water and prefer not to share this space with other fish. These fish tend to be very peaceful and somewhat shy, so they do well in community tanks with other peaceful species but may be intimidated by large or fast-moving fishes. These Hatchetfish prefer tanks decorated with floating plants and they present well in heavily planted tanks with black sand substrate. Because these fish are capable of jumping several meters, they must be kept in tanks with tight-fitting lids.


Marbled Hatchetfish will benefit from a varied diet consisting of both meat- and plant-based foods. Offer these fish a staple diet of high-quality flakes or floating pellets supplemented regularly with plenty of live and frozen foods such as bloodworms and daphnia. Fruit flies will also be eagerly taken. Floating foods are best since Hatchetfish typically feed from the surface of the water and will not dive very deep to retrieve food.


Marbled Hatchetfish are egg scatterers and are considered to be fairly difficult to breed. These fish require a dimly lit breeding tank with floating plants covering most of the surface. The water in the breeding tank should be aged and acidic, kept at a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Courtship behaviors may last quite a while and once spawning does occur, the adult fish should be removed from the tank so they will not eat the eggs.


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