These are great little guys, very active. They should be kept in groups of at least 8 but 12+ is recommended, or their lifespan will be shortened and they won't be as active. The are carnivores and love flies. Fruit flys, even freshly swatted house flys make a tasty treat, and they go crazy for them!
This fish is really, really cool. I have had a lot of bad experience with Hatchets and filters, as their body is so thin they can easily be sucked up. I lost 3 out of my 8 origional hatchets to the filter. The trick is to get a really, really tight guard on the filter, like you might do for shrimp. I would not recommend this fish for open aquariums, as, even though I have never had any personal experience with this, they are jumpers. You should keep hatchets in groups of at least 6, reports of this fish being difficult to keep stem directly from attempts to keep them in small numbers. When kept in small numbers, they will become scared and stressed, meaning they are much more likely to jump, and are prone to disease. The reason they jump is because they either need to escape a predator, or to catch an insect. They can jump for several meters, so if one does dissapear look all around the room. They are the only activly 'flying' fish in the world - they beat their 'wings' to achieve powered flight whereas 'Flying fish' simply jump and glide. These fish are carnivores, and a worm feeder is useful to keep live bloodworm at the top for them. They are totally peaceful towards other fish, and remember not to freak out if they If you have space for 6 or more 1.5" fish - then by all means go for it!
Does anybody in this forum have experience breeding any of the fresh water hatchet fishes? I have never come across detailed information regarding spawning and raising the fry... I imagine the young are quite small and need appropriately small food items which would mean they are taking food further down the water column compared to the adults taking insects off the surface. Has anybody seen small hatchet fry images? Any pointers to info would be appreciated.. i have always found a school of the big silver ones beautifull and can dream of having a tank dedicated to them.
Watch it! these guys jump! due to only having a basic glass lid with big holes on the side to move it, these guys managed to get out, found em splatted against the wall on the other side of the room, mmm crispy fish! had 5 or so and by the end of the month they all had jumped to thier death! amazing fish look great when they catch the light but only consider if you have a large tank with a proper hood style lid!
@HatchetHaven, I don't believe that a hatchetfish can fly. Their 'wings', though large for a fish, are too small. Perhaps they flap their wings during leaps, but it's not them flying. They're just really good jumpers.