Needlefish and Hatchetfish? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 08-06-2009, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Needlefish and Hatchetfish?

How do these fish do in brackish?

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post #2 of 3 Old 08-07-2009, 07:02 AM
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Never kept needlefish and dont know alot about them, but the hatchets wont do well long term with any salt in the water........
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-07-2009, 12:07 PM
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I'm wondering if you actually mean nedlenose gar, rather than needlefish? The latter are marine fish from the ocean, whereas the former needlenose are freshwater fish from SE Asia. Don't know if you already have these or are contemplating them, but they are not exactly aggressive but have been described as an avid predator that will eat any live fish that they can bite into, and they grow to 12 inches, so need fairly large quarters and large tankmates unless kept alone in a large aquarium. They prefer to be in small groups. Several authors mention live foods being mandatory. I've no personal experience with keeping these fish. In the references I have, there is no mention of brackish water.

Hatchetfish are surface fish from South America, and as FishinPole correctly said, do not tolerate salt. They come from soft slightly acid water streams and creeks in the Amazon and Orinoco basins (thus far removed from any trace of brackish water), live in shoals of hundreds, and can jump out of the water and "fly" for up to 12 feet, so a convered tank is mandatory. A somewhat sensitive fish, but in suitable water will live very peacefully with other small fish like tetras and pencilfish, and corys and similar catfish that are not predatory. Being characins, hatchetfish have a sensitivity to chemicals so water quality and parameters must be steady, and no salt.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 08-07-2009 at 12:11 PM.
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