Would you like to purchase hatchetfish for your tank sometime soon? Many people think that these fish are great because they have a unique look.
Hatchetfish certainly do look appealing, and they’re also easy to care for if you’re a beginner. For most, hatchetfish will be an ideal choice.
Of course, you might be curious about these fish and how large they get. You want to make sure that you have enough room for them, after all.
How large do hatchetfish get on average? Are some hatchetfish going to be larger or smaller?
Read on to learn everything you must know about their growth. It should help you to set up your tank and get ready to bring hatchetfish into your home.
How Big Do Hatchetfish Grow?
The common hatchetfish is the fish that most people think of when discussing hatchetfish. This is the fish that you’re most likely to buy first.
Common hatchetfish are good fish that have lifespans of up to five years. They can even live a little bit longer than that with great care.
They’re fairly small fish that only grow to be two and a half inches long. Sometimes these fish are referred to as “river hatchetfish,” and that means that you might see them being sold under that name.
These are shoaling fish that need to be kept in groups. For the best results, you’ll want to keep six common hatchetfish in one tank.
Since they’re not too big, they can still fit in modestly-sized tanks. Most people choose to go with a 20-gallon fish tank to be safe.
How Big Are Silver Hatchetfish?
Silver hatchetfish are also very popular. These fish are just a bit smaller than the common hatchetfish you learned about above.
On average, silver hatchetfish will grow to be between two inches and two inches and one-quarter of an inch.
So they’re a little bit smaller than the common hatchetfish, even if it isn’t by a lot. Even so, many people love the silvery bodies of these fish.
They’re excellent fish to put in the top of your fish tank. These hatchetfish are peaceful and should be great in community fish tank environments.
How Big Are Marbled Hatchetfish?
Marbled hatchetfish are even smaller than silver hatchetfish. This helps to make them popular with people who want to keep many small fish in a fairly small fish tank.
The marbled hatchetfish will only grow to be around one and a half inches long. Typically, they only reach 1.4 inches in length.
These are hatchet-shaped fish with marbled bodies that look really neat. You’ll love the appearance of these fish, and you can easily find a good tank to keep six or so of these fish in your home.
For many, marbled hatchetfish will be among the most appealing that you can buy. They’re fish that are fairly common sights in many aquarium stores.
How Big Are Black-Winged Hatchetfish?
Black-winged hatchetfish are very close to the same size as the marbled hatchetfish mentioned above. They grow to be one and a half inches long.
So they’re just a tiny bit longer than their marbled cousins. The black pectoral fins on these fish help them to stand out in the fish tank.
Otherwise, they’re peaceful little fish that like to live in groups. So caring for them is essentially the same as caring for marbled hatchetfish, silver hatchetfish, and common hatchetfish.
You must keep them in groups of six, and they do best when you keep the water quality high. All of these fish are good jumpers, so be sure to put a lid on the tank.
How Big is the Giant Hatchetfish?
Giant hatchetfish are a bit different than the hatchetfish that you see being sold in stores. The giant hatchetfish are larger and are generally deep-sea hatchetfish.
It’s said that these fish can grow to be up to six inches long. Some sources say that these fish will always be larger than four and a half inches long.
So some giant hatchetfish might be larger than others. They don’t live for as long as common hatchetfish do.
Most of these deep-sea giant hatchetfish have lifespans of just a year. Not as much is known about these fish compared to the other popular types of hatchetfish that are kept in aquariums.
What Is the Smallest Hatchetfish?
The smallest hatchetfish that you can find will be less than one inch long. Pygmy hatchetfish are known to grow to be around 0.9 inches in length.
Since these fish are so tiny, they will do fine in small tanks. You need to keep them in groups, so it’s still recommended to go with a 10-gallon aquarium.
The small size of these fish helps them to be very appealing to those who lack space for large fish tanks. It’s possible to keep many of these fish in modestly-sized fish tanks.
Pygmy hatchetfish are no more challenging to care for than standard hatchetfish. The same conventional care methods apply to these tiny little hatchetfish.
What is the Size of Deep Sea Hatchetfish?
As mentioned earlier, giant hatchetfish are generally considered to be deep-sea hatchetfish. They grow to be around six inches long.
Do Hatchetfish Need to Live in Groups?
Yes, hatchetfish need to live in groups. These are shoaling fish that won’t do well if you try to keep them alone or in pairs.
The best scenario is to keep at least six of these fish in the tank. This will give them more confidence and will help them to be happy in the aquarium.
Whenever you’re caring for shoaling fish, it’s best to keep them in certain group sizes. If you put them in groups that are too small the fish might become stressed.
Stress can lead to sickness, and your fish might even eventually die. So be careful and make sure to buy enough of these fish for the tank to keep them happy.
What Tank Size Do They Need?
The tank sizes needed by these fish will differ based on the type. There are different types of hatchetfish, and they all grow to be different sizes.
Common hatchetfish will do well in a 20-gallon aquarium. It’s likely fine to keep marbled hatchetfish in a 15-gallon fish tank, but many still go with 20-gallon fish tanks.
Small hatchetfish, such as pygmy hatchetfish, can fit in 10-gallon fish tanks. You simply need to research the appropriate tank size based on the species.
Remember that you need to fit six or more of these fish in the tank. It’s not hard to find room for these fish since none of the hatchetfish that are generally kept in aquariums are truly that big.
How to Help These Fish Grow
Helping these fish grow is generally about providing them with good care. If you want your fish to grow fast and stay strong, it’s best to focus on feeding them well.
Give these fish high-quality protein-rich foods. Generally, you’ll feed hatchetfish carnivore pellets as well as live meaty foods.
These fish have small mouths, so they can’t eat things that are too big. You’ll feed them brine shrimp, bloodworms, and other similar types of food.
Feed them two or three times per day without overfeeding them. It’s better to give the fish two or three small meals daily than to give them one large meal.
Keep the water quality high in the tank, and don’t overcrowd the aquarium. This means you should avoid stuffing too many fish in the tank.
Also, give these fish a tank that’s large enough for them. Sometimes it makes sense to go a size up just to be sure that you have more than enough room, but that’s not 100% necessary.
Now you should understand how large these fish get. Hatchetfish are generally small and even giant hatchetfish only grow to be up to six inches long.
The hatchetfish that you’ll find being sold in aquarium stores won’t grow to be too big at all. Common hatchetfish are only a maximum of two and a half inches long, and the other hatchetfish types are smaller.
Choose the fish that you like the most. Hatchetfish are fun to own, and they can be a great addition to your tank.
Jeff has always enjoyed having pets, but as a child, he was drawn to his family’s fish tank. Being able to maintain a small ecosystem and observe the behaviors and interactions in the underwater world peaked his interest early on and has kept him hooked until this day. On Avid Aquarist, Jeff shares everything he’s learned about helping aquatic life survive and thrive in a home aquarium.