Marble Hatchet

Marble Hatchet
Latin name:
(Carnegiella strigata)

Care Level





Green, Orange, Red, Tan



Preferred Conditions

75-81° F, KH 10-18, pH 5.5-7.5

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size

20 gallons


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In the vast world of aquarium fish, there lies a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed—the Marble Hatchet. With its captivating appearance and unique characteristics, this fish is a true delight for any aquarist. So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of the Marble Hatchet and explore what makes it such an exceptional choice for your home aquarium.

The Allure of the Marble Hatchet

The Marble Hatchet, scientifically known as Carnegiella strigata, is a small, freshwater fish belonging to the Characidae family. Originating from the blackwater rivers and streams of South America, these fish possess an enchanting appearance that sets them apart from their counterparts.

Their elongated, hatchet-shaped bodies are adorned with a mesmerizing pattern of iridescent scales. The base color of the fish varies from silver to gold, while the scales are adorned with intricate marbling patterns in shades of black, brown, and green. This unique coloration gives the Marble Hatchet its name and makes it a captivating sight to behold.

Distinctive Features:

  • Body Shape: The Marble Hatchet’s body is laterally compressed, giving it a distinct hatchet-like shape.
  • Coloration: The base color ranges from silver to gold, with intricate marbling patterns in shades of black, brown, and green.
  • Fins: The dorsal fin is located towards the back of the body, while the anal fin is positioned near the tail. Both fins are transparent and often have a slight yellowish tint.
  • Eyes: The Marble Hatchet has large, expressive eyes that are typically black or dark brown in color.

Creating an Ideal Habitat for the Marble Hatchet

To ensure the well-being and thriving of your Marble Hatchets, it’s crucial to provide them with an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. Here are some essential factors to consider when setting up their aquarium:

Tank Size:

A 10-gallon aquarium is the minimum recommended size for a small group of Marble Hatchets. However, a larger tank is always preferable, as it provides more swimming space and reduces the risk of overcrowding.

Water Parameters:

  • pH: The ideal pH range for Marble Hatchets is between 5.0 and 7.0, with a slightly acidic environment being preferred.
  • Hardness: Soft water is best, with a hardness level between 1 and 10 dGH.
  • Temperature: The optimal temperature range for Marble Hatchets is between 72°F and 82°F (22°C to 28°C).

Décor and Plants:

  • Substrate: A dark-colored substrate, such as black sand or gravel, is recommended to create a natural-looking environment.
  • Plants: Live plants are essential for providing hiding places and creating a sense of security for the fish. Floating plants, such as Amazon Frogbit or Water Sprite, are particularly beneficial.
  • Décor: Driftwood and rocks can be added to the tank to create a more natural and visually appealing environment.

Essential Care Requirements for Marble Hatchets

Providing proper care for your Marble Hatchets is crucial for their long-term health and well-being. Here are some key aspects to focus on:


  • Variety: Marble Hatchets are omnivorous and require a varied diet to thrive. Offer them a mix of live, frozen, and freeze-dried foods, such as brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and small insects.
  • Frequency: Feed your Marble Hatchets small amounts several times a day, rather than one large meal. This helps prevent overfeeding and maintains good water quality.

Water Changes:

  • Regularity: Perform regular water changes of approximately 20-30% every week to maintain good water quality and remove waste products.
  • Temperature: When changing the water, ensure that the new water is at the same temperature as the existing water in the tank to avoid shocking the fish.

Filtration and Aeration:

  • Filtration: Invest in a high-quality filter system to keep the water clean and remove harmful toxins.
  • Aeration: Provide adequate aeration to ensure sufficient oxygen levels in the water. This can be achieved using an air pump and airstone.

FAQs About Marble Hatchets

Here are some frequently asked questions about Marble Hatchets that may be on your mind:

Q: Are Marble Hatchets easy to care for?

A: Marble Hatchets are generally considered to be a relatively easy fish to care for, making them suitable for both experienced and beginner aquarists.

Q: How many Marble Hatchets should I keep in my aquarium?

A: Marble Hatchets are schooling fish and should be kept in groups of at least 6-8 individuals. This helps them feel secure and display their natural behaviors.

Q: Are Marble Hatchets compatible with other fish species?

A: Yes, Marble Hatchets are generally peaceful and can coexist with other small, non-aggressive fish species. However, it’s important to choose tankmates that have similar water requirements and temperaments.


The Marble Hatchet is a captivating and undemanding fish that adds a touch of elegance and intrigue to any aquarium. With its striking appearance, peaceful nature, and relatively easy care requirements, it’s an excellent choice for both experienced and novice aquarists. So, if you’re looking for a unique and captivating addition to your aquarium, the Marble Hatchet is definitely worth considering.