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Thoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin HatchetfishMagyarul / Hungarian
Thoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin HatchetfishThoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin HatchetfishThoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin HatchetfishThoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin HatchetfishThoracocharax stellatus - Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin Hatchetfish
  • Scientific name: Thoracocharax stellatus
  • Synonyms: Gastropelecus stellatus
  • Common name: Silver hatchetfish, Spotfin Hatchetfish
  • Group: Characins
  • Habitat: South America; widespread in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina.
  • Size: 7-8 cm
  • Biotope: Inhabits forest streams and rivers usually in areas with dense surface vegetation.
  • Social behavior: A very peaceful schooling fish, but a little nervous. They swim in the top areas of the aquarium, so bottom-dweller tankmates like catfishes or cichlids would be a good choice. Always keep them in a group.
  • Diet: Omnivorous; Their main diet should be small live and frozen foods, but they will accept dried foods with time.
  • Breeding: Unsuccessful in aquarium
  • Tank: Minimum 110 litres
  • Population: 6-8 fish for 150 litres
  • Decoration: Cover a large area of the water surface with floating plants, so the fish won’t be too skittish. They also like some current. The tank can be decorated with driftwood branches and dried leaf litter with sandy substrate. Their tank must be covered, as they are excellent jumpers!
  • Temperature: 23-30 °C
  • pH: 6-7,5
  • Hardness: 2-15 NK°
  • Lifespan: 5-7 years

Description: Spotfin Hatchetfish has an unusual body shape with a large muscular convex ventral area which reminds to a hatchet as its common name suggests. The fish has an olive brown almost straight back and a silver colored convex body. Thoracocharax stellatus looks very similar to the Giant hatchetfish, Thoracocharax securis but is distinguishable by the dark spot in the dorsal fin which gives the fish its common name. The wing-like pectoral fins are transparent and often measure up to one-half the fish's overall body length and have massive muscles around them. With these fins the fish can fly out of the water, so their aquarium must have a tight fitting. This behaviour is used in the wild to escape potential predators, and the fish is able to fly several metres over the water. Thoracocharax stellatus spends most of its time at the water surface, although it will sometimes retreat into midwater if threatened.

Females are noticeably rounder-bodied than males, especially when full of eggs. Until now Spotfin hatchetfish have not been bred successfully in the aquarium.

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