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Characins / Gasteropelecidae / Black-winged Hatchetfish

Black-winged Hatchetfish
Carnegiella marthae

Synonyms: None
Physical description: Has a convex body. The ventral fins are very small and the back is fairly straight. The wing-like pectoral fins are transparent and often measure up to one-half the fish's overall body length. The coloration is usually silver with black patches and stripes. Depending on the angle of light, the colors can change from iridescent green to iridescent violet. A horizontal stripe extends from the gill cover to the base of the tail. It is usually gold in color.
Size/Length: To 1.5" (4 cm)
Similar species: Carnegiella marthae schereri of the Peruvian Amazon and C. myersi of the Rio Ucayali.
Habitat: South America; Slow flowing, heavily wooded, rainforest streams and pools of the Rio Negro and the Rio Orinoco.
S: Top
Aquarium: 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L). The tank should be set-up in a manner such as that of other Hatchetfish. See genus description. Peat filtration is beneficial.
Water chemistry: pH 5.5-7.0 (6.7), 1-8 dH (4), 75-84°F (24-29°C)
Social behavior: A small, peaceful community fish. Should only be combined with other small, peaceful fish of lower swimming levels. Like all Hatchetfish, the Black-winged Hatchet may jump when pursued.
Suggested companions: See genus description.
FOOD: Live; mosquito larvae, Daphnia , Drosophila , small flying insects; flake foods.
Sexual differences: Only distinguishable during spawning, when white eggs can be seen in female's body
Breeding techniques: Very difficult. Use soft, peat filtered water with a water hardness of 1-4 dH. The pair should be keep separately for two or three weeks and conditioned on Drosophila and black mosquito larvae. After that amount of time, the fish should be combined in a 20" (50 cm) or 10 gallons (38 L) tank, that is heavily planted with floating, bushy plants. The females lays 2-5 eggs at a time on the floating plants near the surface. Remove the parents after spawning. The fry hatch in 30-36 hours and are free-swimming after 5 days. Start feeding with paramecia and roftiers. After a week the young can be fed on Brine Shrimp nauplii and Daphnia . The fry become "hatchet-shaped" after 20 days.
Breeding potential: 9. Captive spawning of this fish are rare and unusual.
Remarks: This Hatchetfish can leave the water and "fly" for up to 5 feet (1.52 m).
Difficulty of care: 6. A delicate fish recommended for only experienced aquariasts.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com