How easy are hatchetfish to look after?

In spite of their name, which refers to their body shape rather than their temperament, hatchetfish generally can be kept quite safely in a community aquarium with other peaceful occupants as they are not aggressive and actually agree well together in groups. They swim largely in the upper part of the tank, being surface feeders. On occasions, silver hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla) can use their powerful bodies to leap out of the water and catch a passing insect, so be sure to keep their aquarium covered to prevent any individuals ending up on the floor.

Common hatchetfish.Surface plants are to be recommended in an aquarium housing these fish, so they can hide under the vegetation. They prefer to feed on small insects and a culture of wingless fruit flies should provide them with a more natural source of food, encouraging spawning activity, although they will usually take prepared foodstuffs such as flake food readily. Silver hatchetfish grow to a maximum size of about 9cm (3.5in) and are the largest species of hatchetfish, first kept in Germany back in 1910. They originate from South America.