Max Size: 7cm

Spotfin Hatchetfish (Thoracocharax stellatus)

Spotfin Hatchetfish are a well-known aquarium fish that has been popular in the hobby for decades. These fish are very peaceful, very active and not at all skittish. This Hatchetfish is well suited to a community aquarium and are ideal for a beginner aquarist as they are relatively hardy.

Spotfin Hatchetfish are a schooling species in nature, so you should therefore maintain them in groups of at least six individuals, preferably more; otherwise, without the security of their own kind, they will not settle, and you will not be able to witness their interesting natural behaviours.

Ideal tankmates for Spotfin Hatchetfish could include other species that inhabit different regions of the aquarium, such as Dwarf Barbs, Tetras, Apistogrammas, Corydoras Catfish and smaller Plecos. These fish will also coexist peacefully with other South American fish, including the Marbled Hatchetfish. However, it would be best to avoid housing these Hatchetfish with fast-moving, large, or aggressive species as they will be outcompeted for food and may become easily spooked.

The decor is unnecessary for the Spotfin Hatchetfish; however, they will appreciate an Amazon biotope-style aquarium that includes driftwood, sandy substrate and leaf litter. These Hatchetfish occasionally enjoy a current to swim against, although you should also provide some quiet places. You should also ensure that you have floating plants on the water's surface or a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium, as these fish tend to jump very high out of water for feeding.

Spotfin Hatchetfish are considered one of the largest of this species. These fish have a deep, flat body with a small mouth opening upwards. In addition, these fish are streamlined and have a bulging belly that forms a semi-circle starting at the mouth ending at the caudal peduncle. Their bodies are silver, and they have elongated pectoral fins and transparent fins except for their dorsal fin, which possesses a prominent dark spot. In addition, these fish also have fleshy raised bumps that run along their abdomen and their caudal peduncle.


Spotfin Hatchetfish
Quick Facts
Scientific NameThoracocharax stellatus
Year Described1858
Other NamesSilver Hatchetfish, Spotfin Silver Hatchetfish, Spotted Hatchetfish, Platinum Hatchetfish
OriginsArgentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela
Aquarium LevelTop
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asGroups 5+
Lifespan2 - 3 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 7.5
GH3 - 15
TDS18 - 215
68 - 82℉
20 - 27.8℃


In the home aquarium, the Spotfin 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

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Spotfin Hatchetfish could include:

Skunk Corydoras(Corydoras granti)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is quite challenging to differentiate between male and female Spotfin Hatchetfish as they look almost identical; however, the female is usually more rounded in the abdomen, especially when she is full of eggs.

Other Hatchetfish of interest

Common Hatchetfish(Gasteropelecus sternicla)
Marbled Hatchetfish(Carnegiella strigata)
Date Added: 18/03/2022 12:56:15 - Updated: 08/08/2022 15:30:11