How to Breed Common Hatchetfish - fish-hobbyist

How to Breed Common Hatchetfish

Description: Breeding common hatchetfish is very difficult, but not entirely impossible. To make it easier for you, here we have a guide on how to breed common hatchetfish. 

What makes breeding common hatchetfish difficult is the limited documentation about it. This is because people don’t generally breed common hatchetfish, and the one they bought from sellers is freshly-caught. However, breeding the Gasteropelecus sternicla actually follows a similar routine as to how to breed marbled hatchetfish. 

Therefore, how exactly do you breed common hatchetfish? Read on because here is everything you need to know about how to breed common hatchetfish.

- Differentiating sexes in common hatchetfish

First of all, female common hatchetfish lays the egg. Thus, before breeding common hatchetfish, you need to know which one is female. 

The females are usually larger and more rounded than the males. It is a small fish, so it might be difficult to see the size differences. However, female common hatchetfish’ size is around 33 mm while the male common hatchetfish is about 31 mm. Differentiating them from other than physical characteristic is very difficult. However, remember that in a school of common hatchetfish, the female ratio is higher than the male. 

- Environment to breed common hatchetfish

With common hatchetfish, you will have a better chance if you put them in a large group. Therefore, choose a school of 4 to 6 common hatchetfish and put them in a separated aquarium of 100 liters or 25 gallons.

To be successfully breeding common hatchetfish, you need to imitate their natural water as accurate as possible. You can ask the common hatchetfish seller where the fish is originated from. That way you can choose the perfect temperature for the aquarium.

You should keep it 22 to 27 °C (about 72 to 81 °F) with water hardness at 18 to 216 parts per million. It should be aged acid water at pH 6 to 7.5. There should be floating vegetation to make them less stressed, dim lighting, and mix the peat with layers of gravel substrate to maintain water condition. Having peat filtration is even better. Don’t forget to replace the water regularly.

- Triggering the spawning of common hatchetfish

Breeding common hatchetfish is similar to breeding marbled hatchetfish, so you need to trigger the breeding. Rich diets can induce their spawning, so prepare live mosquito larvae and fruit flies that they usually eat in their natural habitat. 

Aside from that, you can feed them other than small flying insects, such as bloodworms and small crustaceans like fry brine shrimp. However, the hatchetfish need to be conditioned for it, so let them get used to the other foods for a few weeks. You will know that the hatchetfish will breed once they do a long courtship ritual where the male is following the female hatchetfish.

- What to do after common hatchetfish lays eggs

Female hatchetfish’ belly will be bigger as it has egg in it, so when you notice that, make sure to check it often.  While breeding common hatchetfish, remember that they are egg scatterer, and they scatter their egg among floating plants or plants growing near the water surface.

After the eggs are laid, the first thing you need to do is to separate the parents to the main aquarium. This is to prevent the parents from eating the eggs that will hatch in 30 to 36 hours. Because the common hatchetfish are small, their fry is even smaller. They need to be fed rich goods, starting with rotifers, paramecium, and infusoria. Then as they grow, you can feed them baby brine shrimp and cyclops.

Breeding common hatchetfish is not an easy task. However, it should be easier now if you want to try breeding it yourself at home by following our guide on breeding common hatchetfish.


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