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Characins / Gasteropelecidae / Spotted Hatchetfish

Spotted Hatchetfish
Gasteropelecus maculatus

Synonyms: Thoracocharax maculatus
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 silver and the back is olive brown. The mouth is small and upturned. Depending on the angle of light, the colors can change from iridescent green to iridescent blue. Small black spots dot the body.
Size/Length: To 3.5" (9 cm)
Similar species: None
Habitat: Central and South America; stagnant lakes, ponds, and swamps from Southern Panama, through Columbia, Venezuela, and Guyana, to Surinam
S: Top
Aquarium: 32" (80 cm) or 30 gallons (114 L). See Hatchetfish description.
Water chemistry: pH 6-7 (6.7); 6-15 dH (9); 73-82°F (23-28°C)
Social behavior: See the Hatchetfish family Introduction.
Suggested companions: See the Hatchetfish family introduction
FOOD: Live; mosquito larvae, bloodworms, glassworms, Drosophila , Daphnia , Brine Shrimp, Tubifex ; flake foods
Sexual differences: Females are plumper during spawning season.
Breeding techniques: Spawning is very similar to C. strigata strigata .
Breeding potential: 8. Spawning is more difficult than C. strigata strigata .
Remarks: This Hatchetfish can leave the water and "fly" for up to 12 feet (3.66 m). This fish is prone to "Ich".
Difficulty of care: 5. This Hatchetfish has difficulty adjusting to a new tank. However, once established the Spotted Hatchet is fairly hardy.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com