How to Choose a Good Quality Common Hatchetfish - fish-hobbyist

How to Choose a Good Quality Common Hatchetfish

Description: Common hatchetfish are well-liked among aquarist due to its unique shape. Planning to buy a school of them? Make sure you know how to choose a good quality common hatchetfish.

Originated from the warm waters of South America, Gasteropelecus sternicla or common hatchetfish is one of the most popular hatchetfish for aquarium. Besides not hard to take care of, people like it because it has a unique hatchet-shaped belly. Furthermore, its ability to live longer compared to other types of hatchetfish adds more value among aquarists. 

If you are interested in buying some common hatchetfish of good quality, read on because we will cover everything you need to know how to choose a good quality common hatchetfish.

1. Make sure it is common hatchetfish

People often call common hatchetfish as silver hatchetfish, but that is actually a misnomer. Common hatchetfish or river hatchetfish refers to Gasteropelecus sternicla, while silver hatchetfish is Gasteropelecus levis. 

Common hatchetfish of good quality has a yellowish or yellow-green color with silver scales that can reflect light. It also has brown or black stripes on its flank. On the other hand, silver hatchetfish is silver with black and gold-bronze stripes on its midline. Comparing to their size, common hatchetfish is bigger than silver hatchetfish that can’t grow more than 2 1/4 inches (5.72 cm).

2. Check for infections 

Freshly caught fish is always full of unknown diseases. Therefore, if you can buy common hatchetfish of good quality from retailers with good quarantine facilities, that will be really great. 

However, if you can’t, you must be extra cautious while checking for common hatchetfish’ health. You should start by checking bacterial or/and fungal infection. Check if there are white spots on common hatchetfish’ eye, mouth, and body. Then, you need to see if the fins are in good condition and not rotting.

For parasitic infection, check if there is mucus on common hatchetfish’ body and gills. Don’t buy fish with white spots, rotting fins, mucus, and red, irritated parts.

3. See if they are active

While checking the activity, remember that common hatchetfish is the least active among the hatchetfish species. Therefore, don’t expect it to make jerky movements like marbled hatchetfish. Instead, you can tell whether or not they are active by seeing where they choose to swim. The active common hatchetfish of good quality would swim near the water surface because they are surface dweller. You should also see which fish would accept the foods because fish that refuse foods could be sick.

4. Pick a school of males and females

Common hatchetfish must be kept in groups, so one common hatchetfish of good quality is not enough. To make common hatchetfish less stressed, you should buy at least a school of 6 common hatchetfishes of different genders. With different genders, you might have a chance to breed them. The seller should know which one is male and which one is female. However, if you want to check it yourself, female common hatchetfish is bigger and thicker than the slender male counterpart.

5. Buy the fully grown ones

Buying mature fish is generally preferable than immature fish. The same goes for common hatchetfish because most of them are caught from the wilds. Immature common hatchetfish would be more prone to disease. It also needs special food to survive to maturity, so overall it’s better to buy the fully grown one. To differentiate the age, mature common hatchetfish of good quality are usually 2 to 2.5 inches (5.08 cm to 6.5 cm) in size.

In conclusion, to pick fish based on quality, you should check many things, such as the fish’ sex, maturity, and health. Those are tips on how to choose a good quality common hatchetfish. Are you ready to buy your common hatchetfish of good quality now?

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