Marbled Hatchetfish not at surface
When I bought 3 marbled hatchet fish 2 were in 1 tank and 1 in the other, the store only had the 3 left so I was limited on my purchase size. The first day I got them they stuck around mid range and I figured it was the new environment effect and they would go up top soon enough. It has been nearly a week and I still haven't seen any skimming the surface, my tank is 14in deep and they shoal together around 4inches off the bottom. Half the surface of the has been covered with floating plants and there are plants everywhere. They share a 60gal with 17 harlequin rasbora, 5 golden honey gourami, 4 feral guppy's, and 2 long fin BN. Entire tank is healthy but I haven't been able to notice if they are eating or not because the food I use is tiny and hard to follow. If they were any other fish I would think nothing was wrong but I was under the impression hatchetfish preferred surface skimming for food.
Basically is this an issue and if so will getting more when they are available remedy it?
It can take fish time to adjust to a new tank. A week is a good amount of time for most fish, but...
It's very important to quarantine new fish. Aside from providing that time to adjust to things, it gives you the opportunity to make sure that they are eating. As it stands, there are a number of variables as to why the fish are behaving that way.
I think it's safe to say that they are stressed - hopefully they will start acting normal soon.
Do the gourami hang around at the top a lot ? Especially if they're stressed, that could keep the hatchets from the surface.
This is a behaviour I have observed with all of the species in Carnegiella (which I have) at one time or another.
Generally, it is a sign of stress when it occurs with Carnegiella strigata. As someone mentioned, this can be expected initially, and I have had some fish that will dive down in the tank for several days. I just leave them alone, to avoid further stress, provided I can observe no aggression from other fish toward them. Mine will often do this during water changes if I am crashing around inside the tank.
Having more would help, as this is a shoaling fish and I find they are much better in larger groups, say 9 or preferably more. When you next see them available, acquire more. In the interim, observe and unless something is an issue, let them adjust on their own.
None of my fish bother each other at all, the plecos fight each other occasionally, the females gouramis fight each other, the male gouramis fight each other, and the rasboras fight each other. Since I removed the black neon tetras there has been no cross species aggression. The hatchets don't even bother each other and prefer peacefully shoaling together
Byron I figured as much but its always better to check when unsure, I'll be sure to get at least another 3 but I'm unsure my tank can handle 9 adult hatchets. The guy at my lfs has silver hatchet fish that were so big they swallowed a dozen pygmy cory cats when he tried getting them
Edit- read the profile here and if max size is truly 1.5 then I'll aim at 9, price of $2.50 each is great
That is a good price, I last paid $6.99 each for my hatchets. I don't remember seeing them below $6.
My pet store can be very overpriced on a lot of fish, example $7 per cherry shrimp, but some fish they have great deals, dragon goby and ropefish around $8-9, so it balances sometimes. Unlike other stores they don't have anything like a dollar fish row and even the pet food is pricier - same food 500yards away at walmart is 25% more at this place
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