Ideal for community tanks and excellent fish for beginners, the Hatchetfish brings shimmering color and a unique shape to the aquarium. Named for their Hatchet-like appearance, these fish have large pectoral fins and extraordinarily powerful muscles that allow them to lift their bodies half out of the water so that they can glide along the surface. What a unique addition to the aquarium: flying fish! When in the water, Hatchetfish prefer to hang motionless in strong currents, so some sort of system that provides this is recommended. In addition, Hatchetfish are very social and will not thrive unless schooling with at least five other Hatchetfish.

Sub-Species for Aquariums:

Black-Winged – With a silver body and small black wings, the Black-winged Hatchetfish is a beautiful addition to the aquarium.

Common/ River – The Common Hatchetfish has the same body shape of all Hatchetfish. It is silver in body with two stripes, one black and one golden, running horizontally down the back from behind the gills to the base of the tail.

Marbled – Though the Marbled Hatchetfish is no different in shape, its coloring and pattern make it quite unique. It sports the same silver colored body as most Hatchetfish, however it is “marbled” in black. Black marks stretch and spread diagonally across it giving it the look of a small marble stone.

Silver – The plainest, and yet most delicate looking of the Hatchetfish, the Silver Hatchetfish is just that: silver. It is a brilliant silver that reflects light, making the fish look somewhat like a ghost.


It is critically important that potential owners of Hatchetfish make sure that their aquarium has a lid that seals as these fish are known for escaping the tank. The Hatchetfish has few needs otherwise. Water temperature should be kept between 72-80˚F with a pH between 5.5-7.5. They do best in a long tank with surface plants.


Hatchetfish do best with live food such as mosquito larvae or bloodworms, however most will accept flake food. They have no special dietary requirements.

Size: 2 Inches
Freshwater/ Saltwater: Freshwater
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Compatibility: NA
Tank Mate Compatibility: 8
Lifespan: Up to 3 Years

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