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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi ya,

I have 5 hatchetfish which I bought a few weeks ago. They were sold as Silver Hatchetfish. I recognized them as the same kind I loved from when I was last in the hobby many years ago, so I bought them, but thought I could do with a few more.

Was at my LFS the other day and saw they had some Hatchetfish. They were also marked as Silver Hatchetfish, but they didn't look the same as what I already had. These had tiny black markings on their sides. Like little black pepper flecks. Mine are pure silver with nothing but a dark-ish stripe down their sides. There are no black spots at all. The ones at the LFS were not Marble Hatchets, which I am familiar with.

I almost bought them because I would like some more but didn't, thinking there were another species. I want them to interact with the ones I have and didn't want two different species.

My question is: are these the same as my Hatchetfish and should I buy them? Maybe they are just juveniles and perhaps that's why they have the black spots?

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I do like Hatchetfish and they are not easy to obtain in my area, but don't want to buy the wrong ones.
 

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They could also be marbled hatchets. I think you would be more than fine to mix the two together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. These were definitely not marble hatchets, though. They were completely silver in colour but with a few black dots, the size of grains of black pepper, on the sides just below the pectoral fins. Marble hatchets are well streaked with brown, so these were not them. Mine don't have any spots at all and are completly silver.

I'm sure they would school with the ones I have, but I didn't want two varieties in one tank. It's a community tank that already has about 12 different fish in it, and I want to avoid a hodge podge effect. Probably too late!
 

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There are at least 3 fish commonly labeled as "silver hatchets". The picture you show is Gasteroplecus maculatas aka Spotted Hatchet. I don't think that's what you saw as they're around 3". There are others with some black markings:



Common/River hatchet



Black Winged hatchet

There was one really good picture of a Common/River hatchet that showed the spots you talked about, but it was copyrighted. That's what I think you saw. Here's a link:

http://tropicalfishandaquariums.com/Tetras/SilverHatchet.asp


Tommy
 

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Fish caught in different regions often show different coloration/patterns, even though they're the same species. The vast majority of the hatchetfish in the hobby are all wild-caught in various parts of South America (Hatchetfish are common throughout much of South America, Brazil and Peru being two of the biggest exportation areas), so my guess is that the ones in the store you saw were just caught in different locale than the ones you currently have in your tank.
 

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I know what you mean though you want your schools to be complete and not look patchy. I find the best way to do this is to buy your full school at the same time when you find nice looking healthy fish. That has been my key to success with Glolights and Cardinals and I plan on doing the same with Hatchets as soon as I see some beauties. For instance Pets mart had two gorgeous silver hatchets this weekend but since I couldn't get the full school at the same time I held off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I would have bought all that I wanted initially but didn't want to add too many fish to the tank at one time. It was only a few weeks later, when everything had been going well, that I thought it could use a larger school of them. I mostly have different tetras and they don't occupy that top layer the way the hatchets do. But by that time they only had the ones with spots on them.

Anyway, a few weeks ago the store had another batch in and they were the same as the ones I already have - no spotty markings - so I bought 6 more. Now I have a school of 10 (one managed to escape via a small hole in the lid where the auto feeder is) and I'm glad I got them because watching their interaction as a larger group is very enjoyable. I wonder if it could accomodate a few more!
 
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