Marbled Hatchetfish
The Fish Room TFR

Marbled Hatchetfish

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Marbled Hatchetfish

Carnegiella strigata


Native Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela

Climate: Tropical

Maximum Size: 3.5cm

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: carnivore 

Breeding: Difficult

Temperature Range: 20-28℃ (68-82℉)

Preferred pH Range: 4.0 - 7.0

Minimum Aquarium Size: 75cm x 30cm for a group of 6-8 fish.

Potential Tankmates: Dwarf Cichlids, Plecos and small characids.

Care Level: Easy


The Marbled Hatchetfish is a fish with a huge range of habitats, most of which are found to be very acidic, with heavy plant growth overhanging the banks and a thick layer of leaf litter and fallen sunken branches covering the soft sandy substrate. The water is almost always a dark tea colour caused by the tannic acid released by the leaves and wood.

There are no known successful commercial breeding farms for this species. All available fish in the hobby have been wild-caught and as such, to provide the best conditions within the home aquarium, we should attempt to recreate its natural habitat. To do this, we should start with a dark sandy substrate. Placing a thick layer of leaf litter and botanicals on top not only creates a familiar dark coloured water but also allows microorganisms to establish which is very good for the overall health of the aquarium.

Feeding these unusual looking fish is straightforward. They will readily consume live Daphnia or brine shrimp. A quality protein-based dry food can be offered.

Although breeding is not done on a commercial basis, it can be achieved in the home aquarium. Provide a dedicated breeding tank of around 100l volume. With a thin layer of gravel as a substrate and mature, soft, and slightly acidic with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. A temperature between 24 - 26°C. Maintain a low light at all times plus some floating plants to create ample cover. The plants will help to further reduce the light, and along with the substrate, will be used to attach their eggs too. Water flow it more than covered with the use of a sponge filter. Adding either Indian almond leaves or alder cones will assist in preventing any unwanted bacteria growth.

The Hatchetfish is known to jump out of the water in attempts at catching terrestrial insects. In fact, while in the air, they move their fins as if to fly. Some consider these fish to be the only true flying fish. A tightly fitting aquarium lid is highly recommended. 


All our fish are quarantined on arrival for two weeks. During this time, we treat for any health issues that may occur during transport and ensure each fish is eating well and looking healthy.  All fish are treated with Flubendazole before finally going on sale.

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