Max Size: 3.5cm

Marbled Hatchetfish (Carnegiella strigata)

Marbled Hatchetfish hang around at the top of your aquarium, always looking peaceful and unique. Since these fish are small and somewhat timid, they are not ideal community fish. They should be kept with other peaceful fish of similar sizes.

Their unusual shape is due to a big muscle, which the fish will use to jump high distances above the water's surface to avoid predators. They also swim strangely, which resembles a dead leaf floating sideways on the surface of a body of water. All this helps to protect them against potential predators that may be lurking in the water, which make them an attractive and impressive fish for aquarists. However, The Marbled Hatchetfish is not suitable for the beginner aquarist as they are very shy feeders and are susceptible to Ich.

The Marbled Hatchetfish seems to do better than other hatchet fish when kept in the home aquarium, though hatchetfish, in general, are not considered hardy species.

There is a golden line that extends from the eye to the caudal fin of the Marbled Hatchetfish, which has a deep, hatchet-shaped body. In the area below, there is an appealing brown and mottled cream pattern that resembles marble. For feeding at the water's surface, their mouths are located close to the top of their heads.


Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Marbled Hatchetfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameCarnegiella strigata
Year Described1864
Other NamesRiver Hatchetfish
OriginsBolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyIntermediate - Advanced
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan2 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.5 - 7.5
GH2 - 20
TDS18 - 179
75 - 82℉
23.9 - 27.8℃

Natural Habitat



In the home aquarium, the Marbled Hatchetfish will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

3 interesting tank mate ideas for the Marbled Hatchetfish could include:

Black Widow Tetra(Gymnocorymbus ternetzi)
Frail Gourami(Ctenops nobilis)
Staeck Endler(Poecilia wingei)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively tricky to differentiate males from females, but when viewed from above, the female appears more extensive and much plumper, and you may see eggs inside her if the female is about to spawn.

Other Hatchetfish of interest

Common Hatchetfish(Gasteropelecus sternicla)
Spotfin Hatchetfish(Thoracocharax stellatus)
Date Added: 08/10/2020 - Updated: 20/09/2022 14:49:20