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Characins / Gasteropelecidae / Silver Hatchetfish

Silver Hatchetfish
Thoracocharax securis

Synonyms: Gasteropelecus securis, G. stellatus, Thoracocharax pectorosus, T. stellatus
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 to white 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. A green to yellow vertical stripe extends from the gill cover to the base of the tail.
Size/Length: To 3.5" (9 cm)
Similar species: Silver Hatchetfish ( Gasteropelecus levis ), Common Hatchetfish ( Gasteropelecus sternicla )
Habitat: South America; lakes, swamps, and ponds with heavy vegetation in the Lower Amazon Basin. This species is also said to inhabit shallow, fast flowing streams.
S: Top
Aquarium: 28" (71 cm) or 20 gallons (75 L). This Hatchetfish requires the usual Hatchetfish set-up, but it also needs a good air supply.
Water chemistry: pH 5.8-7.5 (6.7); 4-15 dH (8); 73-86°F (23-30°C)
Social behavior: A peaceful community fish. Combine with fish of lower swimming levels.
Suggested companions: See the Hatchetfish family introduction
FOOD: Live; mosquito larvae, bloodworms, glassworms, Drosophila , Daphnia , Brine Shrimp, Tubifex ; flake foods
Sexual differences: Unknown
Breeding techniques: Unsuccessful
Breeding potential: 10. No reports of this Hatchetfish spawning in captivity have been made public.
Remarks: This Hatchetfish can leave the water and fly for up to 9 feet (2.74 m).
Difficulty of care: 5. A somewhat sensitive fish. Once it is acclimated, it is fairly hardy.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com