Gasteropelecidae Fish Upkeep – 3 Useful Facts!

It is a proven fact that investing in an aquarium is more than just a hobby or passing phase for real fish lovers and knowing which to buy depends largely on whether you intend keeping marine (sea fish) or non-marine (freshwater fish) in the tank. The lucky part about modern living is that now we have tanks fitted with switches that enable one to change the temperature of the water contained in it so a dim or intense tank light makes for for comfortable surroundings inside.


Besides temperature control, modern tanks can also benefit from the huge variety of purification systems available for filtering out toxins and debris from the tank environs, helping keeping the water oxygenated and clean for the inmates. Some are mechanical while others are electronic in nature; however, more than these, the innovation in fishcare for aquarium owners comes by way of an automatic food distribution cum fertilized dosage system that takes the hassle out of remembering to feed the fish and when to do so!

Fish owners today are spoilt for choice when it comes to buying aquariums as so many different sizes, materials and advanced electronically-aided tanks are available in the market for keeping piscean pals and botanical buddies in them; of course, researching the 22,000-odd species and their preferences when it comes to keeping fish healthy in a tank is sure a task, but an enjoyable one for those that love the hobby. Learning about coldwater or tropical fish as opposed to simply freshwater and marine creatures is important for tank hygiene and fish health besides learning which are the dangerous species and should not be kept in captivity i.e Piranhas.


1. There are fish that fly, Gasteropelecidae, include the Hatchetfishes and these are found mainly in South America’s northern reaches, known for their distinctly deep figures. They are referred to as flying fish because of their affinity to raising the chest fins and attempting a float in the sky; for this reason, tank owners are advised to keep a hood on the aquarium with flying fish in them to prevent them from escaping like they are prone to doing – at least 15 feet away from the tank!

2. Another species similar to the first are the Carnegiella Marthae, also known as Blackwing Hatchetfish that have their roots in the Amazon areas, Peru and Venezuela. They typically grow to only an inch or a quarter more in size, boast a black chest, ridge and keel and do better in peaceful waters and others closer to their species. A calm temperament and easy food habits are advantages of keeping this variety of fish that prefer soft waters and breed in a fashion much like that of Hyphessobrycon.

3. The Silver Hatchetfish or Gasteropelecus Levis originate from the lower Amazonian regions, growing to an inch more than the Blackwing variety with a silver body and blue-black tinge of parallel stripes and are generally non-fussy about sharing a tank with other fish, provided they are kept in a clean environment. Its breeding habits, much like the Blackwing variety is currently under study and not much is known about them breeding in tanks.


Besides this family, that of the Cyprinidae, which covers Carps and other similar fish, is of interest; these fish tend to have big bodies and bones and are generally found across North America, Europe and some parts of Africa and Asia. Their pharyngeal bones also double up as teeth and few of them have barbel fins, which make up for adipose fins – 8feet is a normal size for them. The Indian version is named the Mahaseer and is among the largest Carp breed found in freshwaters, sometimes boasting round scales, soft fins and toothless jaws in the minnow variety used for baits, much like the Carps.

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